LCA: A powerful tool for mutual co-existence

What is LCA? A life cycle analysis, or LCA, is a technique that assesses the environmental impact of a product over its entire cycle including the raw material extraction, development, distribution to its ultimate disposal.What is the significance of LCA?LCA helps in integrating sustainability into material procurement, product design, and processing. It aims at providing sagacious decisions to industrialists, scientists, engineers as well as policy-makers.

Benefits of LCA:

  • COMPANIES: Transparent & standardized data; corporate credibility to stakeholders & customers
  • CONSUMERS: Able to draw a comparison between 2 similar products and make informed decisions
  • Beneficial for the ENVIRONMENT, and this KARMA is advantageous for own survival

We are not only the product of the long-term evolution of the natural environment, but we also possess the power to create our environment. And because we can make it, we can also destroy it. Let’s use our powers wisely and justly to co-exist mutually.

Learning from example: In the 1970s, lightweight plastic PET bottles substituted glass containers for packaged bottled water. Observing through the lens of LCA, the lighter plastic bottles consumed less energy during production and transportation and were more durable. However, the global warming impact coming from fossil-based resources is widely known now. We are now witnessing a shift towards compostable products (like CHUK products made from sugarcane bagasse). Here, LCA can provide quantitative insights into the overall environmental impacts, thereby imparting trust and transparency. It can avoid burden-shifting from one impact category (reduced energy consumption) to another (global warming), as observed earlier for fossil-based resources.

CREDITS: Certified Professional Course in Life Cycle Assessment by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

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