Life-Cycle Assessments and EcoGrade
Life-Cycle Assessment is standardized
ISO Standards 14040 and 14044 set out the methodology for performing Life-Cycle Assessments in detail. Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) has four phases and components: goal and scope definition; inventory analysis; impact assessment; interpretation. The other core tools of PROSA such as Life-Cycle Costing (LCC) and Social Life-Cycle Assessment (SLCA) employ these four phases and the basic methodological approach of LCA as directly as possible or, where necessary, in a modified form.
LCA is a widely known and proven tool, and is therefore not described in further detail here. The case study of laundry drying systems briefly reported here highlights the important role played by LCAs in product development and portfolio appraisal. This section further outlines two aspects of relevance to PROSA: the importance of interpretation frameworks such as EcoGrade and the role of material flow analyses as exemplified by the EcoTopTen case study.