ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS DESIGN (ECD) PRIMER
PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS / ASSESSMENT
LCA is (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, SETAC) an objective process to evaluate the environmental burdens associated with a PRODUCT, PROCESS, or ACTIVITY by:
1. Identifying and Qualifying Energy and Material Uses and Releases on the
Environment (Inventory analysis),
2. Assessing the Impact of Those Energy and Material Uses and Releases on the Environment (Impact Analysis),
3. Evaluating and Implementing Opportunities to Effect Environmental Improvements (Improvement Analysis).
Understanding how a product evolves from raw material through design, manufacturing, usage, remanufacturing or recycling and disposal is very important for evaluating its environmental impact. Environmental concern concept defines product parameters that describe its direct or indirect influence to the environment. Usually the following environmental concern concepts should be estimated:
Gross Energy Requirement (GER) - The total quantity of energy necessary from primary energy sources to produce a specified product;
Raw Material Requirement (RMR) - The total quantity of raw material (as opposed to recycled material) necessary to produce a specified product;
Solid Waste Burden (SWB) - Total mass from all production stages which are disposed of in landfill;
Global Warming Potential (GWP) - An index calculated from total emission of greenhouse gases weighted to CO2 in their propensity to contribute to global atmospheric warming.