The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment

, Volume 17, Issue 8, pp 947–948 | Cite as

Thank you, Almut!


Many of you may have wondered what happened to Almut Heinrich, the heart and soul of this journal from its start in December 1995 (Klöpffer 1996) until the end of 2010 (vol. 15). Almut was more than a managing editor. She conceived and founded the journal together with several sister journals1 at Ecomed publishers, Landsberg/Lech (Bavaria, Germany). Giving credit to these accomplishments, she was awarded with the SETAC Europe Environmental Education Award 2008, 10 years after Otto Hutzinger, editor-in-chief of Umweltwissenschaften und Schadstoff-Forschung (UWSF) and Environmental Science and Pollution Research (ESPR; Klöpffer et al. 2008).

Since 2008, this journal (together with the other journals named below) has been published by Springer, Heidelberg (Roos 2007). For Almut, this was a kind of homecoming, since she had spent the first 14 years after her studies at the University of Heidelberg with Springer where she edited many books and book series—by coincidence also my first book (Klöpffer 1984). We therefore knew each other when Otto Hutzinger invited me 1988 to join the founding editorial board of UWSF. A similar invitation to ESPR followed 1994 and soon after the foundation of “The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment” on Almut’s initiative. There followed successful years for this journal which was “bound to failure” for many (if not most) colleagues in the small life cycle assessment (LCA) community of that time. Almut and I never believed in such a possibility. The LCA community grew rapidly and expanded from consultancy and industry toward university during the 1990s. For PhD students and young professors, it was important to have a recognized journal accepting LCA papers.

The next important steps were (Klöpffer and Heinrich 1996; Klöpffer and Heinrich 1999a, b, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006; Heinrich and Klöpffer 2000, 2002)
  • From four to six issues per year (1998) and from six to seven (2007)

  • Online first publication and electronic archive since 1998

  • Coverage by ISI Science Citation Index in January 2001, up from vol. 6

  • Start of the LCM section in January 2003 (vol. 8)

  • The association of the journal with the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative in March 2003, up from vol. 8, no 2

  • The first impact factor published in 2004

  • Transfer to Springer 2008

Almut retired as managing editor in January 2010 and both Paul Roos and I discussed about possibilities to not lose the great skill of Almut in scientific editing, especially of LCA-related papers. Finally, Paul had the idea to create a multivolume LCA encyclopedia and I remembered that she initiated, in the 1980s, a similar work, namely Otto Hutzinger’s “The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry” published by Springer Heidelberg. After frequent consultations with potential volume editors and the publisher, we can now present the tentative titles of the 10 main volumes which will be followed by additional subvolumes:

Encyclopedia of life cycle assessment:
  • Vol. I: Features of the encyclopedia

  • Vol. II: Goal and scope definition in life cycle assessment

  • Vol. III: Life cycle inventory analysis (LCI)—methods and data

  • Vol. IV: Life cycle impact assessment

  • Vol. V: Interpretation and review

Further main volumes (sequence to be decided):
  • Special forms of LCA

  • Applications of LCA

  • Life cycle management (LCM)

  • Life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA)

  • Life cycle methods worldwide (tentative title for vol. X)

The main volumes will be followed by additional volumes (A, B, C,…), as required, on the topic of the base volume (except for vol. I). The detailed program including the editors and key authors will be presented in a separate editorial very soon.

This editorial has been written to thank Almut for her work dedicated to this journal, which will also be the basis for future projects, above all, the encyclopedia and the input we may give to the ongoing international standardization efforts! This is especially important for the extension of LCA toward Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) based on LCA and ISO 14040, and also for the applications of LCA (either strictly according to ISO or within LCM). These topics as well as new ones will be present both in the journal and in the encyclopedia.

Walter Klöpffer



  1. 1.

    Umweltwissenschaften und Schadstoff Forschung—Zeitschrift für Umweltchemie und Ökotoxikologie (UWSF).

    Environmental Science and Pollution Research (ESPR).

    Journal of Soils and Sediments (JSS) and other journals, book series, etc.


  1. Heinrich AB, Klöpffer W (2000) The new year. Editorial. Int J Life Cycle Assess 5(1):1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Heinrich AB, Klöpffer W (2002) LCM—Integrating a new section in Int J LCA. Editorial. Int J Life Cycle Assess 7(6):315–316Google Scholar
  3. Klöpffer W (1984) Introduction to polymer spectroscopy. Polymers, properties and applications, vol 7. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  13. Roos P (2007) Be welcome at Springer, Unit “Environmental Sciences”. Editorial. Int J Life Cycle Assess 12(6):347Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LCA Consult & ReviewFrankfurt a.MGermany

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