Life cycle assessment (LCA) aims to understand the environmental impact of a product or service (termed a functional unit) over its entire life cycle - using ‘standard methodologies’. The concept of LCA is simple – determine all the processes and products needed to produce the functional unit, measure the environmental impacts associated with each, and sum these up. But the reality is more complicated - for a range of reasons, two of which are focused on in this paper.
Gathorne-Hardy, A. A Newcomer’s Guide to Life Cycle Assessment - Baselines and Boundaries. (2015) 12 pp.