What is Life Cycle Assessment?
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LCA is the assessment of the environmental impacts of a product or a system all along its life cycle.
For each of these steps, an LCA considers all consumed ressources and all emissions in the environement.
- fossil energies,
- land use,
Emissions in the environment:
- greenhouse gases: CO2, methane, etc.,
- air pollutants: nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, etc.,
- fertilizers and pesticides,
- heavy metals,
A typical LCA takes into account several thousands of substances emitted into the 3 compartements of the environment: air, water and soil.
Then, this substance inventory is translated into different environmental impacts.
Environmental impacts are numerous: acidification, ressource depletion, ecotoxicity, etc., the most famous being the contribution to global warming:
Why conduct an LCA?
To quantify your commitment in favour of products that are more environmental-friendly or that belongs to the circular economy.
To identify potential improvements
By assessing the whole lifecycle, LCA allows highlighting the processes and materials that have the highest environmental impacts. Thus, you can instantly identify your priorities to improve the environmental performance of your product.
To compare different alternatives to identify the best.
LCA allows comparing your different products between each other or assessing the environmental performance of your product compared with others. LCA, by assessing the impacts along the whole lifecyle, allows comparing your products in a robust way, from raw material extraction to end of life.
To assess all environmental impacts.
Because human activities can have various consequences on the environment, LCA calculates numerous impacts: global warming contribution, fossil fuel consumption, air pollution, land use, water pollution, etc. Therefore, by getting the full picture of environmental impacts, LCA allows checking that an improvement on one impact does not lead to unexpected consequences on other impacts.
To communicate your commitment for sustainable development in a transparent way.
LCA allows communicating your results in a visual and simple way for the public. It can also be used to highlight your commitment in favour of a more sustainable developmenent for your clients that are concerned with the environment.
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