Life cycle assessment (LCA) involves the evaluation of environmental aspects of a product or service system through all stages of its life cycle (i.e. extraction, processing, transportation, manufacturing, distribution, use, re-use, recycling, and/or waste treatment). It represents a rapidly emerging family of tools and techniques designed to help in environmental management and, in a longer term, in sustainable development.
LCA is defined as an objective process evaluating the environmental burdens associated with certain products, processes, or activities, which includes the identification and quantification of energy and materials consumed and of wastes produced there from. According to ISO standardization guidelines (ISO 14040 and ISO 14044), the LCA study is performed in the following four stages: 1) goal definition and scoping; 2) inventory analysis; 3) impact assessment, and 4) interpretation or improvement analysis.
A Life Cycle Assessment can provide your company with a sound basis for decisions on improvement measures regarding product related environmental protection.
LCA can assist in:
Identifying opportunities to improve the environmental performance of product or service at various points in its life cycle;
Informing decision-makers in industry, government or non-government organizations (e.g. for the purpose of strategic planning, priority setting, product or process design or redesign);
The selection of relevant indicators of environmental performance, including measurement techniques;
Marketing (e.g. implementing an ecolabelling scheme, making an environmental claim, or producing an environmental product declaration).