Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is a technique to assess the potential environmental impact of a product or a service over its life cycle by compiling a detailed inventory of all material and energy inputs and outputs – i.e. a life cycle inventory.
LCA is created based on a number of factors:
- A detailed measurement of the manufacture of a product
- Including the mining of raw materials used in its production and distribution
- Consideration of end-of-life scenarios; possible re-use or recycling vs eventual disposal
LCA enables a manufacturer to quantify how much energy and raw materials are used and how much solid, liquid and gaseous waste is generated at each stage of the products life. LCA also evaluates the potential environmental impacts associated with the identified inputs and releases.
LCA has a range of applications:
- Comparing routes to next generation products
- As a marketing tool
- In the decision making process during the design stage of new products
- As a necessary step for legislative compliance
LCA data can identify where the greatest areas for energy or other savings are available. This information can help ensure appropriate choices are made regarding the potential environmental impact of a product or service.
The LCA process is part of the ISO 14000 environmental management standards (see the ISO 14040 series for LCA). Different reporting methods are available for the results such as the ISO 14020 series for environmental labels and declarations, PAS 2050 or the GHG Protocol if the focus is mainly on greenhouse gases, etc.
Our Life Cycle Analysis Service
We can generate an LCA for you. Our service includes modelling the process, setting boundaries, assistance collecting the data, interpretation of the findings and finally guidance with environmental labelling according to applicable standards.
Life Cycle Costing
Life Cycle Costing is a tool to determine the most cost-effective option among different competing alternatives when each is equally appropriate to be implemented on technical grounds. It is the sum of all recurring and one-time (non-recurring) costs over the full life span or a specified period of a good, service, structure, or system. In the case of manufactured goods it includes all of the costs to manufacture the item including raw materials, energy, waste disposal and labour, as well as the operating or running costs and remaining (residual or salvage) value at the end of ownership or its useful life.
Our Life Cycle Costing Service
We will generate an LCC for you including modelling of the process, setting boundaries, assistance to collect the data and finally interpretation of the findings.
Smithers Rapra has recently applyed its LCA and LCC expertise on a range of European Research projects: FoAM-BUILD, WALiD, PREVIEW, SuperCleanQ, Transcond.
For guidance on life cycle analysis please get in touch with our featured expert.