Life Cycle Assessment is a technique for assessing the environmental aspects and impacts from the extraction of natural resources to the final disposal of a product. It can be used for many purposes, like the:
• Development and improvement of a product;
• Definition of strategic planning and public policies;
• Sustainability indicators;
• Environmental management of impacts from products and services;
• Responsible environmental marketing.
A life cycle encompasses all steps needed for developing or conceiving one product or service, so it can fulfill its intended function and reach the end of life, when it is going to be landfilled, incinerated, recycled or reused.
LCA is standardized by ISO 14040 series, which presents the iterative phases of Goal and Scope Definition, Life Cycle Inventory Analysis, Life Cycle Impact Assessment and Interpretation. Such technique can answer the following questions and more:
• Which product has lower environmental impact on Climate Change?
• How many kg of CO2 are released to manufacture on ton of a product?
• Which step of the lifecycle has the highest contribution for water consumption?
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