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Green Business
Life Cycle Assessment & the EF methods

Comprehensive coverage of impacts

Life Cycle Assessment: the scientific foundation of the Environmental Footprint methods

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), standardised with ISO 14040/44, is a powerful and essential sustainability tool that evaluates the environmental impacts of a product or service across its entire life cycle, from raw material extraction to the end of life.

As the basis of the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF) methods, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) provides a holistic approach and a framework for decision-making, enabling the comprehensive assessment and management of the environmental impacts of products and organisations. In this way, companies can better understand and reduce their environmental impacts, and use this information to inform consumers about the sustainability of their products or organizations.

Learn more about the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) here.

An infographic illustrating the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and its stages. It shows the journey of a product in the form of a loop.

Environmental Impact Categories

Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) aims to evaluate the contributions of products or organizations on different environmental issues such as climate change, water consumption, land use and resource use.

A wide range of environmental issues is covered to ensure a comprehensive assessment. The Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF) methods aim to achieve this by addressing 16 impact categories. These are periodically updated to reflect the latest scientific knowledge and best practices, also informed by discussions within Commission’s expert groups.

Resource use, minerals and metals
Ozone depletion
Human toxicity, cancer
Human Toxicity, non-cancer
Particulate matter
Ionising radiation
Photochemical ozone formation
Eutrophication, marine
Eutrophication, terrestrial
Eutrophication, freshwater
Ecotoxicity, freshwater
Land use
Water use
Resource use, fossils
Resource use, minerals and metals