How is life cycle assessment beneficial for a company’s product/service?

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a quantitative assessment method that evaluates the resources used by a product or a service and the related impacts on human well-being and the climate over its life cycle.

Holistic Approach

An LCA can assist organizations in exploring the possible impacts of their goods and services. For instance, an LCA of tea may consider the water and land use for growing the tea leaves, the energy demand for making tea bags, the transportation effects of distribution to sellers, the energy needed to boil the water, and the ecological effects of disposing the tea bag. By taking this holistic approach, hot spots/environmental drivers along the entire life cycle can be identified.

Welche Nutzen_EN

Life Cycle Analysis utilizes a range of information to assess the whole life span of a product/service. The assessment gives an insight to effects such as GHG emissions, water footprint, land use, or non-renewable energy consumption and the phase of the life cycle that is responsible for the greatest impact (e.g. raw material exploitation, material processing, or use). Organizations can use the results as a basis for decision-making to optimize their value chain and inform customers about the potential ecological impact of their product.

Procedure of a life cycle assessment

Life Cycle Assessment can be separated into four phases:

  1. Goal Setting. The initial step is to define the objectives and scope of the analysis. Within this phase a target question is defined and outlined why it must be answered, narrowing the scope of the study.
  2. Inventory. During the second phase, information on different inputs (like raw materials, energy, and water use) and outputs (like by-products, wastes) is collected.
  3. Impact Assessment. Information collected during the inventory phase is modelled into an LCA model, which computes impacts for the entire life cycle and gives the overall ecological impacts. Databases such as ecoinvent and LCA software such as GaBi and Umberto help with this.
  4. Interpretation. This stage transforms inventory data and results into information and knowledge, answering the target question.

Benefits for your company

There are numerous benefits of executing an LCA study. It enables organizations to:

  • Evaluate the inputs and outputs of a manufacturing cycle.
  • Identify the environmental hot spots of the product life cycle and highlights the process or input which has major environmental impacts.
  • Promote more environmentally friendly products & materials and determine a framework for improving the products’ impacts.
  • Compare their product against other products based on their own LCA information.

Our offer

As researchers, we have confidence in the information-driven dynamic. We use Life Cycle Assessment to illuminate your knowledge regarding your product/service from the very beginning with respect to ecological impacts.

We look forward to sharing our expertise with you. Simply enquire about our service by writing an email. You can find out more about our sustainability consulting here.

 

Author: Shashank Goyal

Shashank Goyal

Your contact person
Shashank Goyal

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