Product Life Cycle Analysis

1434 Words6 Pages
4. Sustainable assessment of a product:
The products produced by industries have a marked impact on their environmental footprints. These impacts could be understood by the review of entire lifecycle of the product starting from the time it is conceived until the time of disposal of product after end of its useful life. The consideration of product life cycle should be given utmost priority in the organisational decision making because only at designing stage of a product which is to be sustainable, enormous gains could be achieved rather than even a thorough optimization of existing process.
4.1. Role of indicators in product sustainability assessment
Sustainability of a product is very important issue which is to be assessed by number of
…show more content…
Evaluating sustainability of a product
A range of assessment tools exist to evaluate the sustainability of products and processes, focusing on different aspects by using different methods. Among different methods, the standard model, which is well accepted by industry is the ‘three pillar’ interpretation of sustainability. This model says that, the environmental, economic and social aspects have to be optimized and checked against each other for achieving sustainability. The scheme of the model is that it assess the product sustainability by summarizing the results of three tools namely life cycle assessment (LCA), life cycle costing (LCC) and social life cycle assessment (SLCA).
4.2.1. Life cycle assessment (LCA)
It is a structured tool for assessing environmental burdens across the whole product life cycle, which either helps to identify improvement areas or to make comparisons with other product. The process of LCA consists of following stages: Fig. Stages of LCA process
Defining goal and scope – The functional unit for the product which is delivered to the society and the boundaries of the system that are included are defined. The choice of the most appropriate functional unit is very essential as it is the base unit against which all of the life cycle impacts are normalized. It is also important that the defined system boundaries reflect the purpose of the
…show more content…
This should be done in accordance with the ISO standard.
Limitations of LCA Although LCA is one of the most comprehensive forms of environmental assessment, there are some functions that it cannot deliver. They are as follows:
- It cannot assess safety and does not replace risk assessment
- All impacts are not related quantitatively to a functional unit and also qualitative marks are lost during the assessment work. For example, loss in biodiversity could not be quantified directly using LCIA.
- Lack of regional and temporal specification inherent to LCA. This could be overcome by using high price data and compensating with loss of simplicity.
Although LCA is a valuable tool, realistic modelling could be given when it is used together with other tools.
4.2.2. Life cycle costing
Open Document