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LCA Study

STEP 2/5: PERFORM LCA STUDY BASED ON PCR

An EPD summarises environmental performance from a life cycle perspective, so a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) report must be prepared.  Collecting production and other data for the LCA report is a core activity in the process of creating an EPD.

The LCA report must:

  • comply with internationally accepted principles for life cycle assessment, LCA, according to the ISO standards 14040 and 14044; and
  • follow the general purpose of EPDs, the collection of data, methods and assumptions used as advocated in the ISO standard 14025 and described in the General Programme Instructions; and
  • be in line with the PCR for the product category of interest.

Companies may perform the LCA themselves if they have the in-house expertise. Alternatively, a qualified LCA consultant can be employed to perform this step. Both the Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society (ALCAS) and the Life Cycle Association of New Zealand (LCANZ) have the contact details of all Certified LCA Practitioners on their websites here (ALCAS) and here (LCANZ)

Sourcing LCA Data

An excellent source of regional lifecycle data is the Australian Life Cycle Inventory Database Initiative (AusLCI). This provides a national, publicly accessible database with authoritative and transparent environmental information on a wide range of Australian products and services.

In some cases, specific LCA data does not exist, which can lead to difficulties acquiring data to cover the entire lifecycle of a product or service. EPD Australasia and the International EPD® System allows organisations to use a defined proportion of selected generic data in their LCA calculations. The use of generic data is described in the PCR.

Rules for Similar Products and Services

Related products from the same company can be included in the same EPD. Where the data for mandatory impact indicators are lower than ±10%, products may be presented in the same EPD using the impacts of an environmentally representative product. Where mandatory impact indicators are higher than ±10% products may be presented in the same EPD using separate columns or tables.

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