Lifecycle Assessments (LCA) & Footprinting
Many businesses use life cycle assessments (LCAs) and footprints to identify, quantify and track the areas of impact in their organisation. When properly applied they can be used as a strategic planning tool by providing a clear and easy to understand vision of the areas of impact. From this, action plans can be developed and implemented to address the areas of biggest impact.
Easy! The only problem is many of them tell only half the story. And many look at just an organisation’s direct impacts, e.g. its travel and utilities etc. But for most it is the impact of their goods and services that has the biggest impact. And that’s without thinking about the supply chain! One size doesn’t fit all. You need a thorough life cycle assessment (LCA) and need to use the type of footprint that is right for your individual business and your individual aspirations. (look at our glossary that explains the different types)
We’ve worked with many leading multi-national organisations so we’re experienced at conducting LCA’s using international best practice standards and we’re experienced in developing footprints and the associated action plans. We work with our clients to understand their goals and map out their business. Then we use our database of emission factors backed with a detailed LCA to produce a simple graphical diagram which illustrates areas of emissions and impact.
But a lot of footprints are just a snapshot of a business at a particular point in time. No business stands still and so we provide a model and process maps that enable clients to understand the impact of changes, for example to production patterns, product specifications, logistic modifications and the impact of any sustainability initiatives and changes across the business.
60 organizations from 17 nations have begun a road-testing period to test out the ‘Product Life Cycle’ and ‘Scope 3’ standards under the GHG Protocol Initiative. Find out how WSP Environment & Energy is helping some of the companies involved.