It is time the world starts to look at the larger picture. The following facts may lead you to question yourself or someone else during your next decision phase. We must remember that costs are not only those we see in the direct manufacturing of a product but also hidden in the use and recycling phases.
- Life cycle assessment (LCA) is vital for the future. Environmental regulations that only regulate one phase (the use phase) of a product’s life cycle can create unintended consequences, such as increased CO2 emissions.
- One example of this is vehicle exhaust or tail pipe regulations which encourage the use of low density materials which are more CO2intensive to produce.
- LCA considers production, manufacture, the use phase and end-of-life recycling and disposal. Life cycle thinking leads to immediate environmental benefit.
- In addition to CO2, LCA assesses other impacts such as resource consumption, energy demand and acidification.
- LCA is easy to implement, cost effective and produces affordable and beneficial solutions for material decision-making and product design.
- Worldsteel developed one of the first global sector databases for life cycle inventory data and invests to keep it current.
Cited: World Steel
Ashley G. // Editor SMC