Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a method to evaluate the environmental impacts of a product, process or activity over its entire life cycle. This includes the extraction of raw materials, the production of the product, its distribution, its use and its disposal phase. LCA is a holistic approach that considers all environmental impacts of a product or activity, including impacts on air and water quality, land use and natural resource depletion.
There are several reasons for using LCA, including the following:
- It provides a complete picture of the environmental impacts of a product or activity, allowing a more informed decision-making process.
- It can identify potential hot spots and areas for improvement in the life cycle of a product or activity so that targeted action can be taken to reduce environmental impacts.
- It is used to compare the environmental performance of different products or processes so that more sustainable design choices can be made.
- It is used to support the development of environmentally friendly(er) products and processes.
- It is used to support the implementation of environmental regulations and standards.
- It is used to support the development of environmental management systems.
- It is used to support environmental labeling and certification systems.
- It is used to support marketing and communications.
- It is used to support the integration of environmental considerations into strategic decision-making.
- It is used to support the transition to a circular economy.
The latter point, by the way, is still a fairly new application route. By nature, LCA is a rather static way of calculating impact. Applying LCA in a circular production chain requires much more dynamic aspects. At Ecoras, we are working on developing these circular LCA aspects to assess not only the sustainability but also the circularity of materials.
Wondering how we do this? Contact Micha Klaarenbeek at firstname.lastname@example.org or call: +3150 317 5550