Life Cycle Assessment

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a methodology to measure and quantify the environmental impacts associated with a product or service throughout its life cycle.

LCA’s form the basis of environmental product declarations, find out more about EPD’s here.

An LCA adopts a lifetime approach to a product’s sustainability, measuring and quantifying the human health and the environmental impacts associated with it. It investigates the impacts associated with each stage of the lifecycle, including raw material extraction, manufacturing processes, distribution, use, and disposal/recycling.

In order to promote consistency and comparability, LCAs are conducted in accordance with international standards such as ISO 14044, ISO 14025, and include a range of factors associated with the product including climate change, acidification, Land use, and Ozone layer depletion.

Through conducting thorough LCA’s of your products, it is possible to identify opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of your products while capturing and quantifying the benefits associated with each process amendment.

Product Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Scopes

A range of study scopes are available with LCA scope being evaluated within the context of the organisation, the product and the objectives of the study.

The three most common scopes for product LCA’s are:

  • Cradle-to-gate,
  • Cradle-to-grave,
  • Cradle-to-cradle.

TZC will work with you in assessing the most appropriate scope for your project.

LCA Process

TZC will start the process with a site visit in order to gain insight into the operations of your organisation. Following on from the initial visit, TZC will work with you in identifying and collecting the data and information needed to develop the assessment. This includes

  • Information on energy use,
  • Quantities of raw materials and chemicals,
  • Resource consumption and,
  • Waste data for your product.

TZC will then compile a Life Cycle Assessment report providing a detailed description of the processes and assigning environmental impact factors to each resource in compliance with the relevant standards.

Following the completion of the LCA report, TZC can further develop hot spot analysis, identifying the practices and processes which have significant environmental impact.

Through completing a hot spot analysis exercise, a register of opportunities can be developed with the impact on the overall global warming potential of your product assessed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Life cycle assessments adopt a lifetime view of your products. The environmental impacts considered include effects on climate change, acidification, eutrophication, resource consumption, ozone depletion potential and summer smog.

Conducting an LCA on your products has a range of benefits such as:

  • It demonstrates your company’s commitment to minimising your environmental impact,
  • Offers customers and stakeholders confidence in your products in relation to sustainability,
  • Provides an opportunity to save costs through identifying areas of waste,
  • Clearly identifies the environmental impact of your products,
  • Can be used as an effective management tool to drive sustainability objectives,
  • Rapidly becoming a source of competitive advantage,
  • It is the initial step of completing EPD’s, which are becoming common place in many sectors (particularly construction and food).

LCA’s can be conducted on any product, the biggest barrier to completing an LCA is access to the relevant data.

TZC adopt the methodology as prescribed in ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 when conducting Life cycles assessments. This approach consists of four phases:

  1. Scope and goal of the study

TZC will work with you in defining the scope of the study, considering the context of the organisation, the product and the objective of the study.

  1. Life Cycle Inventory

TZC will support you in identifying and collecting the data necessary to compete the study.

  1. Impact assessment

The environmental effects of data collected in step 2 are integrated into the Life Cycle Inventory results as additional information.

  1. Interpretation

The results of the Impact Assessment are now reviewed and shared with you for discussion and integration with the decision making process. Reports are tailored in accordance with the goal and scope of the study.

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