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Life cycle assessment

From Academic Kids

A life cycle assessment is the assessment of the environmental impact of a given product or service throughout its lifespan.

The goal of LCA is to compare the environmental performance of products and services to be able to choose the least burdening one. The term 'life cycle' refers to the notion that for a fair, holistic assessment the raw material production, manufacture, distribution, use and disposal including all intervening transportation steps need to be assessed. This is then the 'life cycle' of the product. The concept can also be used to optimize the environmental performance of a single product (ecodesign) or to optimize the environmental performance of a company. The term 'Emergy' is often used as an analysis tool to determine embodied energy.

Common categories of assessed damages are global warming (greenhouse gases), acidification, summersmog, ozone layer depletion, eutrophication, ecotoxic and anthropotoxic pollutants.

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