34479 - Industrial Ecology M

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Affordable and clean energy Industry, innovation and infrastructure Responsible consumption and production Climate Action

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Analysis of the links among environmental, economical and societal aspects in the framework of the sustainable development and circular economy.

Policies and tools for environmental protection (EMS, Integrated Product policies, product and process LCA, permitting procedures);

Tools for identifying and assessing the key environmental impacts due to an industrial activity.

Course contents

Requirements/Prior knowledge

A prior knowledge and understanding of the fundamental concepts used to describe a production process and its material and energy input/outputs is required to attend with profit this course.

Fluent spoken and written Italian is a necessary pre-requisite: all lectures and tutorials, and all study material will be in Italian.


Course Contents

The course is organized in two parts:

Part A (in class lessons)

· the environmental protection in the framework of sustainable development

· productive systems and ecosystems; industrial ecology and circular economy

· LCA procedure in the analysis of products and processes

· Sustainability indicators

· global warming and ozone depletion

· photochemical smog formation

· the environmental policy of the EU

· voluntary actions to improve the environmental performance of sites and products: environmental management systems (EMAS, ISO 14001), product policies (environmental labels, IPP, DfE, products fate at the end of their useful life)

· permitting procedures (environmental  impact assessment, strategic impact assessment, IED /IPPC)

· externalities and environmental accounting

· seminars by invited speakers from industry and authorities


Part B (tutorials)

· practical LCA application

· selected case studies

· LCA project (in small groups)


  • T.E. Graedel and B.R. Allenby. Industrial Ecology, (2nd ed.). 2003, Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River.
  • D.T. Allen and D.R. Shonnard. Green Engineering. 2002, Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River.
  • E.S. Rubin. Introduction to engineering & the environment. 2001, McGrow-Hill: New York.
  • T.E. Graedel and J.A. Howard-Grenville. Greening the industrial facility. 2005, Springer: New York.

Teaching methods

Part A:

In class/online lessons


Part B:


Project-work in small groups (Problem Based Learning)

Assessment methods

The final assessment consists of two consecutive phases:

- Discussion of the LCA Project-work (Part B)

- Oral interview (Part A)


The LCA Project-work is aimed at demostraing the practical skills learned on Life Cycle Assessment studies. The Project-work is developed in small groups (3 or 4 people). Individual developemnt is possible in some cases.

The evaluation of the project work consists in a report and an oral presentation. The discussion will take place in the same day for all the components of the group.

The oral interview consists in an individual question section aimed at the assessment of the knowledge and appropriate communication of the expected learning outcomes described above. Admission to the oral interview requires the previous discussion of the LCA project.

A single final mark will be awarded as comprehensive result of both phases of the final assessment. The mark will be based on the students' knowledge-level, analyzing and synthesizing abilities, and technical communication skills.

Higher grades will be awarded to students who demonstrate an organic understanding of the subject, a high ability for critical application, and a clear and concise presentation of the contents.

To obtain a passing grade, students are required to at least demonstrate a knowledge of the key concepts of the subject, some ability for critical application, and a comprehensible use of technical language.

A failing grade will be awarded if the student shows knowledge gaps in key-concepts of the subject, inappropriate use of language, and/or logic failures in the analysis of the subject.

Teaching tools

Handouts of  the material presented during the lessons and other integrative material can be downloaded  from virtuale.unibo.it

The password will be comunicated on the first lesson of the course.

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Tugnoli

See the website of Alessandro Dal Pozzo