Life Cycle Services
Franklin Associates provides life cycle services that track and identify the true costs and environmental impacts of products or processes, revealing areas where improvements and cost reductions are needed to maximize company profits and minimize environmental burdens. Franklin life cycle studies are conducted following ISO standards 14040 and 14044. For more than 20 years, we have accumulated unique U.S. databases of both life cycle assessment and solid waste management information. License agreements for internal business purposes can be obtained to utilize the data in the Franklin Associates’ Life Cycle Inventory database, models, and datasets. For further information on licensing our data, please contact us at .
- Life Cycle Inventory (LCI)
- Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
- Life Cycle Management (LCM)
- Integrated LCA/LCM
Life Cycle Inventory (LCI)
An inventory that identifies and quantifies energy and resource use and environmental discharges through the entire product life cycle “cradle to grave.”
Resource inputs, energy requirements, and releases to the air, water, and land for each step in the manufacture of a product or process are quantified, from the extraction of the raw materials from the earth to ultimate disposal of the wastes. View an image of a flow diagram.
LCI studies are usually comparative analyses, in which two or more systems are compared on the basis of providing equivalent function. The systems being compared may be competing products or different design options, or a single system may be evaluated as a benchmark against which to assess future design changes such as lightweighting or changes in formulation or packaging.
The results of an LCI provide an environmental profile of the systems studied. The LCI identifies those system components or life cycle steps that are the main contributors to environmental burdens such as energy use, solid waste, and atmospheric and waterborne emissions, enabling the client to effectively target efforts for environmental improvement.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
Includes both LCI and Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA). In the LCIA, the LCI emissions are classified into categories where they may potentially contribute to environmental and health impacts, and characterization factors are applied to express the results in each category on the basis of a reference substance.
Life cycle studies focused on greenhouse gas emissions and global warming potential are referred to as carbon footprint studies.
Life Cycle Management (LCM)
An activity-based approach that attributes the actual costs of environmental health, safety, and recycling (EHS&R) directly to a product, part, or process. Traditional cost analysis often treats EHS&R as indirect or overhead costs. Because LCM is based on dollars, a cost-based decision can be made, leading to environmental improvements at the design or operational stage.
Like LCIs, LCM studies are usually comparative in nature. To minimize the time and cost required for the analysis, costs are quantified only for those areas where differences between systems exist. Franklin Associates has developed a spreadsheet that systematically guides the user through the thought process to identify all potential cost differences, including not only direct costs (e.g., materials, labor, capital) but also differences in EHS&R costs such as environmental reporting, special storage and handling requirements, personal protective equipment, and labeling. Qualitative differences between systems are included in the analysis as well, providing the decisionmaker with a summary of all relevant cost and quality differences between alternatives being considered.
Franklin Associates developed an integrated technique that combines the environmental information provided by LCI with the cost and qualitative information of LCM to give decisionmakers a more complete picture of the environmental, cost, and quality implications of their choices.
In this technique—originally developed for the automotive industry—LCI and LCM are conducted simultaneously on all alternatives that meet the performance and timing requirements of the client. The analyses are conducted simultaneously rather than in sequence to avoid screening out options that may have tradeoffs in cost/environmental performance (e.g., performing LCM first would screen out high cost options that LCI might have shown to have low environmental burdens, while conducting LCI first would eliminate options with higher environmental burdens that LCM might have proven to have lower costs).
When the analyses are completed, a summary of the relative environmental burdens, costs, and qualitative differences between the alternatives is prepared, allowing the decisionmaker to make a fully informed decision based on the company's priorities and goals.
A Scientific Approach to Reducing Environmental Burdens and Increasing Profits
Franklin Associates’ Life Cycle Inventory database is a leading U.S. reference resource for Life Cycle Assessment, including energy sources and a large number of products and materials.