Getting started guide for Life Cycle Assessment

By Ann-Christin Pålsson & Ellen Riise

The aim of this getting started guide for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is to introduce the methodology and provide some support and guidance on how you can get started with performing and using LCA:s. The LCA methodology described in this guide is based on the ISO 14040 series of standards, and on experiences from companies that have introduced and implemented LCA in their organisations to support different types of  business activities and decisions.

Note: Parts of this guide is still being developed, so please check in again to see the latest version.

Content of the guide

Introduction to LCA

  • What is LCA?
  • When and how can LCA be used?
  • Overview of ISO standards for LCA
  • Connection with other tools (planned part of guide, not yet available)
    • Footprints; e.g. carbon footprint
    • Environmental product declarations (EPD)
    • Eco-efficiency assessment
  • Integrating social issues in LCA (planned part of guide, not yet available)

How to perform an LCA

  • Principles for LCA
  • Central concepts in LCA
  • Phases in an LCA study
    • Goal and scope
    • Inventory
    • Environmental impact assessment
    • Interpretation
  • Reporting and communicating LCA results
  • Critical review

Applying LCA to support business activities

  • Support for:
    • Strategy development and planning
    • Product development and improvement
    • Sourcing and supply chain improvements
    • Marketing and external communication
  • Experiences from companies applying LCA
    • SCA
    • AkzoNobel

Where to find support

  • Collection of data for the study
    • inventory data
    • environmental impact assessment data
  • Tools and software
  • Further reading