The LCA Calculator usesEcoInvent v2.2 data as its main
data source.The EcoInvent
database is the world’s
leading database with consistent and transparent, up-to-date Life Cycle
Inventory (LCI) data. This
data is licensed from the Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories, the world’s
leading centre for materials life cycle data.
Results are given as in kg CO2
equivalent, using the IPCC 2007, 100 year GWP (global warming potential) .This measure aggregates the global
warming potential of all emissions over a 100 year cycle and relates it to the
equivalent amount of CO2 to give those emissions.
Notes about the data source, what the data
covers and the included transport steps are viewable as the data is entered
into the LCA.In addition users
can their own notes for all each selection they make.These can be used to explain assumptions or highlight areas
for further investigation.
For a small number of materials or processes
where suitable data is not available within the EcoInvent database alternative
sources have been used or, in some cases, estimates have been made based upon
similar process data.Where such
estimates have been made these can be viewed in the material and process notes
associated with the part.
If the region of manufacture is specified, CO2
values for electricity based manufacturing processes (but not material
production) are uniquely adjusted based upon the energy mix for the region of
manufacture. Energy mix values (CO2 per KWh) are taken from ‘Fuel Combustion
2010’ International Energy Agency.
Calculations for manufacturing processes are
calculated based upon the part mass. Where the energy use and CO2 emissions of
a process are related to the components surface area (for example painting or
plating processes) or length (such as cutting or welding processes),
assumptions have been made about a typical part geometries (and simple options
given) for the convenience of the user. Where such assumptions have been made,
any inaccuracies arising from such assumptions have been judged to be of
negligible significance. All such assumptions are documented in the notes tool.
Data for disposal has been taken form
EcoInvent v2.2.In the LCA
Calculator, the CO2 impact of recycling has been set to zero.The net benefit of recycling generally
occurs within the life cycle of the product which uses the recycled materials
rather than to the life cycle of the product whose material is recycled.In many cases the impact of recycling
to the life cycle of the first product is actually higher than that of disposal
to land fill. To avoid this disincentive to recycle, the LCA Calculator sets
recycling impacts to zero, giving a small advantage over disposal to land fill.
The Corporate version of the LCA Calculator
allows customers to use their own life cycle inventories or to enter data on
materials, processes or transport steps specifically of relevance to their
console of the LCA Calculator allows the corporate administrator to manage their
own database which is then available to all users within their organisation.Their data is not available to any
The LCA Calculator’s purpose is to provide the
most relevant data and information to allow product designers, engineers and
businesses to make more informed decisions about the sustainability of their
products. However it should be noted that the figures used have been calculated
as averages for particular processes or stages and often relate to a particular
region.Significant variation will
exist between different individual suppliers based upon a range of factors. For
more details about the data sets and methodologies used visit www.ecoinvent.ch .
We welcome contact from companies, institutes
and academics with further research and data in this area. Data sources for the
LCA Calculator are continually under review and periodic updates will be made
to reflect changes in industrial processes and data analysis methods.