Summary of the IDEA Lab

Mission of the IDEA lab

The European Commission and other countries around the world are promoting environmental policies for industrial technology based on life cycle thinking (Consideration of the mining, design, manufacture, use, recycling or disposal of products and services, and their overall impact).

As a basis for implementing these policies, the role of the Life Cycle Inventory Database, which is a comprehensive database of the environmental impact and unit consumption of all products, has become extremely important. Against this background, the Global LCA Data Access Network (GLAD) was established with the participation of 14 countries around the world, led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), aiming at the international networking and mutual use of the life-cycle inventory database, and international cooperation has been activated.

IDEA (Inventory Database for Environmental Analysis), a life-cycle inventory database developed by AIST, has joined GLAD as a representative of Japan.

Concurrently, international cooperation has also begun in the Asian region, including South Korea and Thailand, to develop IDEA data preparation methods in their own countries. The IDEA Lab will seek further international collaboration to achieve the above goals.

In addition, there is a growing need for LCA to evaluate the environmental compatibility of technologies under research and development at research sites. Companies and AIST’s new materials and new technology development sites are increasingly making joint proposals and applying for joint implementation of environmental impact analysis, especially with the preparation of inventory data. By cooperating with LCA researchers and new technology developers from an early stage, we aim not only to improve the accuracy of IDEA itself, but also to provide feedback on LCA to new technology development and to bridge technologies including LCA viewpoints.