Resource Optimization Initiative
About Industrial Ecology
Diagnostic Tools
System View
Material Flow Analysis or Resource Flow Analysis (MFA or RFA)
Why the Name "Industrial Ecology"
A Short History of Industrial Ecology
Resource Utilization Map
The Kalundborg Example
Substance Flow Analysis
The Industrial Ecology Agenda
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
Why Developing Countries
A Few Typical Strategy Options
How can these Concepts be used?
Who can benefit from Industrial Ecology
  Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)


A Life Cycle Assessment is an integral part of a systems approach. In the simplest terms, it assesses the impact of a particular product, service or activity over its entire life cycle. For example, if we are studying the overall life cycle impact of a metal, we would have to consider the impacts (i) while it is being mined (in which ever part of the planet), (ii) during transportation (as ore or after processing), (iii) during the processing, (iv) through the conversion of the metal into usable products, (v) through its use as a part of the usable product (or as a component), (vi) through any process of recycling and (vii) through its ultimate disposal (in a landfill).

LCAs are now routinely carried out in many parts of the world for a range of products and services. It is also useful when choosing between strategies to minimize the impact of particular products or services.

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