Learn about life cycle assessment

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a tool to quantify the impacts of a product or a service. It is a holistic approach towards understanding implication of product over its entire value chain. The method is standardized using ISO 14040:2008 and ISO 14044:2008 standards.

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The three pillars of sustainability are social, economical and environmental.

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is an ability to maintain an operation for longer durations of time with out affecting the demands of future generations. Around the academic and business world it carries various forms and definitions.
The description according to the Wikipedia is "Sustainability is a societal goal with three dimensions: the environmental, economic and social dimension."

Introduction to LCA

We often see and buy the products buy their price. It is becoming very common to see the carbon footprint in the form of kg CO2 per unit product to be tagged along with the packaging. Often such quantification of environmental impacts can be done by numerous different ways and frameworks. Some of which are mentioned below:

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Holistic, circular view towards impact assessment

Many of the existing frameworks related to the corporate sustainability cover only carbon footprint (GHG framework) as an indicator to analyze the environmental performance of a company. This does not paint a complete picture towards how the product/company is performing on other key environmental impacts. 
Life cycle assessments cover a wider scope of environmental impacts and encompasses broader impact indication. We see the EU commission has a plan to develop a single market for green products, where the products will have environmental impact indicator label. In order to develop this Product Environmental Footprint framework is being developed. More about the PEF can be found here.  

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