Life Cycle Assessment Goal and Scope


Life Cycle Assessment Goal and Scope

Life Cycle Assessment Goal and Scope

It is essential to define the scope and goal of your life cycle assessment study because that is the most crucial consideration that you should make in general. The first and initial phase of LCA study features creating and defining goals and scope that you wish to make in your research.

We are talking about a highly important part of the analysis that will provide you frameworks as well as guidelines that you can incorporate inside so that you can continue with the study and do it efficiently as well.

Therefore, you have to think it through and spend enough time in this particular phase so that you can Cleary define what is the primary goal of your study, what you wish to use with the results and what you should include in the first place.

This will help you reduce the time spent on other phases that you should implement as well. Have in mind that during the process of study, you have to come back a few times to redefine scope and goal when you acquire more knowledge than you do think that you could before.

Information and issues that you did not know at first or if you could not foresee it from the very beginning will lead you to reformulate the needs and goals that you should implement.

For instance, if you set the goal that you cannot fulfill, it means that you will have to deal with it from the beginning. That is why it is essential to create a life cycle assessment goal and scope based on the study of the ISO 14040 standard in which the purpose of the study should define the following criteria:

  • You have to implement the intended application as well as the reason for carrying out the entire research, similarly as we have mentioned above.
  • You should think about the intended audience, or with whom you are going to communicate throughout the study.
  • Understand whether results are intended to disclose to the public or to be used in comparative assertions.

You have to create a thorough description of the reasons why you are carrying the study as well as other applications that you will provide to the general public afterward. This is an essential consideration for creating the scope of the study.

Reasons Why You're Carrying the Study

This is an important consideration when it comes to life cycle assessment especially if you are doing it for the first time so that you can identify life cycle as well as its environmental impacts that are currently happening.

Therefore, you should think through about things such as types of environmental impacts that will dominate the products as well as which steps of the lifecycle will create a significant contribution to the product you have.

At the same time, you should think about steps in the lifecycle that will stand for the main contribution of overall products and their impact, as well as what you could do to improve the environmental performance of the product that you analyze.

Have in mind that intended audience could be the result of internal perspective of a product that you analyze based on inputs when it comes to product development, so that result could be used in external communication that will inform both consumers and customers.

When it comes to a comparative assertion, which is disclosed to a public statement, means that your environmental performance is better than competing products so that you can obtain the ISO declaration, which will ultimately help you sell the products more efficiently than before.

Since you will create an explanatory statement, you will not get specific rules that you have to apply for it to be relevant and valid. That includes particular requirements on critical reviews that you have to perform as well as how to acquire things that will affect you afterward.

Defining the Scope of the Study

The main goal of scope is to provide and describe the depth and detail of the study and to present the goals that you wish to meet based on limitations that you have. When you are checking the scope, you should follow these aspects:

  • The product system
  • The functions of the product system
  • System boundaries
  • Allocation procedures
  • Environmental impact assessment methodology as well as interpretation of impacts that you have to perform.
  • Data requirements
  • Limitations and assumptions
  • Data quality requirements
  • Type and format of the report based on the study
  • Critical review considerations

Since life cycle, assessment is iterative technique, and as you collect the data, you will notice numerous aspects of the scope that may require modification so that you can reach a goal that you have created at first.

That is why you should think about functional units as well as reference flow. The function that you deliver in the system has to present and express the functional group, which is an essential aspect of LCA, and you have to define it clearly.

Have in mind that the functional unit is a quantitative measure of the function that you have created inside the studied system. At the same time, it will provide you a reference that will help you create both inputs and outputs and how these two are related throughout the system.

System Boundaries

The system boundaries tend to define which unit processes is included in the entire system, as well as which input and output you should consist of inside the analysis.

The selection that you should consider during the process depends on the goal that you have created before the study, as well as its application results in practice.

Working with defined system boundaries means that you have to create an initial flowchart of the product system, which will help you understand the processes that you should include in the order the way you connect it.

This will help you understand the way different inputs and outputs are affecting the system. Have in mind that the initial flowchart is the basis for the next step of LCA such as inventory analysis, in which you have to collect and gather data for each process that you described within the chart.


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