Glossary for Eco-Profile & LCA

LCA? LCI?  So many acronyms & so little explanation...until now. Below is the short version. Click on any subject for more information on studies we've done.

Cradle to Factory Gate:  Begins with extracting raw materials from the earth and ends with the product leaving the factory.

Cradle to Grave: Begins with raw materials and ends with the final disposal of the product (compost, landfill etc).

Eco-Profile:  Gives the total energy use, raw material use, air and water emissions and the total solid waste produced from the cradle to a factory gate. An eco-profile always starts with the extraction of the raw materials from the earth and ends with the production of the product of interest.

Life Cycle Inventory (LCI):  Gives the total energy use, raw material use, air and water emissions and the total solid waste produced from the cradle to the grave (grave being the ultimate disposal). The LCI is basically the same as an eco-profile, but it covers the complete life cycle. So, the LCI of Ingeo “pellets” (or resin) does not exist because the pellets aren't usually thrown away. An LCI could be completed on an Ingeo bottle or Ingeo clamshell.

Life Cycle Analysis (LCA):  A systems analysis tool to account for all the environmental impacts associated with a product or service, from cradle to grave. The basic data set for an LCA is an LCI.  In the LCA the LCI data is converted into a series of impact categories (non-renwable energy use, climate change, etc.) and is followed by an assessment of how relevant these impacts are.