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LCA - short version

Meaning 1:

Life Cycle Analysis.

Meaning 2:

Lateral Collision Avoidance

Meaning 3:

Lower Control Arm.

LCA - long version

Meaning 1:

Life Cycle Analysis is the investigation and evaluation of the environmental impacts of a given product or service caused or necessitated by its existence.

Goals and purpose of LCA

The goal of LCA is to compare the full range of environmental and social damages assignable to products and services, to be able to choose the least burdensome one. At present it is a way to account for the effects of the cascade of technologies responsible for goods and services. It is limited to that, though, because the similar cascade of impacts from the commerce responsible for goods and services is unaccountable because what people do with money is unrecorded. As a consequence LCA succeeds in accurately measuring the impacts of the technology used for delivering products, but not the whole impact of making the economic choice of using it.

The term 'life cycle' refers to the notion that a fair, holistic assessment requires the assessment of raw material production, manufacture, distribution, use and disposal including all intervening transportation steps necessary or caused by the product's existence. The sum of all those steps - or phases - is the life cycle of the product. The concept also can be used to optimize the environmental performance of a single product (ecodesign) or to optimize the environmental performance of a company.

Common categories of assessed damages are global warming (greenhouse gases), acidification, smog, ozone layer depletion, eutrophication, eco-toxicological and human-toxicological pollutants, habitat destruction, desertification, land use as well as depletion of minerals and fossil fuels.

The procedures of life cycle assessment (LCA) are part of the ISO 14000 environmental management standards: in ISO 14040:2006 and 14044:2006. (ISO 14044 replaced earlier versions of ISO 14041 to ISO 14043.)


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