Carbon

Life Cycle Assessments (LCA)

A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an analysis technique used to assess the environmental impacts associated with all stages of a product’s life cycle. Every aspect of a product’s life cycle - extraction of materials from the environment, the production of the product, the use phase, and what happens to the product after it is no longer used – can have an impact on the environment in many ways. An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a standardised document that declares the environmental performance or impact of a product or material over its lifetime. EPDs are generated based on data obtained through the completion of an LCA.

The Challenge: LCAs and EPDs

Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) are becoming increasingly popular both as tools for product differentiation and competitive advantage and for regulation and compliance purposes. The challenge is that performing an accurate and verifiable life cycle analysis poses significant difficulties in terms of data aggregation and quality assurance. 

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LCA and EPD Solutions

An LCA allows for an in-depth understanding of the materials and energy flows throughout the complete lifecycle of a product, service or system and their related environmental impacts. A comprehensive LCA allows for continual improvement of product development, marketing, strategic planning and even policymaking. 

EPDs used externally as marketing material enable you to differentiate your company’s product from others in the market. Used internally they encourage the improvement of product manufacturing and process efficiency. EPDs can also be to satisfy legal requirements and for credits in certification schemes such as the LEED, BREEAM, and others.

McGrady Clarke’s LCA Consultants have a depth of knowledge in product manufacturing and the energy inputs required in the wider services associated with the distribution, use and disposal of finished goods. We are experienced across a vast range of sectors and provide expertise to our clients in GHG Protocol, ISO 14064, ISO 14040 and ISO 14025.

Our bespoke LCA solutions allow you to benefit from a range of options; we can look at specific impacts of products by establishing a system boundary or can analyse the full spectrum of impacts relating to a product from cradle to grave. This flexibility enables you to expand upon your reporting and engage in a systematic approach to tackling direct and indirect causes of emissions within your products and services.

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LCA and EPD Solutions

An LCA allows for an in-depth understanding of the materials and energy flows throughout the complete lifecycle of a product, service or system and their related environmental impacts. A comprehensive LCA allows for continual improvement of product development, marketing, strategic planning and even policymaking. 

EPDs used externally as marketing material enable you to differentiate your company’s product from others in the market. Used internally they encourage the improvement of product manufacturing and process efficiency. EPDs can also be to satisfy legal requirements and for credits in certification schemes such as the LEED, BREEAM, and others.

McGrady Clarke’s LCA Consultants have a depth of knowledge in product manufacturing and the energy inputs required in the wider services associated with the distribution, use and disposal of finished goods. We are experienced across a vast range of sectors and provide expertise to our clients in GHG Protocol, ISO 14064, ISO 14040 and ISO 14025.

Our bespoke LCA solutions allow you to benefit from a range of options; we can look at specific impacts of products by establishing a system boundary or can analyse the full spectrum of impacts relating to a product from cradle to grave. This flexibility enables you to expand upon your reporting and engage in a systematic approach to tackling direct and indirect causes of emissions within your products and services.

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Our LCA and EPD Process

Our Life Cycle Assessments and Environmental Product Declarations process are as follows:

Data collation and Verification

  • Prioritising data collection efforts
  • Data selection
  • Data collection and extrapolation
  • Data quality assurance

LCA Calculation

  • Allocation of appropriate conversion factors
  • Quantifying the environmental impacts of the product
  • Liaise with the company and their value chain partners to assess the input data
  • Evaluation of LCA at various stages of the product development such as raw material extraction, manufacturing, transportation, distribution, end-of-life, etc. 

LCA Report Generation

  • Generate a publishable LCA report that is inclusive of appropriate declarations along with the provision of narratives important to the stakeholders. 

EPD Generation

  • Produce an EPD that reports the key findings of the LCA report.
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FAQ's

What does cradle-to-gate mean?

Cradle-to-gate refers to the environmental impact of a product from the moment it is produced to the moment it enters the shop. 

What is the difference between LCA and EPD?

An EPD is shorter and more concise than an LCA report. EPDs typically contain the results from the LCA and a description of the product. An LCA is a much longer report that may contain sensitive company information. An LCA study including the full LCA report must be performed before an EPD can be created. 

Why choose McGrady Clarke for your LCAs and EPDs?

McGrady Clarke’s tailored approach to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) provides you with the necessary data to demonstrate sustainable improvements in your products, analyse performance against your competitors and implement changes within your operations and supply chain to reduce emissions. Our life cycle analysis enables you to gain a rigorous and systematic understanding of the opportunities to improve transparency, clarity, and performance across their product line. By implementing market-leading methodologies and aligning with recognised disclosure frameworks, your sustainable progress can be effectively communicated to key stakeholders and customers. 

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