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  • Writer's pictureNick Edward

C-Loop's Summer Internship: running Lifecycle Assessment (LCA)

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

C-Loops has received five students this year with backgrounds from several of the major campuses in Norway, with a mission to address key challenges of a circular economy by creating a baseline framework on Lifecycle Assessments on maritime consumables (i.e. mooring ropes).

Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) is a valuable and an important tool C-Loop to understand and manage the environmental impact of products and processes from retired materials from vessels throughout its entire lifecycle. This framework is aimed to support C-Loop in identifying the areas where environmental improvements can be made as part of repurposing materials or prolonging material lifespan in an effort to reduce consumption, minimizing waste generation, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“The LCA framework will also be vital for C-Loop to establish important impact metrics & material footprint as a key enabler for measuring emissions savings (Co2 / Plastics) that would result from sustainably repurposing maritime consumables.”

It is set to be an intensive six-week period where the summer students aim to take a closer look at the opportunities, and challenges of a circular economy, which will end with presenting their findings to the management team in Oslo and the Wilhelmsen group.

Lifecycle assessment (LCA) is important for several reasons:


Environmental Impact: LCA allows us to understand the environmental impact of a product, process, or service throughout its entire lifecycle, including the extraction of raw materials, manufacturing, transportation, use, and disposal. It helps identify the areas where environmental improvements can be made, such as reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste generation, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


Decision-Making: LCA provides comprehensive and quantitative information that can inform decision-making processes. It allows for comparisons between different products or processes, enabling stakeholders to make informed choices that minimize environmental burdens. LCA can help identify the best available technologies, materials, and practices to achieve sustainable outcomes.


Resource Efficiency: By assessing the entire lifecycle, LCA promotes the efficient use of resources. It helps identify areas where resource consumption can be minimized, such as reducing raw material extraction, optimizing energy use during production, and extending product lifespan through reuse or recycling. LCA can contribute to the circular economy by highlighting opportunities for waste reduction and resource recovery


Innovation and Design: LCA encourages innovation and sustainable design. By assessing the environmental implications of different design options early in the development process, LCA helps identify areas for improvement, such as reducing energy requirements, selecting environmentally friendly materials, or implementing recycling strategies. LCA can guide the development of greener products and processes, fostering sustainability and competitiveness.


Stakeholder Communication: LCA facilitates transparent and credible communication with stakeholders. The results of LCA studies can be used to communicate the environmental performance of products or processes to consumers, investors, and regulators. LCA enables organizations to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, improve their reputation, and respond to increasing demands for environmental accountability.


Policy Development: LCA provides scientific data and insights that support the development of policies and regulations. Governments and organizations can use LCA results to set environmental targets, establish eco-labeling schemes, and develop standards for sustainable production and consumption. LCA can contribute to the creation of more effective environmental policies by informing decision-makers about potential impacts of different measures.

Overall, lifecycle assessment is a valuable tool for understanding and managing the environmental impact of products and processes, guiding decision-making, promoting resource efficiency, fostering innovation, shaping policies, and communicating with stakeholders. It supports the transition towards more sustainable practices and contributes to a more environmentally conscious society.

The Approach

The process started with an incredible journey to Slovakia, where C-Loop had the privilege of visiting Wilhelmsen state-of-the-art rope factory. What made this trip even more special? C-Loop was joined by the brilliant minds of Wilhelmsen summer interns, who are fueling our new corporate venture dedicated to circular solutions for the maritime industry.

Together, they dove deep into the world of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), a powerful tool that helps the venture understand the environmental impact of maritime products from cradle to grave. With LCAs, C-Loop will gain a holistic view of a maritime product's entire lifecycle – from raw material extraction to manufacturing, usage, and disposal. These insights would put the venture in a better position to guide their customers in the maritime space towards smarter, more sustainable choices that positively impact our planet.

Running LCAs on mooring ropes and visiting Wilhelmsen's rope factory in Slovakia has been a great place to start that would unlock a lot of learnings for the students and the venture overall

  • 🛠️ Hands-On Learning: Witnessing the production process firsthand at Wilhelmsen's rope factory was an eye-opening experience for these bright interns. Getting up close and personal with the operations was essential to crafting robust and logical LCAs. This immersive approach ensures that our assessments are accurate, insightful, and capable of driving real change.

  • 🎉 The Journey of Discovery: Beyond the invaluable knowledge gained, this trip was an absolute blast! Together with the students, we explored, we learned, and we bonded as a team. Our interns brought fresh perspectives to the table, infusing the project with energy and enthusiasm. From brainstorming sessions to late-night discussions, every moment was meaningful and fun.

  • 🤝 Shaping the Future: As we work towards a more sustainable maritime industry, we're reminded of the immense potential that lies within collaboration, education, and hands-on experiences.

C-Loop eagerly anticipates the forthcoming insights stemming from desk-based research and weeks of number-crunching, integral to the comprehensive Lifecycle Assessment conducted by our talented summer interns, aligning with our unwavering commitment to material circularity and sustainability.

The journey to Slovakia this summer was more than just a trip – it was a step towards a greener, more informed future.

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