A life cycle assessment (LCA, also known as life cycle analysis, and cradle-to-grave analysis) is a technique to assess each and every impact associated with all the stages of a process from cradle-to-grave (i.e., from raw materials through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling). LCA’s can help avoid a narrow outlook on environmental, social and economic concerns.
This is achieved by:
- Compiling an inventory of relevant energy and material inputs and environmental releases;
- Evaluating the potential impacts associated with identified inputs and releases;
- Interpreting the results to help make a more informed decision.