From 28 August to 2 September Thabi and Harro attended the 5th international life cycle management conference (www.lcm2011.org) and associated workshops in Berlin. The science and practical possibilities of LCA are now so well established that it is becoming possible to integrate a life cycle approach routinely into decision-making for many different applications, ranging from development and marketing of fast-moving consumer goods, design of greener automobiles, green procurement, biofuels investments, building design and many more. The world's leading databases now offer upward of 10000 datasets, advanced consulting firms can either offer solutions at the level of lessons learnt from past LCAs or at the level of information management to customise tools for specific applications. There's excitement in the air, esp. with The Sustainability Consortium aiming to take the power of such approaches to the North American consumer (and others in due course. Implications for us back at base are that we'll collaborate with South African life cycle assessment colleagues to pull together datasets which can feed such global efforts, and local ones within the next 2-3 years too.