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 FranklinAssociates@erg.com.

Life Cycle Inventory (LCI)

An LCI is an inventory that identifies and quantifies the energy and resource use and the 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 a generic product life cycle 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.

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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

An LCA includes both LCI and Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA), as well as interpretation of the results from these analyses. 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. The interpretation includes discussion and conclusions from the results, as well as a number of sensitivity analyses and data consistency checks.

Life cycle studies focused on greenhouse gas emissions and global warming potential are referred to as carbon footprint studies.

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Customized Life Cycle Models

For users who would like the ability to evaluate many different scenarios, we can develop customized interactive life cycle models, ranging from simple spreadsheets to sophisticated Web-based tools. These interactive models allow users to define scenarios by entering information about product composition, weight, recycled content, end-of-life management, and other parameters, and then instantaneously generate results tables and figures.

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