What is Life Cycle Assessment?

Life Cycle Assessments & Carbon Footprints

Quantifying the environmental impact of products

Each product has an impact on the environment, such as CO2, land use and use of resources. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Carbon Footprint are methods to investigate the environmental impact of products and supply chains. These methods give insights in possible improvements in the supply chain.

How do Life Cycle Assessments and Carbon Footprints work?

Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) and Carbon Footprints are research methods to gain insight in the full life cycle of a product. It quantifies all inputs and outputs. This means all phases of a product are taken into account and analysed, from raw materials, packaging, transport, retail and consumer towards disposal or recycling. This means a product will be studied from cradle-to-grave. An LCA shows where the environmental impact in the supply chain takes place. Hotspots are the locations in the supply chain with the highest environmental impact. Disclosure of these hotspots is an opportunity to improve a certain process or product. Eventually, this will lead towards savings in for instance raw materials, energy use and cost and a more sustainable product. In some cases the environmental advantages can also be used as selling point.
Different types of LCAs/Carbon Footprints

LCA/FootprintInternal/external useReview/verificationDataDeliverablesProject duration

Screening LCA

InternalInternal reviewCompany specificReport and/or presentationAppr. 1,5 months

Product LCA

ExternalIndependent external review (1 expert)Company specific & supply chain specificReport and presentationAppr. 2,5 months

Comparative LCA

ExternalIndependent external review (3 experts)Company specific & supply chain specificReport and presentationAppr. 5 months

Sound basis to monitor environmental performance

Life Cycle Assessments and Carbon Footprints give insights in the environmental impacts in the supply chain of a product. This forms a sound basis for companies and organisations which aim to monitor their environmental performance and develop strategies to reduce their impact. Life Cycle Assessments and Carbon Footprints are executed according to standardised and internationally recognised methods, such as ISO 14000 and PAS 2050. Besides that, it is important to use reliable data, in order to reach consistent and transparent results.

Difference between Life Cycle Assessments and Carbon Footprints

The difference between an LCA and a Carbon footprint are related to the impact categories which are studied. A Carbon Footprint is focused on one environmental impact category: greenhouse gas emissions (CO2). Meanwhile an LCA takes more impact categories into account, such as land use, water use and acidification.
Over the years we've supported many companies and organisations with Life Cycle Assessments and Carbon Footprints. We can help you with the full path of an LCA or Carbon Footprint, from drafting towards interpreting the LCAs and Carbon Footprints of your products. Reach out to us to learn more.

Sustainability issues

Investigating the impact of a product or process had many advantages. It is an opportunity to tackle various sustainability issues.
Some examples:
  • Insights in saving options: You aim to get insights in saving options for energy and materials which are used in the production process.
  • Increase market value: You want to increase market value, for instance by communication about the sustainability of your products.
  • Insights in the environmental impact: Your clients or investors want insights in the environmental impact of your products or production process.
  • Substantiate a strategic decision: You want to make certain strategic decisions, which need supporting information.
  • Development of innovations: You want to know the environmental advantages of certain innovation ideas.

Did you know?


25% of all LCAs are related to the agri-food sector

Learn more about Life Cycle Assessments & Carbon Footprints

On a regularly basis we organise courses and training for professionals. We are happy to share our knowledge and expertise with you to accelerate sustainable development. Keep an eye on our agenda for an actual overview.

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More information

Do you want to know more about Life Cycle Assessments or Carbon Footprints?
Send an email to Jasper Scholten