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Product Life Cycle Inventories
Ever wonder how much energy was used in growing, harvesting and transporting coffee from the fields to your coffee shop? What about the water used to grow cotton, dye yarn, and manufacture your company's best-selling t-shirt? Life cycle inventories (LCI) for carbon and water can help you understand the environmental impacts of your products and services.
Generally, there are 5 stages in a product’s life cycle:
- Raw material acquisition
- Distribution, storage and retail
- Disposal and end-of-life
A study of the impacts from all 5 stages is known as a “cradle-to-grave” inventory. Upstream GHG emissions or water consumption up to the point of sale to the end user (stages 1-3) is called a “cradle-to-gate” inventory.
Benefits of a life cycle inventory:
- Understand your product’s full impact on climate change and freshwater resources
- Differentiate your product or service
- Identify cost savings opportunities in the value chain
- Incorporate carbon liabilities into decision making
- Mitigate environmental and regulatory risks
Offsetters uses the following international guidance documents for life cycle studies:
- World Resource Institute’s GHG Protocol – Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard
- PAS 2050:2011 - Specification for the assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services, from the British Standards Institute
- Water Footprint Assessment Manual from the Water Footprint Network
- ISO 14040 & 14044
For additional information on Offsetters’ life cycle inventory services, please contact us.
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