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SEAD 520: Life Cycle-Based Environmental Footprinting (TEMPORARILY CLOSED)

SEAD 520: Life Cycle-Based Environmental Footprinting

3 Credits

TBD, CRN 19676


Instructor: Anne-Marie Boulay

Scheduled: to be confirmed.


Overview: Rooted in engineering and looking at the entire life cycle (from cradle to grave), environmental footprints quantify potential environmental impacts associated with the use of a product, process or service. This course covers the concept of footprint and the different types of footprint which have emerged over time, leading to the life-cycle based environmental footprints: carbon footprint, water footprint, and a complete environmental life-cycle analysis (LCA). The course will also explore the political applications and implications of the environmental footprints and the related ISO standards. Environmental footprint communication will also be covered, including labels, product declaration, and the different rules that apply. Finally, the concept of planetary boundaries and its link with environmental footprints will be introduced. 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand such essential concepts as life cycle, inventory, impact assessment, water footprint, carbon footprint.
  • Be able to understand and assess the relevance of environmental information communicated in a paper, label or website.
  • Understand the implications that environmental information can have on policies and the directions in which international governance may be going.
  •  Understand the key concepts associated with sustainable products and manufacturing;
  • Have sufficient knowledge to reflect on the impacts of his/her decisions as both an Engineer and consumer.


Prerequisites and restrictions: No prerequisite courses are required. Graduate students and U3 or U4 undergraduate students in the Faculty of Engineering (in all departments and schools) are eligible. Approval from TISED and the student's department or supervisor is required (see details below). Note that TISED does not advise students on if/how this course is to be counted in their program requirements; this must be determined by the student’s department.


How to register for SEAD 520:
1. All students who wish to register for this course must fill out the form below (you must be logged in to access the form) to obtain approval from TISED.

2. In addition, students must obtain approval from their department or supervisor.

a) Undergraduate students must be in U3 or U4 and must provide a completed course authorization form (www.mcgill.ca/engineering/files/engineering/request_for_course_authorization.pdf ) with a signature from their departmental supervisor. Completed forms should be scanned and sent to tised [at] mcgill.ca (TISED) (Tised [at] mcgill.ca) or dropped off to our office in person (MD 270). 

b) Graduate students must have their supervisor or department send an email of approval to tised [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Approval%20for%20SEAD%20course) (TISED) (TISED [at] McGill.ca).

3. Once you have submitted the form below and we received approval from your department or supervisor, we will contact you to let you know that the course SEAD 520 (CRN 27942)  has been opened for you on Minerva. You will then need to log into Minerva and register for the course yourself.



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