Environmental Life Cycle Assessment

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Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (bronnen, guineee at all) Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (also called Life Cycle Assessment/LCA) is defined by the ISO 14040 guidelines as the “compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle.” (ISO, 2006). Wherein the life cycle is defined as the consecutive and interlinked stages of a product system, from the acquisition of raw materials or the generation of natural resources to the final disposal of a product. Based on this ISO definition, Guinée et al. (2002) describes LCA as a tool to analyse the burden on the environment of products at all stages in their life cycle. From the extraction of resources, through…show more content…
LCA is used for different applications such as comparing improvement variants of a given product, analysing the origins of environmental problems related to products and guidance in choosing between comparable products. The results of LCA studies can also be used for governmental policies and/or business strategies. The international organization for standardization (ISO) provided, in 1997, a general standard framework for life cycle assessment the following four stages of an LCA are part of the framework: 1) Goal and Scope definition 2) Inventory analysis 3) Impact assessment 4) interpretation phase. Based on Guinée et al. (2002) 1) Goal and Scope definition In this phase, the goal of the study has to be formulated in terms of the exact question, target audience and intended application of the LCA study. The scope includes for which time period the LCA would be valid, the geographical coverage, state of technology and coverage of processes. Furthermore, the level of detail of the study is determined. At last the function, functional unit and reference flows are established. (Guinée et al., 2002) 2) Inventory…show more content…
Included in the definition of the product system is meant to set the system boundaries (between the economy and the environment, with other product systems and with relation to cut-offs). Furthermore, flow diagrams with unit processes are drafted and the collection of the data for the processes takes place in this phase. However also the allocation for multifunctional processes are determined and the final calculations are performed. The main deliverable of this phase is an inventory table listing the quantified inputs from and outputs to the environment associated with the product system. (Guinée et al., 2002) 3) Impact assessment The Life Cycle Impact Assessment phase is mainly focussed on further processing and the interpretation of the results of the Inventory phase. Additional a list of impact categories is defined that relate to the goal and scope of the study. The corresponding results from the inventory analysis to the indicators are calculated in the characterisation step. Also a normalisation step is included to indicate the share of the modelled results in a worldwide or regional total??????(Guinée et al., 2002) 4)

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