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Contact details +6469517796

Prof Sarah McLaren PhD, MSc, BSc(Hons)

Professor of Life Cycle Management

School of Agriculture and Environment

Sarah is Director of the New Zealand Life Cycle Management Centre (NZLCM Centre), and Associate Professor in Life Cycle Management at Massey University, New Zealand. Her research focuses on development and application of Life Cycle
Assessment (LCA) and related approaches such as carbon and water footprinting, and particularly on (a) methods for LCA and related techniques and (b) the relationship between LCA and decision-making. Regarding (a), she has specialised in LCA for food systems and has worked on methods for assessing land use and water use, addressing seasonality, and accounting for geographical and process variability. Regarding (b), she provided early critiques of the Food Miles concept and more recently has supervised PhD projects on protocols for assessing carbon footprints of orchard fruit, uptake of Life Cycle Management (LCM) in the primary sector, and recognition of culture in LCA. Her research has explored the nexus between quantitative environmental management tools and decision-making systems, including developing advanced methods for hybridising LCA and management practice to support policymaking, and managing the Life Cycle Management Project funded by Landcare Research and the Ministry of Economic Development in 2008-2011.

Sarah has worked with businesses and government to integrate life cycle thinking into management practices, product design, and policymaking for almost twenty years. Currently Sarah is Chair of the Standards New Zealand International Review Group on LCA, New Zealand representative on the ISO 14046 "Water Footprint: Requirements and Guidelines" Working Group, Co-Chair of the Massey University Steering Group on Sustainability, and a Committee member of the Life Cycle Association of New Zealand. She previously worked as Research Leader at Landcare Research where she led two carbon footprinting projects for the horticultural sector, and managed the Life Cycle Management Project to integrate LCM into the operations, management and strategies of manufacturing companies. Prior to that Sarah was Director of the postgraduate Environmental Life Cycle Management Programme at the University of Surrey, UK, and Chair of the SETAC Europe LCA Steering Group. Sarah publishes and lectures internationally in development and application of LCA and related approaches.

Sarah is Director of the New Zealand Life Cycle Management Centre (NZLCM Centre), and Associate Professor in Life Cycle Management at Massey University.  Her research focuses on development and application of Life Cycle Assessment
(LCA) and related approaches such as carbon and water footprinting, and particularly on (a) methods for LCA and related techniques and (b) the relationship between LCA and decision-making. 
Currently Sarah is Chair of the Standards New Zealand International Review Group on LCA, New Zealand representative on the ISO 14046 Water Footprint Working Group, and a Committee member of the Life Cycle Association of New Zealand (LCANZ).

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Professional

Contact details

  • Ph: 021-423178
    Location: AHA2.71, AgHort
    Campus: Turitea

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy - University of Surrey (1998)
  • Master of Science - University of Toronto (1993)
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) - University of Leeds (1986)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Life Cycle Assessment

Life Cycle Management

Industrial Ecology

Carbon Footprinting

Water Footprinting

Research Opportunities

  • MSc scholarship - a one year Master’s scholarship of $20,000 which is potentially available through the BRANZ Scholarship Programme.  (ASAP) Developing Catchment Level Water Stress Indicators to Facilitate the Evaluation of Water Footprint Impacts from New Zealand Construction Products and Buildings

Thematics

Resource Development and Management

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Environmental Impact Assessment (050204): Environmental Management (050205): Environmental Science and Management (050200): Environmental Sciences (050000)

Keywords

Life Cycle Assessment

Life Cycle Management

Carbon Footprinting

Water Footprinting

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 5 15

Consultancy and Languages

Consultancy

  • 2012-2013 - FarmIQ
    Environmental Footprint Specification: towards the development of sustainability measurement tools for value chains and individual beef and sheep farms
  • 2011 - NZ Merino Company
    Greenhouse gas and water footprinting of the merino industry
  • 2011 - Unilever
    Peer Review of Unilever’s “Less Environmental Impact” Programme

Teaching and Supervision

Courses Coordinated

  • 238.700 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Footprinting Principles
  • 238.710 Life Cycle Assessment and Footprinting Methods
  • 238.711 Life Cycle Assessment and Footprinting Case Studies
  • 238.712 Use of Life Cycle Assessment to Support Decision-Making

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Main Supervisor 2 6
Co-supervisor 0 1

Current Doctoral Supervision

Main Supervisor of:

  • Mike Horrell - Doctor of Philosophy
    Integration of Environmental Life Cycle Thinking Into Product Development of Domestic Shower Systems and Related Products

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Main Supervisor of:

  • 2019 - Chanjief Chandrakumar - Doctor of Philosophy
    Evaluation of New Zealand’s Absolute Environmental Sustainability Performance: Development and Application of a Method to Assess the Climate Change Performance of New Zealand's Economic Sectors
  • 2019 - Helene Seidel-Sterzik - Doctor of Philosophy
    Bridging the Barriers to Effective Life Cycle Management Uptake: A Framework for Primary Industry Sectors
  • 2018 - Agneta Ghose - Doctor of Philosophy
    Environmental evaluation of energy efficiency refurbishment of commercial office buildings in New Zealand
  • 2016 - Jeerasak Chobtang - Doctor of Philosophy
    Appraisal of the environmental sustainability of milk production systems in New Zealand
  • 2016 - Stefania Pizzirani - Doctor of Philosophy
    A culturally focused life cycle sustainability assessment: Analysis of forestry value chain options with Maori land owners
  • 2016 - Edouard Perie - Doctor of Philosophy
    Carbon dynamics in apple orchards in New Zealand and their integration into Life Cycle Assessment

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2014 - Ruy Anaya De La Rosa - Doctor of Philosophy
    Biochar systems for carbon finance - an evaluationi based on Life Cycle Assessment studies in New Zealand

Media and Links

Other Links

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