Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), as the name implies, assesses the entire life cycle of a product, process or activity with particular attention to the environmental impacts associated with each of the stages through which it passes.
The main function of an LCA is to provide information to help identify opportunities for improvement.
The LCA allows comparison between processes of the same product or between products of different materials, so this information has direct application in product design and development, continuous process improvement, strategic planning, green marketing, etc.
Who is Life Cycle Assessment for?
LCA is mainly focused on the optimisation of resources and cost reduction, so it is aimed at any company interested in these two objectives.
This study provides relevant inputs for any investment to be made, as it identifies critical points and relevant opportunities for improvement.
The LCA or Life Cycle Assessment is the basis for Ecodesign, Ecolabelling and Environmental Product Declarations.
What does the LCA study contain?
In the context of Life Cycle Assessment, it includes the study and quantification of the environmental impacts associated with the life of a product, process or activity from "cradle to grave".
In other words, it is analysed from the stage of extraction and processing of raw materials, through production, transport and distribution, use, maintenance, reuse, recycling and disposal in landfill at the end of its useful life.
Methodology for carrying out Life Cycle Assessment
For the study to be carried out, TMI will collect information and analyse the various stages through which a product, process or activity passes. These stages are basically
- Acquisition of raw materials. This includes all the activities necessary for the acquisition or extraction of raw materials, as well as energy inputs from the environment. This includes the transport that takes place before starting any production process.
- Processing and manufacturing. Comprises the activities necessary to convert raw materials and energy into the desired product.
- Distribution and transport. This refers to the transfer of the final product to the customer. Including all intermediate points if any (e.g. warehousing, shopping centres, distributors, etc.).
- Use, reuse and maintenance. This stage studies the use of the finished product throughout its service life.
- Recycling. This begins once the product has served its initial function and is consequently recycled through the same product system (closed recycling cycle) or enters a new product system (open recycling cycle). In other words, the possibilities for a second use are explored.
- Waste management. This begins once the product has served its function and is returned to the environment as waste.
In order to carry out the life cycle analysis, TMI will be based on the Life Cycle Analysis Normative Framework, whose main international standards of application are:
- UNE-EN ISO 14040. Environmental Management. Life Cycle Assessment. Principles and reference framework. December 2006.
- UNE-EN ISO 14044. Environmental Management. Life Cycle Assessment. Requirements and guidelines. December 2006. ISO 14044 replaced ISO 14041, 14042 and 14043.
Benefits of performing the LCA
- Identifies the critical points in the various stages of the life cycle with the greatest environmental impact in order to be able to act on the focus of the problem.
- It serves to detect environmental improvement mechanisms to be applied, such as emission reduction, energy efficiency, optimisation of resource consumption, among others.
- It provides objective, quantitative and rigorous environmental information on the environmental impact of the products produced.
- Provide convincing and understandable arguments for communication with customers, authorities and stakeholders.
- LCA is synonymous with continuous improvement and a driver towards eco-innovation.
Why do it with us?
With TMI you can perform the life cycle analysis of the key product(s) and process(es) that best fit your current needs.