Life Cycle Assessment
Generating value through Life Cycle Assessment
Life Cycle Assessment is a methodology to calculate the environmental impact of a product or service. The method categorizes the life cycle into different modules, which allows an assessment to be made within predetermined boundaries, in accordance to ISO 14040.
The result of performing an Life Cycle Assessment is the single most fundamental basis required for any decision or environmental strategy. Calculating the environmental impact through Life Cycle Assessment enables new innovation, sustainable product development and marketing value.
No matter which industry, product or service, EANDO has the expertise within Life Cycle Assessment to help you. Driven by data, we have the capabilities to give you a complete overview and control – and if necessary, we have the competence to improve the environmental impact of your product or service which creates value for both your business and the planet.
Senior LCA specialist
Trained chemist with long experience of LCA. Amy has a particulary deep knowledge within the food industry related to sustainability.
Description of a Life Cycle
The Life Cycle covers everything from mining of raw materials (upstream) to production (core) to dismantling and final handling (downstream). It can be divided into four different modules A-D (divided according to ISO 14025) as follows: A1-3 Product phase, A4-5 Installation phase, B1-7 Use phase, C1-4 End-of-Life phase and D Benefits and Loads beyond the system boundary.
To conduct a Life Cycle Assessment, the goals and the scope are first set. The scope defines which parts of the life cycle are included in the assessment. The most common are Cradle to Gate (A1-3), Cradle to Grave (A1-C4) and Cradle to Cradle (A1-D). Then the system boundary can be set. The system boundary can be described as a frame; everything inside of the frame will be included in the assessment and things that our outside of the frame will be excluded.
After the boundary is set, relevant parameters can be identified. Following in the process are the mapping of processes and gathering of information. The higher the data quality is, meaning science-based specific data, the more relevant and correct the result will be (more about data quality below). With everything in under control, the modelling of the life cycle can be performed. The result that is calculated can then be assessed.
Finally, it should be noted that an assessment is only legitimate when the method is described in full in a associated report. It is also recommended that the report is third party verified.
Simplified description of the phases of Life Cycle Assessment
1. Define goals and scope
Decide what you want to use the Life Cycle Assessment for: What questions should it answer? How extensive should it be? What will the results be used for? What requirements are placed on data quality?
An inventory is made of the resources (energy and materials) used during the life cycle (a so-called resource compilation) and what emissions they generate.
In this step, emissions and use of resources are related to various environmental problems. For example, carbon dioxide emissions from concrete production can be related to climate change.
4. Interpretation of the result
The importance of high data quality
The data quality requirements for an Life Cycle Assessment depend on what it is to be used for. It is therefore important that you initially set the purpose and thus decide on the required data quality. The more specific and comprehensive data produced, the better the results can reflect the actual environmental impact. The quality requirements chosen are recorded in the Life Cycle Assessment report.
If you want to know more about the importance of high data quality, please get in contact with us.
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