Life Cycle Assessments:

All about life cycle assessment and its benefits

Icon Scroll

If you want to change something, you first need to understand it. With a life cycle assessment (LCA), you can analyse the impact your product or organisation has on the environment. They form the basis for more environmentally friendly or, at best, even environmentally neutral behaviour. Let's take a closer look at LCA.

What is a LCA?

Every product and every process have what is known as a life cycle: it goes through a process from raw material extraction to end-of-life. A LCA analyses the impact on the environment during this life cycle.

This involves recording what is taken from the environment and what is sent into it. The consequences of these inputs and outputs are then analyzed. And not just for the climate, but also for ecosystems, water or health.

You can find out more in the interactive graphic.


Why do you need a LCA?

The LCA enables companies to develop more environmentally friendly products and operate more sustainably. This is achieved on the one hand through data and findings, and on the other through a new methodological competence: life cycle thinking. It helps to rethink products and processes.

In addition, the multidimensional approach of the LCA prevents environmental damage from being shifted rather than eliminated due to a lack of knowledge. How does this work? By looking not only at CO2 and the climate, but also at other environmental dimensions.

You can find out more in the interactive graphic.

Icon Icon
Identify hotspots

You recognise the biggest drivers of environmental damage over the course of a product's life.

Thanks to quality-checked data sets and modelling, you can find out where environmental damage occurs in the life cycle. It even takes into account which regions of the world a raw material comes from. This is because emissions, for example, vary greatly depending on the origin. The overall view helps to identify hotspots of environmental pollution. And that is the first step towards improvement.

Icon Icon
Improve your ecological footprint

You have the knowledge to improve your products and processes ecologically.

Our LCA works with dynamic models. This enables us to develop scenarios for optimisation. Savings in environmental damage and emissions are also calculated precisely. This puts you in a position to further develop products effectively. This enables you to achieve far more environmentally friendly products.

Icon Icon
Know your benchmark

You know where you stand and how far you still have to go compared to your competitors.

LCA makes it possible to compare products in terms of their environmental performance. You find out how your product performs in relation to an average product on the market. How is this possible? Because a LCA works with both primary data and data from the research literature.

Icon Icon
Better Marketig

You can market more ecological products better and more credibly at the same time.

The LCA process follows an ISO standard and produces reliable statements that you can use in marketing and communication. Thanks to a multidimensional approach and valid data, you are on the safe side with regard to your reputation. That's a good thing! Because "green washing" is a negative label that you won't get rid of any time soon.

Icon Icon
Develop innovations

You are capable of innovations that you would never have been able to develop without the LCA.

The results of a LCA enable targeted strategic planning and better product design. This makes it possible to reduce the impact on the ecosystem and optimise processes or products. In addition, LCA also broadens the horizon in research and development and enable genuine innovations.

Icon Icon
Fulfil compliance

You act in accordance with the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

More and more companies have to account for their sustainability efforts. The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) applies to large companies and SMEs active in EU markets. LCA helps to uncover problems in the supply chain in good time and provide robust, transparent and verifiable arguments.

Who needs a LCA?

LCA is a valuable tool for organisations and local authorities that want to improve their environmental performance. This is because LCA can be carried out at different levels. Companies can have LCA carried out for their employees, products and services as well as for their organisation as a whole. At municipal level, LCA helps neighbourhoods or even an entire city to make living more environmentally friendly.

There is more to discover behind the tiles.

Icon Icon

We can combine consumer behaviour in different phases of human life with the LCA of products. The result is a Life-LCA. It enables a deeper understanding of ecological interrelationships and sensitizes people to life cycle thinking. A good way to make employees fit for ecological transformation.

Icon Icon

When we talk about LCA, we first think of products and services. Their LCA is ultimately a consideration of their entire life cycle.

Icon Icon

A LCA is also possible for an organisation as a whole. This could be a university, a supermarket, a bank, a car manufacturer or a construction company. Their respective inputs and outputs are recorded with all their effects on the environment.

Icon Icon

If neighbourhoods or entire cities want to become more environmentally friendly, they need an urban LCA (City LCA). This records all the effects on the environment caused by the citizens of a city. It includes the municipal infrastructure as well as the services offered and goods produced.

How does a LCA work?

According to the ISO standard, a credible LCA consists of four phases:

  • definition of the goal and scope
  • life cycle inventory
  • impact assessment
  • and interpretation.

The LCA process is complex. It requires time, experience and access to the latest studies and data.

Keep scrolling to find out more about the individual steps.

Click on the tiles to find out more.

Icon Icon Icon
Set the goal

Every LCA begins with the definition of objectives and a framework.

Icon Icon Icon
Collect data

The second phase involves collecting what is taken from the environment and what is added to it.

Icon Icon Icon
Estimate impact

In phase 3, we analyse the effects of the recorded inputs and outputs.

Icon Icon Icon

Finally, we draw conclusions and make recommendations.

Do you have questions about LCA?

Write to us!

And how long does a LCA take?

The duration of a LCA depends on the complexity and ranges from a few weeks for a simple product to a year, for example for an urban LCA.

Become a Life Cycle Innovator

Our certified and holistic approach not only provides you with a LCA. You will also learn how to integrate Life Cycle Thinking as an innovation competence in your company.

And any other questions about the LCA?

Ask our experts for holistic LCA yourself!

Our LCA consultants will show you what opportunities our LCA open up for your company.

We will also tell you more about the unique GREENZERO process, which we developed together with scientists from TU Berlin, TU Braunschweig and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Heidelberg.