The need to quantify sustainability is great, especially in a world in which scarce resources are in increasing demand and the effects of climate change become more apparent. Climate change will change our capacity to meet our demands for water.

Almost all economic activity causes some negative impacts of the environment, either directly or through goods and services that are bought in. Mitigation methods for reducing unwanted emissions can themselves create other negative environmental impacts as side effects. Accounting for all these effects requires a holistic approach, such as Environmental Life Cycle Assessment. This powerful method quantifies upstream and direct impacts on the environment in the production of specified goods or delivery of services. It includes the better known subset of the Product Carbon Footprint and the Water Footprint.

At a glance

What you will learn

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Apply the principles of Environmental Life Cycle Assessment quantitatively, including carbon and water footprints,
  • Critically interpret sustainability claims of products, services and policies on the basis of the environmental assessment methods used,
  • Appraise key features of Social Life Cycle Assessment.

Core content

  • Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) including carbon footprint and water footprint,
    • Background and principles,
    • The four stages of LCA in detail, split into a more lecture-based part and more practical group working part,
    • Differences between the carbon footprint and full LCA,
    • Background to water resources, use and these can be measured,
    • Integration of water use and its impacts into LCA.
  • Outline of social life cycle assessment.

Upgrade to a professional qualification

Cranfield credits are available for this short course which you can put towards selected Cranfield degrees. Find out more about short course credit points.

Who should attend

The course is aimed at professionals who need to understand the fundamentals of life cycle assessment and carbon footprinting. The module also addresses water footprinting. 


Attendance on this course counts towards your individual CPD with the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).


This course is delivered in partnership with the Agrifood Training Partnership (AFTP) 


20% discount for Cranfield alumni
£1,280 - Multiple bookings*
* Minimum of 5 delegates

Accommodation options and prices

This is a non-residential course. If you would like to book accommodation on campus, please contact Mitchell Hall or Cranfield Management Development Centre directly. Further information regarding our accommodation on campus can be found here.

Alternatively you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world.

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road 
MK43 0AL

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.