What is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)?
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is used to calculate the environmental impact of a product or organization. LCA quantifies the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, water consumption, acidification, and ozone layer depletion in order to show “hot spots” across a value chain. This supports businesses in their sustainability goals by helping establish environmental targets and improve decision making for strategy development.
LCA also serves as the baseline for many certifications like an Environmental Product Declarations (EPD), Product Environmental Footprints (PEF), and support various sustainability certifications such as eco-labeling. The results can also be extended to include financial information (Eco Efficiency Analysis (EEA)) or used as the background data for an interactive calculation tool.
Ecomatters has a long history of conducting LCA studies and we can:
- Execute certified LCA studies and LCA screening studies according to ISO14040/44
- Review LCA studies done by other consultants
- Apply LCA to support EPDs, PEF, product claims and eco-labeling
- Use Eco Efficiency results to support the development of sustainable business models
What is an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)?
An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a third-party verified document that is officially registered to show the environmental impact of a product or service. To construct the EPD, LCA is first used to generate the impact results which are included into the EPD according to specific standards (e.g. EN 15804). The finished document is verified by an approved system operator and published on one of the publicly available online platforms. EPDs provide transparent and comparable information about a product.
Certified EPDs are based on LCA and follow ISO 14025 type III protocols. They are valid for use in compliance regulation or for green building schemes (e.g. BREEAM, LEED). An EPD created according to the ISO 14021 standard is considered relevant, but as they are not third-party reviewed or verified, they risk not being accepted at higher levels of transparency compliance.
We are very knowledgeable about EPDs and can:
- Help you get started and know what EPDs you need
- Complete ISO 14025 Type III and ISO 14021 EPDs
- Complete sector-specific EPDs such as following EN 15804 standards
- Takeover the entire EPD process from conducting the LCA and completing the EPD, to getting it reviewed, certified, and published on the appropriate platform