This year’s Christmas present: a life cycle analysis

A person we know decided to make blood pudding for the kids the other day. The protests were unexpectedly loud with arguments such as “That’s what people ate when smoking was still considered healthy.” We who lived at the time when smoking was still considered healthy KNOW that blood pudding is healthy as well, right? We don’t question that. But if you read what it contains, you can see that it’s mostly flour and sugar – about as much sugar as in ice cream to be honest.

That was exactly what Hans Rosling talked about when he used balloons and diagrams to show how the world has developed while we humans continue to believe (know) that blood pudding is the most healthy meal you can eat.

Knowing things and being able to base decisions on inherited experience have served as a necessary survival strategy for hundreds of thousands of years. Maybe that’s why humanity is completely lost right now – it has become complex and the spinal reflex is out of play. Anyone who confidently says that we have a surplus of electricity is right in one way, but wrong in another. The same if you claim the opposite. Mask or not in the fight against Covid-19, the unemployment figures – too high or too low, the Gulf Stream – stronger or weaker than before? You can actually not even be sure to drown if you swim right after a meal anymore. No wonder people long for safety, turn to people with similar opinions and get stuck in opinion bubbles.

The quest for simplicity and clarity has never been greater. As a business leader, you don’t have time to absorb the full range of comprehensive research reports and multifaceted perspectives for each individual decision. Give me a figure that can be compared to something else. The same accounts for investors, banks, purchasing managers and many others who need to make decisions. So, most of us. The need to be able to make informed, quick decisions is as great today as it was 100,000 years ago, but now that we can no longer trust that blood pudding is healthy, something other than inherited experience is required.

That is why we suspect that the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) will be this year’s Christmas present. I apologize for taking so long to catch up with the headline, but as I said, it’s complicated.

What is a Life Cycle Analysis?

A Life Cycle Analysis presents a product’s environmental impact throughout the entire value chain – or as far as you decide to measure. Once you have an LCA in place, you can see where in the value chain you have the largest impact and how different choices affect the environment – material selection, mode of transport, air resistance, how easy it is to repair, reuse, recycle and so on. A golden tool for creating better products that is.

From next year, the construction industry will be required to report the environmental impact of new buildings. This means that builders will need reports from their suppliers, who will need reports from theirs, and so on. It is no far-fetched guess that other industries will follow this trend. Then, you will need an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), which is based on a Life Cycle Analysis, with a little guidance from a Product Category Rules (PCR).

Whether you see a life cycle analysis as a valuable tool for innovation and decision-making or if you’re simply asked to submit an environmental product declaration, you will probably add an LCA or EPD to your wish list soon. Has that already happened? We help you sort out what you need to do.

The image may be interpreted in line with your own imagination. The writing goat thinks of Don Quixote, life cycles and well-founded decisions, all in a rather creative mess.

Årets julklapp - en LCA