Life Cycle Assessment Boot Camp: LCA for the Health Sector

August 24-25 and October 5-6, 2023 | Livestream, virtual

Life Cycle Assessment Boot Camp

Course is at capacity! Join the waitlist for the next livestream LCA Boot Camp on August 24-25 & October 5-6, 2023.

The Life Cycle Assessment Boot Camp is a four-day intensive, hands-on course where an individual and/or team will learn the concepts of life cycle assessment (LCA) and analytic methods required to complete their own LCA with their team.

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Boot Camp Overview

Summer 2023 dates: Livestream, online training for four days on August 24-25, 2023 and October 5-6, 2023; 10am ET - ~5pm ET

The healthcare sector is a large producer of greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution and we urgently need evidence-driven solutions to address the resulting health impacts of health system functioning. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a tool used to quantify the environmental emissions of a product or process. It is used to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions from medical devices and procedures to aid in strategically decarbonizing health care.  LCA literacy and competency is crucial in developing the evidence base to guide solutions in reducing the healthcare industry’s carbon footprint and is essential for anyone considering a career in sustainability, as LCA can be a valuable tool in managing the performance of a health organization.

This course will provide an introduction into the use of life cycle assessment in the healthcare sector and will provide mentorship for participants to perform their own desired LCA study through the duration of the course. It will train those interested in healthcare sustainability in how to apply principles of industrial ecology to improve the environmental performance of healthcare systems and practices. Through a hands-on and team-based approach, attendees will learn to do a material flow assessment and collect and analyze data on the waste generated through the production and use of a specific healthcare material. Ultimately, participants will be able to interpret LCA results and draft LCA reports. The principles of the course will be taught primarily via virtual modules and lectures requiring independent work with two interspersed intensive virtual workshops. The course is designed and led by an assistant professor whose research is primarily focused on sustainable health systems engineering and life cycle assessment as well as by an emergency medicine physician-investigator who is the director of the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education.

In this course, you will learn:

  • August 24-25 live-virtual training
    • Fundamentals of LCA according to ISO 14040 standards
    • How to define LCA’s
    • Use of SimaPro software and databases required to complete an LCA
    • Process mapping and material flow assessment
    • Data collection and practice with creating assumptions
    • Study design advantages and pitfalls
  • Five-week break
    • During this time, you will work with your team (or individually, if you do not have team members) to access and assimilate the needed data identified during the February training to complete your LCA. Each team will have one more check-in meeting with program faculty and staff to assist with troubleshooting and other logistics.
  • October 5-6 live-virtual training
    • Data synthesis and analysis
    • Sensitivity and certainty analyses
    • Drafting LCA reports and other dissemination strategies
    • Identify best practices for interpreting and sharing LCA results

Audience and Requirements

This training is designed for any individuals or teams (2-5 individuals) interested in health care sustainability who have an LCA idea in the healthcare space. Professionals at all career stages are welcome to attend, and we encourage trainees and early-stage investigators to participate. To register for this training, you must have:

  1. Basic familiarity with excel or similar data management software.
  2. Basic descriptive statistics experience (e.g. computing averages, standard deviations).
  3. Access to a working laptop or tablet with video and audio capabilities.
  4. Access to SimaPro software will be provided to participants for the duration of the boot camp. Participants must ensure their computer is set up to run the software:
    1. Each participant must have access to a Windows computer. Mac/Linux users can run the software using a Windows emulation system, but access to a Windows computer is encouraged for the duration of the boot camp.
    2. Each participant's computer must be compatible with SimaPro's System Requirements.


Training Co-Director: Cecilia Sorensen, MD, Associate Professor, Environmental Health Sciences at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Dr. Sorensen is the Director of the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education (GCCHE) at Columbia University and is an Emergency Medicine physician-investigator in the area of climate change and health. She is a member of the Colorado Consortium for Climate Change, a scientific advisor for the Citizens Climate Lobby, and is the course director for the nations' first medical school course on climate change and human health. She also co-directs the National Climate-Health Fellowship program at the University of Colorado, a post-residency training program for physicians. Her recent work has spanned from heat stress and worker health in Guatemala, wildfires and health care utilization in the United States, the emergence of Zika virus in Ecuador following the Earthquake of 2016, climate change and women's health in India, and mortality following hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Training Co-Director: Cassandra Thiel, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health and Department of Ophthalmology at the New York University Langone Health. Dr. Thiel is also a consultant and CEO for Clinically Sustainable Consulting LLC. Her research utilizes life cycle assessment and principles of industrial ecology to analyze and improve the environmental performance of medical systems, hospital design, healthcare practice, and medical technologies. As a 2014-2015 Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence fellow, Dr. Thiel calculated the environmental footprint of cataract surgery at Aravind Eye Care System in southern India, finding that Aravind’s carbon footprint for phacoemulsification was 5% of the same surgery done in the United Kingdom. She received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh and BS from Michigan Technological University, both in Civil Engineering. Her graduate training was supported by the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation and an NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT).  

Matthew Eckelman, PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University.

Jonathan Slutzman, MD, Center for the Environment, Massachusetts General Hospital; Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School.


Training scholarships are not available for this year's training.


The Boot Camp will be a livestream, online training via Zoom on August 24-25, 2023 and October 5-6, 2023 from 10am ET - ~5:00pm ET. Please note this training is not a self-paced, pre-recorded online training.

Registration Fees

Registration fees and dates below are for the August/October LCA Boot Camp. Registration fees are per project, with 1-5 team members per project. Fees include four full training days of content and all course material, personalized mentoring meeting with course instructor in interim break, and access to SimaPro software August-October for the course duration.

  Early-Bird Rate (through 6/15/23) Regular Rate (6/15/23-8/17/23) Columbia/ GCCHE Discount
Project with 1-2 team members $2,750 $3,250 10%
Project with 3-5 team members $3,750 $4,250 10%


*Columbia/Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education (GCCHE) Discount: This discount is valid for any active student, postdoc, staff, or faculty at Columbia University or active member of GCCHE. To access Columbia discount, if paying by credit card, use your Columbia email address during the registration process to automatically have the discount applied. If paying by internal transfer within Columbia, submit this form [LINK coming soon] to receive further instructions. To access GCCHE discount, please email

Invoice Payment and Group Registrations: If you would prefer to pay by invoice/check, or would like to pay for a group of registrants, please email with the following details: 1) full attendee name(s) and applicable registration category from the table above, and 2) payment method (credit card, invoice, wire).

Registration Fee: This fee includes course material, which will be made available to all participants both during and after the conclusion of the training.

Interested in Sponsoring a Student Group? Please contact Dr. Cecilia Sorensen directly.

Cancellations: Cancellation notices must be received via email at least 30 days prior to the training start date in order to receive a full refund, minus a $75 administrative fee. Cancellation notices received via email 14-29 days prior to the training will receive a 75% refund, minus a $75 administrative fee. Please email your cancellation notice to Due to workshop capacity and preparation, we regret that we are unable to refund registration fees for cancellations <14 days prior to the training.

If you are unable to attend the training, we encourage you to send a substitute within the same registration category. Please inform us of the substitute via email at least one week prior to the training to include them on attendee communications, updated registration forms, and materials. Should the substitute fall within a different registration category your credit card will be credited/charged respectively. Please email substitute inquiries to In the event Columbia must cancel the event, your registration fee will be fully refunded.

Additional Information

The Life Cycle Assessment Boot Camp is hosted by Columbia University's SHARP Program and Columbia University's Global Consortium on Climate Change and Health Education, in collaboration with Health Care Without Harm and MGH's Center for the Environment and Health, and with financial support from Philips and Stryker.

Health Care Without Harm logo
Philips logo
Stryker logo
Massachusetts General Hospital logo

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