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Everyone who signs up gets full access to our entire library, including our curated collections. Our Standard license allows you to use images for anything, except large print runs over 500,000+ or for merchandising. Once you have downloaded your image, you have life-long rights to use it under the terms of the license purchased. If at any time you're unsatisfied with your experience with us, you can cancel your subscription. This standard specifies the framework, principles and requirements for.Environmental management - Life cycle assessment. Management Life Cycle Assessment Package ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 Environmental Management Life Cycle Assessment.
It does not describe the LCA technique in detail, nor does it specify methodologies for the individual phases of the LCA.The intended application of LCA or LCI results is considered during definition of the goal and scope, but the application itself is outside the scope of this International Standard.
Life Cycle Assessment Overview.Life- cycle assessment (LCA, also known as life- cycle analysis, ecobalance, and cradle- to- grave analysis)[1] is a technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life from cradle to grave (i.
Attributional LCAs seek to establish (or attribute) the burdens associated with the production and use of a product, or with a specific service or process, at a point in time (typically the recent past).
Consequential LCAs seek to identify the environmental consequences of a decision or a proposed change in a system under study (oriented to the future), which means that market and economic implications of a decision may have to be taken into account.Social LCA is under development[5] as a different approach to life cycle thinking intended to assess social implications or potential impacts. Social LCA should be considered as an approach that is complementary to environmental LCA.The procedures of life cycle assessment (LCA) are part of the ISO 1.
Life Cycle Assessment is carried out in four distinct phases as illustrated in the figure shown to the right.
The phases are often interdependent in that the results of one phase will inform how other phases are completed.

Goal and scope[edit]An LCA starts with an explicit statement of the goal and scope of the study, which sets out the context of the study and explains how and to whom the results are to be communicated.
Further, the functional unit is an important basis that enables alternative goods, or services, to be compared and analyzed.[1. This is an example of a Life- cycle inventory (LCI) diagram.Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) analysis involves creating an inventory of flows from and to nature for a product system. Inventory flows include inputs of water, energy, and raw materials, and releases to air, land, and water.To develop the inventory, a flow model of the technical system is constructed using data on inputs and outputs.
The flow model is typically illustrated with a flow chart that includes the activities that are going to be assessed in the relevant supply chain and gives a clear picture of the technical system boundaries.
The input and output data needed for the construction of the model are collected for all activities within the system boundary, including from the supply chain (referred to as inputs from the techno- sphere).
The data must be related to the functional unit defined in the goal and scope definition.Data can be presented in tables and some interpretations can be made already at this stage. The results of the inventory is an LCI which provides information about all inputs and outputs in the form of elementary flow to and from the environment from all the unit processes involved in the study. Inventory flows can number in the hundreds depending on the system boundary.For product LCAs at either the generic (i. At an industry level, care has to be taken to ensure that questionnaires are completed by a representative sample of producers, leaning toward neither the best nor the worst, and fully representing any regional differences due to energy use, material sourcing or other factors.
The questionnaires cover the full range of inputs and outputs, typically aiming to account for 9.One area where data access is likely to be difficult is flows from the techno- sphere.
For an LCI, these technosphere products (supply chain products) are those that have been produced by man and unfortunately those completing a questionnaire about a process which uses man- made product as a means to an end will be unable to specify how much of a given input they use.Typically, they will not have access to data concerning inputs and outputs for previous production processes of the product. The entity undertaking the LCA must then turn to secondary sources if it does not already have that data from its own previous studies. National databases or data sets that come with LCA- practitioner tools, or that can be readily accessed, are the usual sources for that information.Care must then be taken to ensure that the secondary data source properly reflects regional or national conditions.
This phase of LCA is aimed at evaluating the significance of potential environmental impacts based on the LCI flow results.

In many LCAs, characterization concludes the LCIA analysis; this is also the last compulsory stage according to ISO 1. However, in addition to the above mandatory LCIA steps, other optional LCIA elements ???‚a€? normalization, grouping, and weighting ???‚a€? may be conducted depending on the goal and scope of the LCA study. In normalization, the results of the impact categories from the study are usually compared with the total impacts in the region of interest, the U.S.
During weighting, the different environmental impacts are weighted relative to each other so that they can then be summed to get a single number for the total environmental impact.
The results from the inventory analysis and impact assessment are summarized during the interpretation phase.
The outcome of the interpretation phase is a set of conclusions and recommendations for the study.According to ISO 1. A key purpose of performing life cycle interpretation is to determine the level of confidence in the final results and communicate them in a fair, complete, and accurate manner.Interpreting the results of an LCA is not as simple as "3 is better than 2, therefore Alternative A is the best choice"! Interpreting the results of an LCA starts with understanding the accuracy of the results, and ensuring they meet the goal of the study.
This is accomplished by identifying the data elements that contribute significantly to each impact category, evaluating the sensitivity of these significant data elements, assessing the completeness and consistency of the study, and drawing conclusions and recommendations based on a clear understanding of how the LCA was conducted and the results were developed. Reference test[edit]More specifically, the best alternative is the one that the LCA shows to have the least cradle- to- grave environmental negative impact on land, sea, and air resources.[1.
LCA will be continuously integrated into the built environment as tools such as the European ENSLIC Building project guidelines for buildings or developed and implemented, which provide practitioners guidance on methods to implement LCI data into the planning and design process.[1.

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