Dr Pere Fullana i Palmer, director of the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF
The pursuit of environmental sustainability at the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF (formerly known as the Research Group in Environmental Management, GiGa, at ESCI-UPF) continues a decade’s endeavour to make major improvements to methodologies supporting life cycle applications in order to help combat climate change.
The UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF is an international centre of excellence in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and a leading source of innovative research on LCA and applications for mitigating climate change. It was set up in December 2010 by an agreement between the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). ESCI-UPF (Barcelona, Spain) was picked as the host institution.
The Chair’s long-term goals for tackling tomorrow's challenges include promoting scientific research, cooperation, education and communication on the sustainable development of products and services at national and international level for the benefit of the environment and society.
Dr Pere Fullana i Palmer
Dr Pere Fullana i Palmer holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering (URL) and won a Caja Madrid Award for his thesis. He also has degrees in Industrial Engineering (UAB) and Chemical Engineering (IQS-URL) and in 1988 won an Award for Best Bachelor's Degree Final Project. He continued his academic education by taking postgraduate courses in informatics and business management. He is currently a full professor at ESCI-UPF, where he also serves as director of the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF.
He contributes to several postgraduate educational activities, focused mainly on supervising PhD students. Dr Fullana is also a lecturer for the Master’s Degree in Waste Management (UPM) and module coordinator for the Master’s Degree in Environmental Management (USJ), as well as teaching sustainability management for the Bachelor's Degree in International Business and Marketing (BDIBM) at ESCI-UPF.
His international focus led him to chair the Europe LCA Steering Committee at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) and he was the first LCA member on its Europe Council. For many years, he played a key role as the Spanish delegate on ISO and CEN environmental standardisation committees. He was actively involved with the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative from its early days. Dr Fullana also helped develop GHG Protocols for Scope 3 and Product emissions and is currently a member of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Climate Change Expert Group.
In 2009 he was awarded the Best Scientific Contribution Award by the International Society for Industrial Ecology at the 4th International Conference on Life Cycle Management (LCM2009). In 2008 the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF received an Environment Award for Research, Development and Design of Innovation Projects Aimed at Mitigating Climate Change, awarded by the Catalan Ministry of the Environment and Housing, for its ECOTOY project on ecodesign for electrical and electronic devices in the toy industry. The Chair was also shortlisted for the European Commission’s Europe INNOVA Award in the same year. In 2013 it received a Mention of Energy Excellence from the Catalan Government, and in 2018 it received the Most Relevant Scientific Contribution Award at the RECUWASTE Conference for its LIFE+ Zero Cabin Waste Project, as well as Best Student Oral Presentation Award and the Best Student Poster Award at the 2018 LCA Food conference at Bangkok, Thailand.
In 1993 the Catalan Government and Universitat Pompeu Fabra resolved to take steps to help companies set up overseas and to equip them with technically and culturally qualified human resources. The result was ESCI-UPF International Business School. Its mission: to train professionals and experts in international business. These two founders were soon joined by a number of other institutions and organisations who shared the same philosophy and objectives, including the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, the Catalan Association of Chambers of Commerce and the Catalan Association of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (PIMEC), as well as many other companies.
Thanks to its range of Master’s degree programmes and research groups, alongside the MANGO Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility and the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change, ESCI-UPF has become a benchmark school for training professionals who excel in international business.
- To train professionals who can work effectively in any private or public organisation with an international outlook
- To create experts who can manage and consolidate companies that are expanding into international markets
- To nurture entrepreneurs who are able to set up their own company
- To equip students with the professional tools to work in the fields of research, development and innovation
- To inspire as a centre of excellence for exploring cutting-edge international issues
- To design research and consultancy lines to forge ties with companies and institutions in its environment
ESCI-UPF’s teaching staff and research teams are drawn from world-class professionals from outstanding companies.
The UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change is hosted by ESCI-UPF, Barcelona, which provides all the necessary resources to support research and innovation, as well as carrying out management, administration and communication activities. ESCI-UPF’s 7,600 m² building, designed by architect Rafael Cáceres Zurita, reflects its outward-looking message and international philosophy. Open to the world on three sides, the five-storey building in the Born neighbourhood in Barcelona offers breathtaking rooftop views over Ciutadella Park and Ciutat Vella, against the backdrop of the wider city.
Helping increase environmental sustainability by setting up an international pool of knowledge and expertise on Life Cycle Management, centred on research, education and activities with a particular focus on mitigating climate change.
- The Chair has participated in or led some 50 national and international competitive research projects and a similar number of industrial research projects
- It has contributed to Bachelor's and Master's degrees and doctorate programmes and supported more than 15 PhD students
- It has built a number of research and promotional platforms, such as the Construction21 online platform
Promoting capacity building through integrated research and education in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa by setting up cooperation and network relationships with overseas organisations.
- The Chair has hosted 17 exchange researchers, including two PhD students from Brazil and Colombia, and has also set up 46 partnerships
- As part of the Construction21 platform, it has signed more than 50 collaboration agreements and recently welcomed Morocco and China as new partners
- It has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UNEP aimed at providing a framework of cooperation and understanding and facilitating collaboration between both parties to further their shared goals and objectives in regard to the global use of credible life cycle knowledge, with the goal of identifying and implementing improvement policies and practices for promoting and delivering Resource Efficiency (RE) and Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP). Within this Memorandum, two Small-Scale Funding Agreements (SSFAs) were signed in 2014 and 2017, a Project Cooperation Agreement (PCA) was signed in 2016 and a de minimis Funding Agreement (DMFA) was signed in 2016 to support the development of LCA methodologies and national and regional initiatives in Africa and Latin America, as well as quality-assurance systems for deliverables and stakeholder consultations with a focus on emerging and rapidly growing economies
- Thanks to the EDULINK and MSE.ESE projects to develop Master’s degree programmes, the Chair has partnered with universities in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Jordan (2), Syria (2), Tunisia (2) and Egypt (2)
Promoting and supporting interdisciplinary research projects integrating economic and social aspects, as well as environmental governance, in order to allow substantial improvement in methodologies supporting life cycle applications to mitigate climate change.
- The Chair has published nearly 100 papers in prestigious international scientific journals such as Environmental Science and Technology, The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Ecological Modelling, Journal of Industrial Ecology, Ecological Indicators’ Journal and Journal of Cleaner Production. It has also made a wide range of contributions to other publications, including book chapters, whole books, conference papers and guides
- The International Life Cycle Academy (ILCA) was attracted to ESCI-UPF, where it is now hosted
- The Chair has hosted a number of major national and international conferences. The director of the Chair has also taken part in many others, including conferences in Lebanon and Jordon
- A larger integrated group has been set up, incorporating the other two research groups at ESCI-UPF: the MANGO Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility and the Research Group in International Business and Economy (RISE)