Are you curious about what you can gain from a Life Cycle Assessment of your product? See what a switch from Ready-To-Use to Refill, for example, can mean – and the questions it raises.
What can you do with our new Life Cycle Assessment tool (LCA)?
In short, you can understand how a product affects our planet and identify ways to minimize its impact.
In more detail, it depends on your product and focus. That’s the strength of this tool: it provides answers to your specific questions, not just general observations.
Let’s consider an example.
Example: Ready-To-Use vs. Refill
Imagine you deliver your product in a Ready-To-Use spray bottle, and you are considering switching to/supplementing with a concentrated Refill solution, where the product needs to be mixed with water.
With LCA, you receive a report showing the effects of this switch on 17 different parameters related to Human, Air, Water, Nature, Energy, Economy, and CO2—with the option to delve into individual parameters.
You also get an overview, which may look like this (Note that the parameters in practice will focus on different elements within the seven categories—for example, “Human” covers toxicity related to cancer, toxicity related to other diseases, and injuries from work and traffic).
Here, the Ready-To-Use spray bottle is set at Index 100 (The blue column) for all parameters – from global warming to its impact on human health. The Refill solution is represented by the orange column.
In this example, there is a clearly positive effect from the switch, which is natural because the significant change is reducing the size of the container.
In other cases—such as when you alter the product’s ingredients—it might have a positive effect on some parameters and a negative effect on others. For instance, reducing the impact on the ozone layer but increasing water consumption.
An LCA doesn’t provide the definitive answer. However, it furnishes a valuable and informed basis for considerations and decisions.
This applies even in the above example…
You get answers. And new questions
Even though the example with Ready-To-Use and Refill seems straightforward and has a logical conclusion, it’s not that simple.
You also need to be mindful of what LCA doesn’t show.
For example, the habits and consumption patterns of your target audience. If they are not accustomed to buying refill products, making a switch might require additional efforts in other areas—ensuring people don’t buy a competitor’s product instead.
If the product isn’t purchased, even significant changes have no effect.
*Our LCA is based on consequential cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment in accordance with ISO14040/14044 using the Stepwise2006 (v 1.5) method. Data is comprised of primary data from e.g. suppliers and average data from the Ecoinvent 3.9.1 database. The LCA has been 3rd party validated. Further information can be provided upon request.