Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

What is Life Cycle Assessment?

Life-cycle assessment is a methodology for assessing environmental impacts associated with all the stages of the life-cycle of a commercial product, process, or service. For instance, in the case of a manufactured product, environmental impacts are assessed from raw material extraction and processing (cradle), through the product’s manufacture, distribution and use, to the recycling or final disposal of the materials composing it (grave).

An LCA study involves a thorough inventory of the energy and materials that are required across the industry value chain of the product, process or service, and calculates the corresponding emissions to the environment. LCA thus assesses cumulative potential environmental impacts. The aim is to document and improve the overall environmental profile of the product.

Benefits of performing a Life Cycle Assessment

  1. Create alternatives
    • Organizations will be able to understand the need for alternatives in order to minimize or avoid environmental impacts posed. It will give a sense of responsibility in the sustainable development of the world

  2. Reduce risks
    • Companies are able to Identify environmental hotspots in your product/ service, minimize risks to environment and develop the status and company image.

  3. Economic benefits
    • Increase business profits through identification of alternatives and increasing resource efficiency in production processes.

Tools and Procedures for conducting LCAs

Widely recognized procedures for conducting LCAs are included in the 14000 series of environmental management standards of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), in particular.

  • ISO 14040:2006 Environmental management — Life cycle assessment — Principles and framework

  • ISO 14044:2006 Environmental management — Life cycle assessment — Requirements and guidelines

NCPC Commitments to support LCA in Sri Lanka and Globally

  • Developing and maintaining the most updated Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) databases covering main industry sectors in Sri Lanka

  • Capacity Building on Conducting LCAs and LCI database development

  • Developing a national platform to support LCA practitioners in the country

  • To support the government to bring the LCA Perspective in policymaking

  • To engage International like-minded agencies in promoting LCA in Sri Lanka

  • Provide LCA infrastructure by acquiring LCA software tools and most updated LCI databases