LCA methodology covers all the following phases: pre-production (including extraction and production of materials), production, distribution, use (including re-utilization and maintenance), recycling and final disposal.
Standardized on an international level by the ISO 14040 and 14044 Standards, this methodology consists of four phases:
- definition of the goal and field of application;
- quantity-based analysis of all material and energy inputs and outputs in the system;
- environmental impact assessment of the elements identified in the analysis;
- summary and discussion concerning the results.
An LCA study is required to achieve internationally recognized product certifications such as EPD (Environment Product Declaration) or Carbofootprint.