What is an LCA Study?

What is an LCA study?

LCA Study is an environment-oriented method to map the impact of human activities and products on the environment. An LCA study looks at the entire life cycle of an activity or product.

The activity of a product starts at the extraction of raw materials, through production and use of the product, or reuse of the product (if this product has been recycled), up to and including the disposal of the product. In other words: from birth to the grave. Because different processes are analyzed, an LCA study is considered to be a form of chain analysis.

Steps LCA study

LCA consists of a number of different steps for mapping the impact of products and human activities on the environment. The most important steps are:

  • LCI or Life Cycle Inventory: In this step the information related to the harmful substances emitted during the life cycle of the product or activity is collected. The raw materials which are used within the life cycle are taken into account. Other factors that possibly have an impact on the environment are also taken into account, for example the production of noise or odour.
  • LCIA or Life Cycle Impact Assessment: In this step all data collected during the LCI (Life Cycle Inventory) process is assessed. The result of the assessment shows the environmental impact of the product or activity and whether the product or activity is directly or indirectly responsible for it.

Score list

The outcome of an LCA study is kind of an environmental profile, which is a score list with all the environmental impacts htat the product or activity has. The profile shows the environmental impacts that play the most important role in the life cycle.

An LCA study, in combination with related instruments, can provide a concrete picture of what the possible adaptations can be for the business operations.

Initially, LCA was developed for assessing products. However this study can be used much more widely. As soon as a life cycle plays a role or a score list is desired, LCA can be used.

LCA study plastic packaging

Are you curious about the environmental impact of your plastic packaging? Please contact us. After a possible increase in sustainability, we can scientifically substantiate the environmental gains. Matters that can limit the impact on the environment and where KIVO can help you are:

  • Producing thinner films while retaining the mechanical properties
  • Insert recycled plastic (both PIR and PCR)
  • Use of biobased materials (read here: What are bioplastics?)
  • Replacing multilayer non-recyclable laminates for recyclable laminates


Do you have any questions about an LCA study as a result of this article? Please contact one of our product specialists, by using the contact form below. You will receive a response as soon as possible.

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    Door: Theo Schilder Director of Business Development 27 November 2020