Terms

    Carbon Footprinting

    A carbon footprint assesses the life cycle GHG emissions of goods and services (collectively referred to as “products”) based on key life cycle assessment techniques and principles. Similar to an LCA all life cycle stages are included, from resource extraction, manufacturing, use through to disposal or recycling.

    Specific guidelines for Carbon Footprinting are currently provided in the PAS 2050:2008 (Publicly Available Specification from the British Standards Institute), but an ISO standard is under development. The requirements for a Carbon Footprint as specified in the PAS 2050 are very similar to those for an LCA. In fact, the PAS builds on existing life cycle assessment methods established through ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 (PAS 2050:2008).

    The key difference to LCA is that a Carbon Footprint assesses only a single environmental impact category global warming, and does not assess other potential environmental impacts, such as non-greenhouse gas emissions, acidification, eutrophication, toxicity, biodiversity, or any other social and economic factors.

    For a free copy of the PAS 2050:2008 and guidelines for PAS 2050 click here: http://shop.bsigroup.com/en/Browse-by-Sector/Energy--Utilities/PAS-2050/

    CO2 equiv. Emission factor

    Based on life cycle inventory acheter viagra data all greenhouse gas emissions related to a specific process are summed up into one emission factor which is expressed as kg CO2 equivalents.

    Greenhouse gas accounting
    Greenhouse gas accounting is a term sometimes confused with LCA or greenhouse gas footprinting. In general terms Greenhouse gas accounting refers to the greenhouse gas emissions related to a specific company, or even a country, but would not to the life cycle of a product or service.
    Life Cycle Costing

    Life Cycle Costing (LCC) refers to the economic aspects along the life cycle of a product or service. This can be combined with an Environmental Life Cycle Assessment.

    Life Cycle Inventory Data

    The ‘life cycle inventory’ is the result of the second step of an LCA. All inputs and outputs related to a product are collated in this step. Inputs and outputs are in this case defined as ‘interventions with the environment’ this means that inputs are resources and outputs would be emissions to air, water and soil. The inventory would for example quantify all greenhouse gas emissions related to a product, e.g. 2 kg of CO2, 0.5 kg of Methane etc.

    Life Cycle Management

    Life Cycle Management (LCM) is the integration of life cycle thinking strategies into business practice or policy making with the aim to continuously improve a product system, or policy development processes. An example would be the implementation of recommendations from an LCA study into a production process.

    LCM is not a single tool or methodology but describes a framework for organisations to structure activities and product-related information to improve product environmental sustainability. A range of tools and approaches may be used in LCM implementation including for example: LCA, eco labels, corporate sustainability reporting, environmental management systems.

    For further information see:

    www.unep.fr/shared/docs/publications/LCM_guide.pdf?site=lcinit&page_id=F14E0563-6C63-4372-B82F-6F6B5786CCE3

    www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/researchpubs/LCM_Briefing.pdf#search="life cycle management"

    Life Cycle Thinking

    Life Cycle Thinking is an environmental management approach based on taking a holistic whole life cycle approach to product and service systems. A whole life cycle approach extends from raw materials extraction and processing through to product manufacture, delivery, use, and finally on to waste management and recycling. This is often referred to as a “cradle to grave” or a “cradle to cradle” approach.

    The advantage of Life Cycle Thinking is that strategies for environmental improvement, may integrate strategies for consumption, production as well as end of life, therefore preventing a piecemeal approach. Taking a life cycle approach also avoids improving environmental impacts at one stage of the life cycle, but unintentionally creating environmental impacts in another stage of the life cycle, or shifting impacts from one geographic area to another, or from one environmental medium to another, so called “problem shifting”.

    Life Cycle Thinking refers to the mainly qualitative concept of identifying the stages of the life cycle and/or the potential environmental impacts of greatest significance. This can be used in early stages of a design brief or in an introductory discussion of policy measures. Following a qualitative Life Cycle Thinking, a quantitative approach such as Life Cycle Assessment could then be used to further investigate, or substantiate the findings from Life Cycle Thinking.

    For example of life cycle thinking see “Why take a life cycle approach”: http://lcinitiative.unep.fr/includes/file.asp?site=lcinit&file=B4287A36-ED08-43D3-A9A0-5CA916AB59C6

    Water Footprint
    The water footprint is an indicator for the total water use of the life cycle of a product. Similar to a full LCA or a carbon footprint this includes water used in the manufacturing processes as well as in the use phase of a product. An ISO standard for Water footprinting, similar to carbon footprinting, is currently under development.