Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
Although Life Cycle Analysis (LCAs) are supposed to be hard science, hundreds of variables and measurements based on intricate or esoteric assumptions make this a complex endeavor. There is always the danger of bias. Additionally, conducting an impartial, thorough LCA is an expensive, time-consuming project. So a look at how others have tackled specific examples will help you understand the components of an LCA, interpret the meaning of LCA results, and arm yourself with answers for your customers.
Use the EPA's LCA Principles and Practices (2006) as guideline, not gospel. For example, the EPA defines an LCA as a cradle-to-grave analysis. In the paperboard packaging industry, it is crucial to consider the benefits of replanting our raw materials, and the benefits of the resulting carbon sequestration, which can only be recognized in a cradle-to-cradle LCA.