Technological Centre

CETIM uses Life Cycle Assessment to improve business sustainability

CETIM is an expert in the use of Life Cycle and Cost Assessment methodologies to measure the environmental impact of manufacturing processes, help optimize them and, in this way, reduce the environmental and economic impact of industrial activity.

Life Cycle Assessment is a tool increasingly demanded by Administrations and companies. At CETIM Centro Tecnológico we are aware of this need and, therefore, we are specialized in the development of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Cost Cycle Analysis (ACC) of processes and products, both in the field of research and in the industrial.

This eval methodology uses and compares the environmental impact of a product or process.  All products have a life cycle that begins with the extraction of natural resources and ends with their disposal or recycling. The objective of LCA and CCA is to identify and assess the environmental and economic impacts associated with each phase of the product life cycle.  At CETIM, our experience and knowledge in the use of these tools allows us to evaluate the impact generated in each phase of   the life cycle of a product and also in each phase of its manufacturing process, in this way, identifying critical points of high environmental impact.

This environmental or economic analysis can also focus on more specific aspects, such as the measurement of the water or carbon footprint. Additionally, at CETIM we are experts in  Social LCA, which  allows us to know social and labor aspects in the analysis. This may include assessing the labour footprint, the impact on workers’ health and well-being, and the impact on local communities, among others.

We evaluate these studies always following widely recognized calculation methods, such as ReCiPe v.1.1, UseTox, ILCC or Environmental Prices, etc. According to the product or process under analysis, the method that best represents its environmental profile is selected.

A tool on the rise

The LCA characteristics are numerous, highlighting that it gives companies the possibility to identify the phases of their processes and their products that have the greatest environmental or economic impact, and implement changes to reduce that impact.  It is, therefore, a key tool for improving business competitiveness.

LCA is a key tool for improving business competitiveness: it identifies the phases of processes and products that have the greatest environmental or economic impact, allowing changes to be implemented to reduce that impact.

In addition, it is a tool of great interest for the communication of the environmental footprint: it allows companies to communicate in a transparent way the environmental footprint of their products, helping to improve their reputation and attractconsumers and customers committed to the environment.

Finally, these studies are increasingly demanded by Public Administrations. They began as a requirement in Green Public Procurement procedures, and today they are beginning to be widely present, for example in tenders for public works executions.

Success stories

At CETIM we have extensive experience in the development of this type of analysis, both applied to the research and development of innovative processes and products, and applied to manufacturing processes and existing products.  An outstanding example of this can be the Life Cycle Assessment and the Environmental Product Clarification of FASER tubes, manufactured and marketed by our collaborator Grupo ABN.

At the R+D level, projects such as NICE can be highlighted. Its aim is to expand the availability of nature-based solutions to provide circular urban water solutions.  From CETIM, we incorporate LCA, Social-LCA and ACC as a critical decision-making source for the different stages of the project. Similarly, in LION HD LCA is being fundamental to know the impact caused by the materials of the components of lithium-ion batteries, and, in this way investigate routes and materials that ensure the lowest cost and sustainability of the solutions developed.

Therefore, the use of this type of methodology is essential today.  It allows companies to detect those stages where their products and processes have a greater environmental and economic impact, and from there work to implement changes that reduce this impact, evolving towards more sustainable and more competitive companies.