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Sustainable Product Innovation by Dariush Rafinejad

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CHAPTER 4

LIFE-CYCLE ASSESSMENT

Life-cycle assessment (or analysis) (LCA) methodology is a quantitative tool for analyzing the consumption of resources (renewable and nonrenewable) and emission of wastes to the environment (air, water, land) in a system or a subsystem. LCA characterizes the environmental and health impacts of resource consumption and emissions in a system.

LCA accounts for multiple impacts across the life cycle of a product or service and can be used as a decision-making tool in sustainable product design, sustainable manufacturing process design, supply-chain trade-offs, strategic planning, risk analysis, marketing, and public policymaking.

Let’s consider a few examples in product design. In China, 45 billion pairs of chopsticks ...

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