Welcome To The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Learning Module Series

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Welcome to the Life Cycle Assessment(LCA) Learning Module SeriesLiv HaselbachQuinn LangfittFor current modules email haselbach@wsu.edu or visit TON STATE UNIVERSITYFULBRIGHT

LCA Module Series GroupsGroup A: ISO Compliant LCA Overview ModulesGroup α: ISO Compliant LCA Detailed ModulesGroup B: Environmental Impact Categories Overview ModulesGroup β: Environmental Impact Categories Detailed ModulesGroup G: General LCA Tools Overview ModulesGroup γ: General LCA Tools Detailed ModulesGroup T: Transportation-Related LCA Overview ModulesGroup τ: Transportation-Related LCA Detailed Modules02/2015LCA MODULE A12

Introduction to Life CycleAssessment andInternational Standard ISO14040MODULE A102/2015LCA MODULE A13

What is Life Cycle Assessment?LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT (LCA)“Compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and thepotential environmental impacts of a product systemthroughout its life cycle”* Process split into life cycle stages and LCA phases Stages are portions of the product life cycle and phases are the portions of the LCA process Data collected on inputs and outputs of the system Associated environmental and resource impacts of those inputs and outputs*ISO02/2015LCA MODULE A114040:20064

Phases versus StagesPhasesStagesPortions of LCA procedureSections of product life cycleExtraction and upstream productionGoal and ScopeTransportManufactureTransportInventory ngImpact AssessmentNote: This is a general diagram of stages and some products orprocesses may have more or less stages than those shown hereFigure: ISO 14040:200602/2015LCA MODULE A15

Principles of LCAGuidance for product, process, or constructed element selectionEntire life cycle environmental burden between stages and processesRelative to a functional unit Functional unit is a quantified amount of function obtained from the product or process Light bulb functional unit might be 1,000,000 lumen-hours of light Bus functional unit might be 10,000 passenger-kilometers traveled Covered more in α modulesOnly environmental considerations addressed Economic, social, and other aspects could be considered with other toolsIterative process where each phase uses results of other phases For example: goal and scope can and should be updated during analysis of other stages02/2015LCA MODULE A16

LCA ScienceComprehensiveness Attempt to cover all attributes or aspects of natural environment, human health and resources! Therefore, include a wide range of potential environmental impacts in LCA studies Coverage of every conceivable impact not possibleNo scientific basis for generating a single overall score Must report individual impact scoresPriority of scientific approach to characterize impacts: First: Natural science Next: Social or economic science or International convention Last: Value choices (opinion, preferences)02/2015LCA MODULE A17

Why Do An LCA?Identify opportunities to improve environmental performanceInform decision-makersSelect relevant indicators of environmental performanceMarketing e.g. ecolabel02/2015LCA MODULE A18

ISO 14040 BackgroundLCA Principles and Framework“Details the requirements for conducting an LCA”*Also covers Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) only studyDeveloped first by the International Organization forStandardization (ISO) in 1996. Updated to second edition in 2006Guiding document for basic Life Cycle Assessment procedures More detailed procedures and examples in: ISO 14044 – Requirements and guidelines ISO/TR 14047 – Illustrative examples on how to apply ISO 14044 toimpact assessment situations ISO/TS 14071 – Critical review process and reviewer competencies:Additional requirements and guidelines to ISO 14044:2006 ISO/TS 14048 – Data documentation formatCourse Module A2 dedicated to ISO 14044*ISO02/2015LCA MODULE A114040:20069

Scope of ISO 14040ISO 14040 contains general information on:a.b.c.d.e.f.g.h.Goal and scope of LCALCI phasePhases of an LCALCIA phaseInterpretation phaseReporting and critical reviewLimitationsRelationship between phasesConditions for use of value choices and optional elementsNormative references: Need to use 14044 to apply 1404002/2015LCA MODULE A110

Phases ofan LCA1. Goal and Scope2. Life Cycle Inventory (LCI)LCAPhases3. Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA)Note: For an LCI study LCIA phase is omitted4. InterpretationImage Sources: Target: wikia.nocookie.net02/2015LCA MODULE A1Data: dreamstime.comEarth: business2community.com11

Phase 1: Goal and ScopeGoalGoal statement is the first componentof an LCA and guides much of thesubsequent analysisGoal must state:Intended useReasons for studyAudienceWhether comparative and disclosed topublicScopeScope follows the goal and providesbackground information, detailsmethodological choices, and tellsScope provides howbackgroundinformation,detailsthe reportwill be formatted.methodological choices, and lays out report formatScope includes:Product systemFunctions of systemsFunctional unitSystem boundaryAllocation proceduresImpact categories, assessmentmethod and interpretation typeData requirementsAssumptionsLimitationsInitial data quality requirementsType of critical review, if anyType and format of reportMore information on goal and scope are provided in Module A2 and the α modules02/2015LCA MODULE A112

Phases 2 and 3: LCI and LCIALife Cycle Inventory (LCI) PhaseData collectionAs much input and output data as possible is collectedCan be presented in report or kept private, such as if confidentiality agreements warrantUseful for other researchers that could use that dataLife Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) PhaseConversion of inventory data into environmental impact potentialsImpact categories, indication, and characterization models are chosenData are grouped based on potential to cause certain environmental impacts (classification)Input and output quantities converted to potential impacts based on characterization factors (characterization)Optional steps: Normalization, grouping, weighting (more details in α modules)02/2015LCA MODULE A113

Phase 4: InterpretationContinually ongoing during assessment to help guide other phasesDiscussion of inventory analysis and impact assessment results in LCA study In an LCI study, only inventory needs to be discussedCan be modeled as conclusions and recommendations to the decision makerShould be consistent with and based on goal and scope of the studyShould reflect the various uncertainties inherent in LCA including: LCA is based on a relative approach using a functional unit Impacts are “potential”02/2015LCA MODULE A114

Limitations of LCA“Not a complete assessment of all environmental issues”* because only thoseidentified in the goal and scope are consideredLCI can rarely, if ever, include every single process and capture every single input andoutput due to system boundaries, data gaps, cut-off criteria, etc.LCI data collected contains uncertaintyCharacterization models are far from perfectSensitivity and other uncertainty analyses are not fully developed*ISO02/2015LCA MODULE A11514040:2006

Critical ReviewNecessary component for comparative studies disclosed to the publicVerifies process and consistency with principles Not an endorsement Does not verify or validate goalsCan improve credibility of studyCritical review process defined in goal and scope!External independent chair person and at leasttwo other membersImage: shenandoahchiropractic.com02/2015LCA MODULE A116

Summary Features of an LCA Systematic procedure for environmental assessment through product or process life cycle Functional unit basis for comparisons differs from many other environmental managementtechniques Amenable to data confidentiality needs and proprietary matters Open to update based on new science and developing techniques Not overly restrictive Impacts identified are all expressed as POTENTIAL LCIA converts LCI results to environmental issues based on characterization factors Systematic approach to identify, check, evaluate and present information based on goal and scope Iterative process with continual interpretation May link to other environmental management techniquesNote: Features identified are based on those put forth in ISO 14040:200602/2015LCA MODULE A117

Full Listing of Terms in ISO 140403.1 life cycle3.2 life cycle assessment3.3 life cycle inventory analysis3.4 life cycle impact assessment3.5 life cycle interpretation3.6 comparative assertion3.7 transparency3.8 environmental aspect3.9 product3.10 co-product3.11 process3.12 elementary flow3.13 energy flow3.14 feedstock energy3.15 raw material3.16 ancillary input3.17 allocation3.18 cut-off criteria3.19 data quality3.20 functional unit3.21 input3.22 intermediate flow3.23 intermediate product3.24 life cycle inventory analysis result3.25 output3.26 process energy3.27 product flow3.28 product system3.29 reference flow3.30 releases3.31 sensitivity analysis3.32 system boundary3.33 uncertainty analysis3.34 unit process3.35 waste3.36 category endpoint3.37 characterization factor3.38 environmental mechanism3.39 impact category3.40 impact category indicator3.41 completeness check3.42 consistency check3.43 sensitivity check3.44 evaluation3.45 critical review3.46 interested partyDefinitions of all terms available at: :v1:en02/2015LCA MODULE A118

Select Terms and Definitions in ISO 14040Process Set of interrelated or interacting activities that transforms inputs into outputsElementary flow Material or energy entering the system being studied that has been drawn from the environment without previous human transformation, or material orenergy leaving the system being studied that is released into the environment without subsequent human transformationProduct flow Products entering from or leaving to another product systemIntermediate flow Product, material or energy flow occurring between unit processes of the product system being studiedSystem boundary Set of criteria specifying which unit processes are part of a product systemImpact category Class representing environmental issues of concern to which life cycle inventory analysis results may be assignedCharacterization factor Factor derived from a characterization model which is applied to convert an assigned life cycle inventory analysis result to the common unit of the categoryindicatorAllocation Partitioning the input or output flows of a process or a product system between the product system under study and one or more other product systemsAdditional details in alpha modulesAll definitions directly quoted from ISO 14040:200602/2015LCA MODULE A119

Thank you for completing Module A1!Group A: ISO Compliant LCA Overview ModulesGroup α: ISO Compliant LCA Detailed ModulesGroup B: Environmental Impact Categories Overview ModulesGroup β: Environmental Impact Categories Detailed ModulesGroup G: General LCA Tools Overview ModulesGroup γ: General LCA Tools Detailed ModulesGroup T: Transportation-Related LCA Overview ModulesGroup τ: Transportation-Related LCA Detailed Modules


What does LCI stand for?Life Cycle InterpretationLife Cycle InventoryLife Cycle Introduction

Correct!LCI stands for Life Cycle Inventory

How many phases are there in an LCA?468

Correct!Th e p h a se s a re :1.Go a l a n d S co p e2.Life C yc le I nve nto r y3.Life C yc le I mp a c t A sse ssme nt4.I nte rp retat io n

What is one of the intended benefits of a criticalreview?Improves credibility by showing adherence to the StandardProvides an endorsement of the product by the review panelValidates goals and intended use of the resultsAll of the above

Correct!The critical review can make the study more credibleby demonstrating adherence to ISO 14040 and14044, but does not endorse products or validategoals and intended uses of the LCA.

Can the Goal and Scope be updated whilecompleting the LCI stage?No, it must be left as originally writtenYes, but it should be avoided if possibleYes, this type of iterative process is encouraged and can strengthen results

Correct!The entire process of life cycle assessment isiterative between each phase to accommodateincorporation of new information at any point.

What is the first priority of the scientificapproach to characterizing impacts?Social and economic scienceValue choicesNatural science

Correct!Natural sciences tend to be more objective andtherefore are the first priority in characterizingimpacts.

3.1 life cycle 3.2 life cycle assessment 3.3 life cycle inventory analysis 3.4 life cycle impact assessment 3.5 life cycle interpretation 3.6 comparative assertion 3.7 transparency 3.8 environmental aspect 3.9 product 3.10 co-product 3.11 process 3.12 elementary flow 3.13 energy flow 3.14 feedstock energy 3.15 raw material LCA MODULE A1 18

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