Life Cycle Services
Our Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Process
The LCA is the most comprehensive tool used to evaluate environmental impacts of products and services throughout the life cycle – from raw materials acquisition and processing, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, use, reuse if feasible, to end-of-life management. It can also be extended to economic life cycle assessments.
We typically have an initial call, or calls, to learn about your business and your needs and often discuss LCA topics that might be particularly relevant to the project. The next phase is used to define the goal and scope of the study, understand important data gaps, and create a plan. The final phase is performing the full LCA.
Our LCAs are ISO compliant and highly customizable to fit your organization’s needs. The type of LCA we prepare will vary based on the intended use, the audience, and the level of assessment to be conducted. We often conduct comparative LCAs, used to compare two or more types of products, to support marketing claims or comparative assertions. We also offer scenario analyses to examine the ways in which changes in assumptions will impact economic and environmental outcomes.
Environmental Clarity’s unique life cycle inventory data underlies all our research. However, we also supply LCI data to help our clients perform their own studies with the most complete information for the processes that are important to them.
Many Environmental Clarity studies have been published in peer reviewed journals, adding to their reach, credibility, and acceptance.
“Environmental Clarity has conducted a series of comparative LCAs and economic life cycle assessments for our association since 2013. We’ve been very impressed with their ability to understand our business and provide powerful insights. They allowed us to make an indisputable case about the environmental and cost benefits of washable textiles versus single-use disposables.”
The Bottom Line:
The Bottom Line: Environmental Clarity’s life cycle services are the next generation in the life cycle field where many large, compiled life cycle inventory databases lead to supply chain “answers” but without the detail necessary to make them understandable, verifiable, or useful. The problem is so prevalent that we are often asked to conduct an independent, third-party review of the validity of others’ LCAs, their assumptions, and interpretations.
Environmental Clarity provides a variety of other studies, including single-issue LCAs such as Carbon Footprint, Water Footprint and Solid Waste reports, Hotspot Analysis, Economic Impact, and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).
Coming Soon! A complete list of the chemicals in the Environmental Clarity database
LCI Data Services
The life cycle inventory analysis is the backbone of any LCA. LCIs provide an environmental profile of the system studied and identify components or life cycle steps that contribute most to environmental burdens. LCI results can help prevent unintended consequences and eliminate emissions from the source.
We compile and quantify an inventory of materials, energy, and other resource inputs as well as outputs such as greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental discharges. Our LCIs are the only ones, to our knowledge, that quantify the fugitive emissions of process chemicals and wastes throughout the product life cycle.
We develop LCI data on a chemical process or gate-to-gate basis, and these data are unallocated. When the data are assembled on a cradle-to-gate or cradle-to-end of life basis, allocation is used and each of the allocation points are shown in the resulting supply chain. At this point, a life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) can be done. However, some of the intermediate LCI results, such as energy flows, are important indicators of environmental performance. Therefore, we always emphasize these results in our work.
The LCI has numerous applications. Often these studies are used to compare two or more systems, such as competing products or packaging design options. Many of our studies are also used to guide emerging technologies and to inform decision making during the critical product design stage when 80% of all product-related environmental impacts are determined.
Developing, managing, and analyzing life cycle inventory data, particularly in the chemical industry, is our strength. In our projects, we often find new chemicals with missing data, and we have the capacity to efficiently develop these new data in a manner that is consistent with the other data in our database. If a particular product is an important part of an existing project, we review and improve existing datasets as needed.
Often, companies want to build a database of materials that are important potential ingredients or processing chemicals. We can help build this database using our large chemicals, products, and processes LCI as a starting point. In these projects, the work product is a series of LCI data that can be provided in various formats as needed.
In some cases, practitioners performing an LCA find that data that are important to their project are missing. Rather than finding proxies for these chemicals, we can provide more complete data for their projects.
The Bottom Line:
Our chemistry and engineering methodologies offer results at a higher level of resolution and with greater granularity, which allows a deeper analysis. That’s especially true with our comprehensive characterization of direct and fugitive chemical emissions from the processing plant.
Life Cycle Analysis Consulting
Our highly detailed datasets, ability to view chemical supply chains at multiple scales, and our expertise to develop information to fill data gaps provides sharper insights than you are likely to find elsewhere.
We pinpoint indicators that negatively impact your bottom line and your product’s environmental performance, issues that many other practitioners don’t have the visibility to see. That’s why companies with long, complex supply chains, such as pharmaceutical or crop protection manufacturers, so often turn to Environmental Clarity. Today, a rapidly growing number of organizations across sectors have a need to better understand how their products, processes, and supply chains impact the environment.
In addition to performing LCAs or providing LCI data, we offer a variety of reviewing services and consulting on LCA concepts. For example, we provide third party reviews for comparative LCAs. If someone has produced an LCA that affects your company, it is often not clear what assumptions were made or were embedded in the data that were used. We can help you understand these issues and what the impacts of those assumptions might be. If you are new to the LCA world and want to describe your product and find out what might be involved and what can be learned from an LCA, we can get you started.
Whether you need a full LCA or simply need to enhance your understanding of manufacturing and the environment, contact us to discuss your project and learn what Environmental Clarity can do for you.
Let’s talk about your project!