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LCA is a tool to determine the environmental impacts of a product during all stages of its life cycle, from cradle to grave — including natural resources extraction through materials processing in the supply chain, manufacture, distribution, product use, maintenance and disposal. LCA can also be used to track specific aspects such as the amount of energy or water used in the life cycle of a product.
In short, an LCA:
quantifies all inputs and outputs of material flows
evaluates how these flows impact the environment
informs decision making on ways to minimise harmful impacts.
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