Life Cycle Perspectives to Achieve Business Benefits: From Concept to Technique
The purpose of this paper is to describe how one pollution prevention tool, life-cycle assessment, can be used to identify and manage environmental issues associated with product systems. Specifically, this paper will describe what life-cycle assessment is, determine the key players in its development and application, and present ideas on how life-cycle assessment can be used today. LCA provides a systematic means to broaden the perspective of a company's decisionmaking process to incorporate the consideration of energy and material use, transportation, post-customer use, and disposal, and the environmental releases associated with the product system. LCA provides a framework to achieve a better understanding of the trade-offs associated with specific change in a product, package, or process. This understanding lays the foundation for subsequent risk assessments and risk management efforts by decision-makers.