LCA Methodology: 4 Stages of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

LCA Methodology: 4 Stages of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

You have probably heard about life cycle assessment and everything that comes with it. The idea is that this particular process is highly essential so that you can increase sustainability in businesses all around us.

The main problem is that we do not know how everything functions, and from the very beginning, we tend to think that this particular process is challenging and only for experts.

You will find four life cycle assessment steps that you should memorize entirely, which will help you create a format in which you can create a report that will provide you necessary data so that you can avoid affecting the environment as before.

So let us start from the very beginning:

What is Life Cycle Assessment?

Life cycle assessment is the comprehensive analysis of some products life cycle when it comes to sustainability and its effects on the environment that surrounds us.

Therefore, by creating relevant data and fill everything you need, you will be able to calculate the environmental impact of your service and product from the very start to the final process.

At the same time, we can consider this particular process as the environmental management and accounting with an idea to discuss all aspects of ecological releases, resource use, which is associated with the entire production process.

At the same time, it is a perspective that will provide you a wide array of environmental interactions that will cover numerous activities along the way.

Apart from that, you will have to think about various perspectives from the extraction of raw materials that you need for the production of some product or service as well as the production of energy, throughout the process of using, reusing and disposing of it after the usage.

Have in mind that life cycle assessment is an essential tool that will help you compare different perspectives, but have in mind that it will not be able to provide you a completely accurate and precise evaluation.

Therefore, it is vital because it will help you compare environmental impacts that are happening throughout the process so that you can find alternative ways to reduce carbon emissions as well as other facts that are affecting the environment that surrounds us.

Four Stages of Life Cycle Assessment

You should have in mind that life cycle assessment features standard methodology, which means that it, is highly transparent and reliable. International Organization for Standardization or ISO provides general standards when it comes to ISO 14044 and ISO 14040.

Therefore, we can differentiate four stages of life cycle assessment:

  • Scope and goal
  • Overall inventory analysis
  • Impact assessment
  • Interpretation

1.Life Cycle Assessment Scope and Goal Definition

The main idea between these particular parts of the process is to perform consistent life analysis as well as other factors that will help you along the way. Have in mind that LCA models service, product or entire system as well as its life cycle.

Therefore, it is highly essential to understand that simplification is the perspective that will help you know the reality we live in. When we say simplification, we are talking on how different materials are affecting the reality that surrounds us.

The main problem for most practitioners and people that are creating LCA is how to develop the perfect model that will avoid distortions and simplifications, which may influence the results as well.

The best way to do it is to precisely define the scope of the study as well as goal, which is why the first step is crucial and without it, you will not be able to get the perfect and accurate result.

Therefore, scope and goals are the most critical choices that you can consider and describe which are the main reasons why we are handling this particular process in the first place.

Another important fact is that by creating goals and scope, you can easily define the product as well as its life cycle so that you can understand general boundaries.

2.Inventory Analysis

The second step of the process includes considering all environmental inputs as well as outputs that are highly connected and associated with the service or product that we use for it.

We are talking about the consumption of energy and raw materials that you need for the production process, as well as the waste streams and emissions of pollutants.

Through this particular step, you will get a comprehensive picture of what happens with your product and how it affects the environment.

3.Impact Assessment

During the third stage of life cycle assessment, it is essential to create conclusions that will help you understand the decisions that are affecting your business.

Therefore, you will start to classify how the process affects the environment, as well as evaluate everything based on importance and what you wish to achieve in the first part of the LCA we have mentioned above.

At the same time, you need to translate everything you notice and create a comprehensive evaluation that will help you understand what is essential for the company you live in.

Finally, you can translate everything into global warming and environmental themes that are important for humanity in general.

Have in mind that you should create a vital choice that will help you integrate results that you got. Of course, it depends on the way you are addressing the audience as well as your ability to understand and evaluate the results you will get.


Finally, the interpretation phase will provide you the conclusions that you got throughout the process, which are entirely affected by scope, and goals that you defined in the first part of the process.

Have in mind that if you wish to comply to ISO 14044 standards, it means that you should test whether your conclusions are valid and supported by data that you have used throughout the procedure.

Only after doing that, you will be able to share your results and improvement decisions to the world. You can find numerous LCA software available on the market, and everything depends on your preferences as well as an industry niche that will provide you peace of mind.