Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

An LCA helps you to better understand the different stages of your product’s life cycle and which environmental impact it may be having: from raw material production through the entire upstream chain, production and use to recycling or disposal.

Uncover your product’s sustainability performance

Find out the impacts of your product on the environment and how to mitigate them.

What is a Life Cycle Assessment?

A Life Cycle Assessment – short LCA – identifies the total environmental impacts caused by a product, service or other system. It includes direct as well as indirect impacts over the entire product life cycle, expressing them in categories such as the effect on climate change, eutrophication potential or human toxicity. 

Environmental impact analysis – beyond the carbon footprint

This assessment includes the inputs of materials and energy, products and by-products, as well as the outputs throughout the entire life cycle – from production and usage to landfill or recycling. The analysis is based on LCA best practices, in accordance with the international ISO standards. While a Product Carbon Footprint only considers the impact category of climate change in accordance with ISO 14067, the Life Cycle Assessment follows ISO 14040 and ISO 14044. 

Life Cycle Assessment stages

An LCA is based on the “cradle to grave” theory, examining different product stages:

According to ISO 14040 a product life cycle consists of 5 phases, which are relevant for the LCA
Overview of a typical product life cycle according to ISO 14040

How can businesses benefit from LCA?

An LCA serves as a foundation for strategic decision-making as well as science-based marketing and communication. As a quantitative method, it enables a company to present environmental impacts to stakeholders in a tangible, measurable and scientific way. Furthermore, impact evaluation allows the identification of critical environmental and economic factors in a service or product life cycle. These risk factors can then be tackled accordingly and measures for an eco-friendly business concept, process optimization, or improved eco-design can be derived. Overall, it helps the leadership and management team with their ESG strategy, because an LCA is beneficial for several corporate departments or processes by providing the basis for:

Improving the process chain

Saving materials and energy

Identifying new improvement opportunities for a sustainable business

Improved product design to ensure sustainable products and construction

Improving product development by considering sustainable manufacturing

The comparability of products based on sustainability criteria

Cost reduction

Transparent and credible marketing

Our LCA services

Our staff are happy to provide life cycle analysis for products and services. 

Furthermore, we help with setting the goal and scope for greener product life cycle stages, which includes more than emission reduction, sustainable packaging or waste disposal, for example. Based on an LCA, an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) or Product Environmental Footprint calculation (PEF) can be developed hereon.

Reach out to our expert to find a solution that suits your company!

Iris Kral

Associate Manager & International Service Lead Sustainability Assessment

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Frequently asked questions on Life Cycle Assessments

A life-cycle analysis is a clear and presentable result to all stakeholders, clearly explaining the environmental impact of a product, service or process. ISO 14044 and 14040 standards ensure consistency in Life Cycle Analysis.

The Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) is an integrated step of an LCA. While the LCA involves various steps like preparation and interpretation of the results, the specific analysis of environmental impacts takes place within the LCIA.

An impact evaluation of a product consists of many steps, including the preliminary and wrap-up. Scoping, the definition of system boundaries, and data collection are important for preparation. In addition to the actual analysis, mitigation, reporting and monitoring are also part of the method. Feel free to contact denkstatt to learn more about the procedure.

According to ISO 14040, the stages of a product can be classified as followed:

  • material phase: the extraction of raw materials needed for the manufacturing
  • production phase: different industrial processes like thermoforming, mechanical or chemical treatment, for example
  • distribution phase: packaging, storage and transport of the product and its upstream raw materials
  • use phase: requirements during usage such as energy and maintenance expenditure
  • end of life: disposal or recycling of material

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