Life cycle assessment is a method that you can use to examine the environmental impact connected to the varying stages of a product’s life. LCA studies all the actions involved in extracting raw materials, processing, manufacturing, distributing, and finally disposing of a product. Life cycle assessment can help compare the environmental impact of the different sustainable consumer products and then figure out which option is more viable. An LCA is a great starting point for companies that are interested in sustainability. Below is a guide on how to perform a life cycle assessment of sustainable packaging.
First, you must recognize that a life cycle assessment’s priority is providing improvements in processes or sustainable consumer products. It considers the supply of raw material, the use and disposal of the packaging, and the different phases of an LCA are stated below.
Create A Goal
Before carrying out a life cycle assessment, you need to have a goal in place; this will help you communicate the results clearly. Your goal determines the processes you will be focused on and the environmental concerns to be included; it also determines the audience for the life cycle assessment and any technical issue that might pop up as well as how to deal with them. The goal is put in place to ensure consistency and encourages the documentation of the product’s route from extraction to recovery.
Make a Life-Cycle Inventory
This requires gathering information concerning the environmental input and output of the product stages being examined. The inventory phase of the life cycle is meant to include the material, solid waste, energy, water, and air emissions and chemicals. The inventory should also include the modeling, data collection, and the process of verification of data for inputs and outputs.
Carry out an Assessment
This phase requires converting inventory data into indicators for different categories. These categories used for assessment include global warming, pollution, eutrophication, depletion of ozone, human toxicity, the impact of natural resource usage, and ecotoxicity. These categories help you make a comparison between sustainable consumer products and packaging.
Interpret the Data
This requires analyzing the impact data collected. At this stage, you will need to critically review the data collected and also determine the process through which the data will be shared. Also, this is the point where you decide how to present the results to important stakeholders.
Once you have the results after interpreting the data collected, there is a need to put the results into action and improve your sustainable packaging.