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What is Life Cycle Assessment?

&r=1" class="c1"> LCA of a given product or activity must contemplate all environmental impacts.

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Since LCA tries to grasp all of the environmental impacts of a given activity or impact, any environmental impact or theme can be contemplated in any study. In any LCA study there are two practical considerations in the choice of the environmental scope:

  • Information availability. This is the main limitation for LCA calculations;
  • Importance of the impact. For example, the LCA of car transportation always has to contemplate the climate change environmental theme, since it will always be of significant importance.
Some impact categories are common to most studies, since they are of widespread importance. These categories are, for example, global warming (emission of greenhouse gases), acidification, smog, ozone layer depletion, eutrophication, eco-toxicological and human-toxicological pollutants, desertification, land use as well as depletion of minerals and fossil fuels. Biodiversity is a highly complex theme, which is usually the focus of specific studies, apart from traditional LCA analysis.