Find out how LCA (product life cycle assessment) works and its impacts on marketing and sales – WAU

The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of products is a tool that gives companies the ability to understand the environmental impact it generates. From a commercial and production point of view, when you understand your responsibility, it is possible to propose new methods more focused on sustainability.

The increase in the level of production has a direct consequence in relation to the generation of more and more disposal items, in addition to the demand for raw material exploration. At a time when sustainability is an even stronger agenda, the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of products is essential for companies in all segments.

It is necessary to think beyond the moment when the item leaves the production line towards the distributors or the consumer. It is precisely at this time that the concern with disposal and the life cycle of what is sold becomes even more relevant.

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Continue reading the content and see how important LCA can be for your organization!

What is LCA?

LCA is an analysis work in which companies deepen their understanding of a product’s life cycle, always evaluating how long it will be and what impacts it will generate.

Basically, the activity focuses on designing how this commodity will behave in nature. Thus, the idea is to propose more appropriate solutions and reduce this natural impact.

When analyzing a life cycle, three fundamental steps are considered: the extraction of the raw material used, the form of use by the consumer and, finally, disposal. This entire cycle must be thought out in advance, given the need to generate steps that have less impact on the universe.

THE sustainability it is one of the factors that increasingly arouse the need to perform a LCA. Only from this is it possible to propose a better use of natural resources, their controlled exploitation, in addition to the development of products that are not very aggressive to nature.

The packaging

Packaging is one of the main points of analysis in a LCA, since there are rarely plans for responsible disposal or even reverse logistics. Therefore, when evaluating the life cycle of a product, it is necessary to think about what type of waste it will generate.

Based on this need, companies have, over the past few years, thought of solutions with biodegradable packaging, or even returnable. This is a simple practice that ensures that a plastic bottle, for example, does not pass generations on this planet and generates even more waste.

The need to rethink consumption habits

Another important point is to think about how society deals with consumption. Consumer 4.0’s sense of urgency and advertising are factors that generate an increasing need to buy. The point is, hardly, this more intense volume really translates something essential.

Fashion is a segment in which there is a relevant debate about it. Against the giants of fast fashion, some companies opt for slow fashion. The term brings the concept of more elaborated cooking processes that focus on better use of natural resources and also on responsible waste disposal.

In addition, there is the work of positioning regarding fads and trends. The idea is to propose a reflection on the real need to consume everything that is dictated as a trend, especially with fast fashion. These companies exploit without responsibility, pay poorly and still encourage rampant consumption in the name of fleeting ideas.

How can LCA be important for marketing and sales?

LCA is not just a process aimed at maintaining sustainable practices. When a company positions itself in this way, there is much more than a responsible attitude at stake. Today, maintaining itself as a company that takes responsibility for a product throughout its life cycle is something that is highly regarded by consumers.

Sustainability is a global issue, which makes the discussion broad and popular. The average consumer is more concerned about the impacts of what he buys for the universe, whether at the time of production, whether it generates waste or disposal, such as packaging.

Greater engagement and sales

In the midst of this scenario, brands that manage to make a competent LCA and manage to change their production, are automatically sending a positive message to the consumer. They show concern and this is recognized, since the public demands more and more today.

This stance strengthens the company’s name in the market and results in greater proximity to the consumer. Those who consume today are looking for companies that share values ​​and proposals.

Therefore, LCA is a tool that generates engagement and, consequently, a considerable sales volume. Although maintaining sustainable practices generates costs, the return comes by increasing the company’s revenue.

What is the relationship between LCA and NBR ISO 14.040?

In the midst of the need to implement a really competent process, LCA came to be regulated, through ABNT, which established NBR ISO 14.040. The standard includes in its text the technical guidelines for companies to carry out LCA in the right way.

This standardization was established thinking about the results and the extinction of variations that may, in some way, result in products that are wrongly designed. As much as it is an obligation to follow these standards, ISO 14.040 is also an important technical guide for organizations.

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How to structure the LCA?

For those who want to exercise LCA in an organization, an adequate structure and within the norms of ISO 14.040 is essential. See below which steps are covered in this work!

Definition of the objective and scope of the study

The definition of the scope, as the name suggests, is the objective proposal of what generates the need to perform the LCA, which may be, for example, the need for biodegradable packaging. This is the center of the analysis and, of course, the starting point of everything that will be carried out.

It is also essential to define the target audience that will be impacted and to whom the results of the analysis will be directed. In some cases, work can yield marketing, but, in general, it is also necessary to make internal presentations to directors and shareholders.

Inventory analysis

This is the part most related to the results that the company has before carrying out the analysis and proposing changes. In the case of the packaging example, for example, important data would be the volume of units sold, how much waste they generate during disposal and the cost of using this material.

The idea is that, based on these numbers, one can unravel the idea and project the results that its application would bring. In this case, it is both the results focused on reducing the disposal of non-biodegradable material and also how much can be saved in different packages.

Impact assessment

The idea at this stage is simple: project what will be the direct impacts of the changes that will be proposed after the LCA. It is important to talk about the results related to the environment and also the financial issue, both for production and for the consumer, in terms of price.

Interpretation

The interpretation step concerns the more in-depth analysis of the collected data, as mentioned in the previous step. This information will be extracted and projected according to the reality of the company. Strategic decision-making, in the case of change work brought about by the LCA, needs to be based on concrete and secure information.

What are the benefits of LCA?

ACV proposes changes that result in truly strategic benefits for a company, since it deals with issues such as billing, marketing and financial management. Next, understand better what are the main advantages of carrying out this analysis work!

Transparency regarding product impact

As much as one understands, for example, what a plastic bottle or the washing of jeans does in resource exploitation and disposal, objective detailing is indispensable. Knowing the consequences in numbers is something that allows companies to have even greater responsibility environmental in their productive and commercial processes.

The LCA brings this transparency to a greater level, as the starting point for assessing who needs to propose solutions. In this sense, it is up to each organization to know how to make the best reflection about their practices and then direct their decisions in the best way.

Presentation of indicators for improvement

LCA is a completely data-based process, which today is a reality for companies working with cutting-edge development and management. A company that evaluates its processes is able to create and monitor indicators that show how the changes have impacted the business.

Both in production and marketing activities, these metrics will indicate how beneficial these changes have become, or even the other way around. In some cases, the costs can be very high and the impact is not so positive.

Management of environmental impacts of products and services

Dealing with environmental responsibility is a necessity and a requirement on the part of the consumer. Therefore, companies need to have an effective management of the impacts that their activities generate, both in production and consumption.

ACV’s work makes it possible to have an optimized control, always based on data, of the entire operation of the company. Thus, new changes are always proposed with responsibility, transparency and greater certainty.

LCA is indispensable today, when in addition to sustainability being an important corporate agenda, it is also decisive when it comes to positioning brands in the market. The engagement of your audience and the company’s revenue depend on it!

Taking advantage of the hook, do you know how to transform all these positive scenarios generated by changes in sales? Enjoy and check out our guide on how to make more money with high performance Sales and Marketing teams!