What is the common denominator between a PEP ecopassport®, environmental labeling and eco-design? the life cycle assessment (LCA) is the base of all product-related environmental approaches, and they are performed thanks to LCA software.
Interview with Julie Orgelet, LCA & Ecodesign Expert and EIME Product Manager at CODDE-Bureau Veritas.
1) What use for an LCA software?
The life cycle assessment (LCA) is an environmental evaluation method which takes into account thousands of data on different phases of products’ life cycle. The aim of LCA software is to allow the conversion from technical to environmental data, in compliance with national and international standards. The idea is to allow LCA performing to be as simple as possible, by integrating the methodological complexity. To sum up, it is an essential tool that cannot be separated from life cycle assessment.
2) What are the advantages of an LCA software for someone who want to perform a PEP ecopassport® environmental declaration?
PEP ecopassport® declarations give a global and well-defined point of view about the environmental impacts of an electric, electronic or HVAC-R equipment. Adapted software allows the restriction of methodological choices on the user end, as it complies with and integrates the requirements of this type of program. Moreover, the large-scale production of PEP ecopassport® often involves the standardization of collection tools, accompanying reports and communication aspects. An LCA software gives a standard format to import and export data, which can interface with the different tools of a company in order to automatically communicate a lot of information; reducing time and resources required for the PEP elaboration.
3) Is it possible to ecodesign products with an LCA software?
The LCA realization is the first step of an eco-design approach – the diagnosis of the actual situation – and it also enables the follow-up of products’ environmental indicators. LCA software allow the identification of the most impacting environmental indicators, so they can define improvement paths and compare different technical solutions. The use of an LCA software also allows to check the technical choices environmental relevance: selection of materials, processes, reduction of electric consumption… It is a real decision-making tool that enables the comparison between different versions of a product; hence you can quantify your environmental benefits.
4) How LCA software are getting adapted to international regulations evolutions in terms of life cycle assessment and environmental declarations?
LCA is a young discipline, which evolves constantly. It is the case on regulations and normative levels. Today, the main evolutions concern in particular the work from the European environmental labeling (PEF / OEF), as well as the application of the EN 15804 standard. To adapt to these new challenges, software developers have to lead a proactive approach, so they can ensure the transfer of these new practices towards users by facilitating their implementation.