Over the past decades, it has become widely accepted that the environmental impact of a product or service goes beyond the effect associated with a specific product manufacturing phase or service delivery. The approach, that has been adopted by financial investors, manufacturers and the customers themselves, asks to consider the entire life cycle of the product or service; beginning with the raw materials, through production, usage and finally its ”end-of-life” phase.
In order to achieve this wide perspective, a unique technique called “LCA” (Life Cycle Assessment) was developed, enabling evaluation of a product or service’s total environmental impact throughout its lifetime. The purpose of the LCA methodology is to analyze and compare an array of impacts, allowing organizations to identify areas along the life cycle with significant impacts, assist in policy setting associated with the product or service, and ultimately support decision making aimed at reducing the product or service’s environmental impact during its development phase.
The analysis begins with an inventory stage, where information is collected about the life cycle. This includes for example raw material usage, transportation, energy and water consumption, use patterns and disposal practices (such as reusing or recycling). It continues with a calculation of the impacts, which may include parameters such as greenhouse gas emissions, land usage, water usage, ozone depletion potential, etc’. Finally, the results may be interpreted to provide conclusions and recommendations.
This quantitative approach is crucial in order to prevent greenwash and provide you with assurance that decisions are based on reliable information which can be validated and verified. This data-based information can be used for marketing and finance purposes as well as decision making regarding the choice of raw materials, manufacturing processes, delivery and end of life options.
Sher Consulting & Training offers LCAs performed using the SimaPro® computerized platform, one of the leading LCA software solutions in the world. The software integrates high-quality databases and an array of calculation methods, allowing for the assessment of a large number of environmental impacts.
Studies are performed according to the accepted standards. When the client is interested, the study may be submitted for 3rd party validation. Studies may also be performed with the intention of publishing an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). EPDs are prepared according to clear guidelines, checked by 3rd parties and allow for a comparison of environmental effects linked with different products from the same category.