Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Life Cycle Assessment pulls some or all of the other tools together while considering the effects of the complete process from “cradle to grave”. 

Life Cycle Assessment is ‘ objective, data based process of quantifying energy and raw materials, air emissions, water borne effluents, solid wastes, and other environmental releases incurred throughout the life of a product, process, or activity’.  SETAC (1991) 

Life Cycle Assessment is very useful for assessing the efforts of the company to maintain continuous improvement, a requirement of an Environmental Management System

Life Cycle Assessment methodologies can be used as part of the preliminary review process. One of the main requirements of an EMS is that the preliminary review identifies the environmental aspects of the company's products, processes and activities; Life Cycle Analysis is very useful in identifying these aspects and should be used during the development of new products.

Other processes that will benefit from this methodology would include sustainable procurement and dealing with the “End of Vehicle Life Directive”.

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©2006 David Darlington
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