WHAT IS THATIt is possible to evaluate and interpret the environmental impacts of any good (product or service), during its entire life cycle, thanks to the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool.
CSQA verifies the LCA studies against the UNI EN ISO 14040 and 14044 standards and, in the event of a positive outcome, issues a certificate.
The assessment includes the entire life cycle of the process or activity, including:
- the extraction and processing of raw materials ,
- the manufacture ,
- the transport ,
- the distribution ,
- use , reuse , recycle
- final disposal .
The international standard reference for the execution of LCA studies is represented by the ISO 14040 series standards:
- UNI EN ISO 14040 Environmental management, Life cycle assessment, Principles and reference framework.
- UNI EN ISO 14044 Life Cycle Assessment, Requirements and Guidelines.
CSQA also evaluates ISO 14072 - Requirements and guidelines for life cycle assessment of organizations : if the assessment for ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 refers to the life cycle of a product (good or service), then ISO 14072 is at the organization level.
KEY POINTSThe LCA structure is divided into four main moments:
- Definition of the objectives and scope of the study : which products are studied, the functional unit, the system boundaries, the assumptions and limitations, the intended application and rationale, to whom the study is addressed
- Inventory analysis ( LCI ): consists of data collection and calculation procedures aimed at quantifying the relevant input and output flows of a product system, according to the objective and scope
- Impact Assessment ( LCIA ): Life Cycle Impact Assessment aims to assess the extent of potential environmental impacts using the results of Life Cycle Inventory Analysis
- Interpretation : it is a systematic process aimed at identifying, qualifying, verifying and evaluating the results of the inventory and impact assessment phases, in order to present them in a form that satisfies the application requirements described in the objective and scope, as well as to draw conclusions and recommendations
ADVANTAGESLCA is an environmental assessment methodology applicable in any industrial or service sector that provides a global and detailed view of the system under observation, in order to:
- highlight and locate the opportunities to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the life of the products
- support internal decisions regarding interventions on processes, products and activities
- LCA is the initial step for a possible EPD Environmental Product Declaration
- support marketing and environmental communication
- deepen the environmental assessment of the product system in the context of an environmental analysis for the Environmental Management System - EMAS or ISO 14001
- identify strategic lines for the development of new products or services
- evaluate and compare the effects associated with different environmental and resource management policies