5 tips for conducting a successful Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is essential for understanding and minimizing environmental impacts. Here are five tips to help you ensure the success of your LCA project. 

1. Start with a clear goal

Kick off your LCA project with a clear understanding of its purpose, scope, and audience. For example, will your study be cradle-to-grave or cradle-to-gate?

* Tip for customers: Leverage our specialist’s expertise in goal and scope definition during your onboarding call! 

Learn more about Mobius

2. Combine product data with Ecoinvent

We cannot stress the importance of primary data enough. Primary data tells you what ACTUALLY happens to your products. For example:

  • Recyclable materials do not automatically get recycled – meaning that you need to take the system you operate in into account.
  • Collect data on how your specific product is used, and measure how alternative design choices could improve consumer behavior.
  • Primary data enables you to choose the right datasets from databases like Ecoinvent.

3. Select LCA software that empowers YOU

Conducting LCAs in-house is easy through modern software! This puts you in charge and lets you adapt your investigation to new products and upcoming regulations. Thus, consider LCA software your new colleague – and choose the right one for the job:

Extensive comparison of top 6 LCA software

4. Report sustainability effectively

As more and more companies report on their sustainability initiatives, LCA provides the solid data that makes you stand out from the crowd. Furthermore, such solid data will soon be required by law to back up green claims [1]!

Reporting standards such as the GRI [2] can help make your sustainability report more accessible to the reader.

5. Follow up with ecodesign practices

The insights gained through LCA are just the start of a much grander sustainability journey. The higher purpose of LCA is reducing the environmental impacts of your products throughout their life cycle. This practice is called ecodesign, and works as follows:

  • Identify your products’ environmental hotspots.
  • Compare different materials and production processes (by adjusting your primary data and datasets). This is made easy by the scenario comparison function in Mobius.
  • Quantify and optimize your ecodesign decisions. Measure progress regularly to ensure continuous improvement.

Remember With great power comes great responsibility

Following these tips makes your project more successful than the average LCA. Let your LCA supercharge sustainability practice within your organization, start your journey towards sustainability today!

 

References:

[1] European Commission. Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on substantiation and communication of explicit environmental claims (Green Claims Directive). https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52023PC0166. See point 6.2 on “Requirements on the substantiation of environmental claims”

[2] Global Reporting Initiative. The global standards for sustainability impacts. https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/

 

 

Author image Lena  Nickel
Author
Lena Nickel

I'm Researcher & writer at Ecochain. During my studies in Global Sustainability Science, LCA really captured my interest. It continues to fascinate me in my current Master in Energy Science, where I also conduct LCAs myself. I love researching & writing (and learning more!) about these crucial topics now for Ecochain's Knowledge Blog.

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