CLIOPE | Argentina
Pioneers in the LCA field, CLIOPE is a well-established, passionate firm dedicated to bringing sustainability to Argentina
Company Profile: From Energy to Cross Disciplinary, CLIOPE Adapts
A university-based, sustainability-focused research group, CLIOPE was formed in Argentina in 1999 to study energy issues. But soon, as Life Cycle Assessment grew in importance, CLIOPE expanded its purview. “We researched how to apply LCA to energy systems,” explained CLIOPE Director, Dr. Alejandro Pablo Arena, adding that the group also began work on “local and regional data bases, LCIA methods, and applications in several non-energy sectors, including buildings and agriculture.”
In the 14 years since the group’s founding, CLIOPE has worked with clients in various sectors including research institutions, universities, companies, and government agencies. In particular the firm is known for their courses on carbon and water footprints, LCA work, and renewable energy technologies, all of which serves to focus on their long-term goals.
Arena explained, “Our mission is to execute cross-disciplinary, applied research that can make a contribution to our society through the inclusion of sustainability in the professional practice.”
Partnership with PRé: Integrity Encourages Teamwork
With a similar focus on LCA and sustainability, it makes sense that CLIOPE and PRé would partner. After meeting PRé founder Mark Goedkoop in Costa Rica in 2005, the companies decided to work together starting in 2006. It was Arena’s connection with Goedkoop that sealed the deal. In particular, he said, “One of the most important things for us was Mark’s open-mindedness and integrity — the values he uses to transmit during his conferences: his willingness to share his knowledge, his real concern about sustainability, and his consideration toward developing countries. All those principles have been very appealing for us.”
In addition, everyone at CLIOPE was a fan of PRé’s signature software. “SimaPro is the most widespread LCA software, the one we perceive to have the most potential in our region,” Arena explained, cementing the partnership between the two companies. Besides working with Goedkoop and distributing SimaPro throughout Argentina, CLIOPE enjoys being part of PRé’s Global Partner Network.
“We enjoy the visibility our partnership with PRé provides, as well as the contacts we have made with other partners,” Arena said, though he hopes for more communication in the future. “Thus far the contact has been somewhat limited, due to the small nature of our market.” Arena has hopes for the future, however, particularly through CLIOPE’s participation and organization of the upcoming CILCA conference, to be held in Mendoza, Argentina, March 24 to 27, 2013.
An exciting, international event set to discuss everything happening in the LCA field right now, PRé presented recent research results on resource depletion at the three-day conference in Argentina.
Industry Snapshot: LCA Pioneers: Bringing Sustainability to Argentina — and Latin America
“We started talking, using, and teaching LCA in Argentina before anyone else, at the beginning of this century,” Arena told us of CLIOPE’s legacy. And the company’s impact has only continued to grow. “Since then, many people have taken our courses, have made PhD theses on this subject with us, and have started working in the field, not only in Argentina but also in other Latin American countries.”
Of particular importance to the company is their support, together with other partners, of the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative, started with the Ibero American Life Cycle Assessment Network. And CLIOPE has big plans for the future. “We’re increasing our staff, our members are becoming more knowledgeable, and now we’re able to make more of a difference,” Arena told us. “We’re thinking about starting a new branch only devoted to consultancy, with more flexibility than a university-based group.”
But Arena also sees CLIOPE’s academic background as an asset as the LCA field moves forward. “The demand for sustainable metrics is increasing rapidly, while the metrics are changing,” he said. “We foresee a rapid increase in the amounts of consultants offering their services on this field. However, not all of them have a solid preparation, and we think our background and continuous participation in scientific forums will be important for our position in the market.” It is here where CLIOPE stands out, and will continue to do so. A long-standing background in the LCA field and a dedication to training and partnering across Latin America and the world, ensure that CLIOPE will play a large role in sustainability implementation for years to come.