25 May 2012

JRC report aids in assessing the environmental impact of products and services

A new report from the Joint Research Centre (JRC) - the scientific and technical arm of the European Commission - provides information for policy makers and business managers on how to better assess the environmental impacts of products and services. It emphasises that incorporating Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) is key to making substantial improvements in environmental performance.

LCT looks at the environmental impact of production, distribution and consumption activities from cradle to grave, quantifying the environmental impact of products from the extraction of natural resources to product recycling or waste disposal. The International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) was developed to provide guidance for greater consistency and quality assurance of Life Cycle Assessments (LCA). The report helps local authorities use this ILCD system as a technical reference, and as a support in issuing tenders for service contracts.

It is hoped that LCT will be more widely incorporated, resulting in more environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient products. LCT also has the ability to help policy makers and business actors both improve their environmental image and save money by implementing robust LCAs. Applications that currently apply LCA include ecolabelling, ecodesign, environmental and carbon footprinting, green procurement and waste management.

For more information, click here.