Sustainable Products and Organizations
EcoShift provides full-service consulting focused on helping companies and organizations create value through sustainability. In our process, metrics set the foundation for innovation, flexibility, and ultimately incorporating sustainability into business models. We use our technical expertise in life cycle assessment to guide and shape and integration of sustainability strategy into business practice.
Life cycle assessment or analysis (LCA) is a performance metric for characterizing the resource use and material throughput for a particular commodity along all stages of the product life cycle form raw material extraction, through the manufacturing process, to the end-of-life of a product.
LCA process starts by defining the goals and scope of the system under investigation and defining the systems boundaries. Next, an inventory of material and energy flows is collected along the entire commodity chain. Finally, the inventory is assessed against specific environmental impact categories and indicators. The final product gives a clear picture of a product’s life cycle impact.
Why do LCA?
With a complete life cycle analysis, efforts can be made to reduce environmental effects in the areas of greatest impact. LCA can be used for improving cradle to cradle product stewardship, pollution prevention planning, green engineering and design, compliance with environmental standards, or to better understand the impacts of material reuse and recycling. LCA can also be used to market your product against other similar products based on accepted sustainability criteria.
Life cycle assessments are completed for a variety of reasons. First, many of the same activities that reduce life cycle impacts also cut energy and other costs. Assessing and reducing your sustainability impact has a similar effect as an efficiency audit. The results will identify the most cost-effective way for you to operate. Second, the public increasingly demands information about sustainability features of the products they buy. LCA can be used to demonstrate product stewardship and corporate responsibility, identify areas to effectively mitigate impacts, and differentiate products through eco-labeling. Finally, many climate change and energy policies are including LCA requirements for sectors like renewable energy and biofuels. For example, California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standardand the DOE Loan Guarantee program both require reporting on life cycle metrics.
EcoShift LCA Services
Our Life Cycle Analysis Services can help your organization identify potential for improvement of energy and greenhouse gas emission efficiency in all stages of operations. EcoShift can assist in all stages of LCA consulting, including mapping and greening of your supply chain, quantifying and characterizing life cycle impacts, comparing to similar products, and assessing carbon payback periods and returns on investment. We tailor our LCA services to explore the various impact categories that can improve your company’s life cycle performance. We adhere to the LCA procedures codified by the International Standards Organization (ISO) in ISO 14040. Since our LCA consultants are actively engaged in the academic community, we stay abreast of changing standards and practices in this rapidly evolving field.
Additionally, we have a specialized service offering that focuses specifically on life cycle analysis of alternative fuel pathways. California has approved a plan to reduce the life cycle carbon intensity of transportation fuel by 10% by 2020. If your company is developing revolutionary new alternative fuels, you will be required to demonstrate that these fuels reduce overall GHG emissions.