Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) & CO2 footprint

At Ecoras, we analyse and report the environmental impact of your product or service for you through a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and/or CO2 footprint. With the aid of this instrument, the input- and output flows (material and energy) of a product or service chain is calculated into an impact indicator such as CO2 emissions. It can also be chosen to analyse environmental impact in terms of e.g. water use, acidification, toxicity & depletion of fossil resources.

To assess the environmental impact of products or production processes, several options are possible, depending on the goal and intended scope of the project. There are therefore a number of different products we offer in this respect: a Quickscan LCA, Exploratory/Screening LCA and a Full LCA (conform ISO/EN standards) and a CO2 footprint according to the GHG Protocol (scope 1, 2 & 3).

Quickscan LCA

An abbreviated LCA to provide a global insight into the impact of a product or system mapping and identify focal points within it. A Quickscan LCA provides an intital insight into a number of environmental indicators in a more simplified and faster way. It can be used to identify the environmental bottlenecks within a process.

Lead time: ± 1 to 3 months

Exploratory / Screening LCA

An Exploratory / Screening LCA involves examining an existing or future product/system in more detail. The scope and detail level of this service also makes it possible to map the impact of several scenarios. Ideal for parties that want to understand the impact of other choices in the field of energy, raw materials but also, for example, end-of-life routes.

Lead time: ± 3 to 6 months

Full LCA

The most comprehensive option, in which the main processes are mapped and the effects of the process steps are included for a large number of indicators.

An LCA can provide support in finding the total impact of products, make a comparison between products or by optimizing process steps and associated impacts. In principle, a full LCA study consists of four phases: Definition of the Goal & Scope, Life Cycle Inventory, Life Cycle Impact Assessment and Interpretation. It is important to clearly define the intended purpose and scope of the study in advance, as many of the choices made in the LCA process depend on this definition. In the (data)inventory phase, the input and output flows from the product system are collected. In the next phase, the impact of each of the flows is determined on the basis of a number of impact categories. The fourth and final phase runs simultaneously with the entire process and is used to check assumptions and reliability, draw conclusions and make recommendations. The standards for a full LCA are described in the ISO 14040 series.

In addition, we can convert an LCA into an EPD (Environmental Product Declaration). This concise and standardised ”impact report” can be of interest when your customers ask for environmental impact-related data. EPDs are used across Europe within various industries. See also Environdec’s website.

Lead time: ±3 to 7 months

Lead time LCA report according to ISO standard: ±5 to 8 months

CO2 Footprint Scope 1 & 2 – Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG)

An analysis of a process based on a single indicator, CO2. A CO2 footprint has the advantage that work can be done faster, because a single indicator is considered. This is also the disadvantage, since the environmental effects other than CO2 (equivalent) emissions are not included. In terms of communication, the CO2 footprint does offer advantages, as this is the most commonly used indicator and is therefore known to many people.

Lead time calculation in Excel tool: <1 month

Lead time calculation & reporting scope 1 & 2 : ±1 to 2 months

CO2 Footprint Scope 3

This scope can be added on the scope 1 & 2 analysis. Scope 3 includes many activities that are directly and indirectly affected by the reporting company. It is possible to include only some activities from scope 3, as Tesla does for its annual reports.

Lead time: sector/industry specific

European developments for future ecological footprints – Product Environmental Footprint (PEF)

The European Commission is currently developing the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF), an improved and harmonized methodology for calculating the ecological footprint of products. The initiative aims to clear up consumer confusion as there are currently multiple LCA standards within the European Union.

The system has been in development for several years now and is currently in the implementation phase. So-called PEFCRs (category rules) have now been developed for several industries. The PEFCR provides sector/product-specific guidelines for the development of PEFs.The PEF will eventually be able to provide a standardized impact assessment method, a database with background LCA data, and calculation rules for different industrial sectors. The results of a PEF will be suitable for communication to consumers / purchasing parties and “eco-labeling”; and thus offers complete visibility into the environmental impact of a product.

Sectors for which we have conducted impact analyses in the past:

  • Agri & food sector
    • Potatoes & sugar beet
    • Oils and fats
    • Fermentation
  • Agriculture & farming sector
    • Flax
    • Hemp
    • Roadside grass
    • Waste wood
    • Biogas / green gas
  • Consumer goods
    • Electronic devices
    • Dog snacks
  • Plastics & Chemistry
    • Biobased plastics (e.g. PLA)
    • Biodegradable plastics (e.g. PHA)
    • Circular plastics (e.g. recycled PP)
    • Chemical- & mechanical recycling
    • Chemical building blocks (biobased & fossil)
    • Food & beverage packaging
  • Building & infrastructure
    • Circular concrete
    • Sheet / board material
    • Signage
    • Composite materials
    • Insulation materials
  • Textiles
    • Polyester
    • Linen
    • Cotton
  • Public sector
    • Material flow- & impact analysis
    • Impact of various biomass valorisation routes