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Faculty of Manufacturing Engineering



MMFU 5013 Assigment 1

Life Cycle Assessment


Prepared For
Master of Manufacturing Engineering (Manufacturing System Engineering)




1.1 Purpose
This research report will cover on product life cycle assessment (LCA)
implementation and demonstrate it with an example of LCA implementation on a
pair of LEVIS 501 jeans production.
1.2 Background
LCA is known as a tool to analyze the impact of the product to the environment. LCA
is a technique used to assess the environmental aspects and potential impacts associated with a product, process, or service (Thron et al. 2011).
According to Stellman (2011), the objectives of LCA are:


To provide a complete a picture as possible of the interactions of an activity

with the environment.


To contribute to the understanding of the overall and interdependent nature of

the environmental consequences of human activities.


To provide decision makers with information which defines the environmental

effects of these activities and identifies opportunities for environmental

LCA analyze and evalutes the life-cycle environmental impacts from each of five
major life-cycle stages: raw materials extraction, materials processing, product
manufacture, product use, and final disposition or end-of-life. LCA also can be consider
as a systematic set of procedures for compiling and examining the inputs and outputs

of materials and energy consumed within a process, and the associated environmental
impacts directly attributable to the functioning of a product or service throughout its
life cycle (Louis 2012)

LCA provides information to manufacturers, suppliers, customers, policy makers and

other stakeholders, it can be used for general information purposes, but also for
specific production and consumption oriented improvements such as process
optimization, product comparison, product policies and eco-labelling (Schepelmann,
Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) conducted the apparel industrys first lifecycle
assessment (LCA) study in 2007 to assess the entire lifecycle impact of a core set of

The study focused primarily on the companys U.S. operations and

uncovered that the greatest water and energy impact was in two areas: cotton
cultivation and consumer care. The new study, initiated in 2013, looked at three
LS&Co. products: a pair of Levis 501 jeans, a pair of Levis Womens jeans,
and a pair of Dockers Signature Khakis (Levi Strauss & CO. 2015).

2.1 LCA in Brief
An LCA is a structured way of identifying the total environmental impact of a product
during the different phases in life-cycle. The structured LCA

includes of goal

definition and scoping, inventory analysis, impact assessment and improvement

analysis. The purposes of LCA are in general to compare different product concepts
and to find out where in the life-cycle the greatest impact of a product is created
(Ritzn et al., 1996). The concept of LCA is to evaluate the environmental effect
associated with any activity from the initial gathering of raw material from the earth
until the residual are return back to the earth, this concept also refered as cradle to
grave assesment(Ryding 2011)
LCA is not a one-time effort; it is an iterative or repetitive procedure. Each phase may
be revisited several times. After each iteration, the uncertainty is reduced, and the
assessment is completed when the results are sufficiently certain to adequately answer
the questions that were posed at in the goal and scope definition (G&S) at the
beginning (Jeswiet, 2007).

Figure 1: Repetitive Procedure in LCA (Jeswiet, 2007).

2.2 LCA in Product Development

LCA is a useful tool in product development. LCA results provide support in the
choice of materials and processes as they facilitate comparison between different
solutions representing different environmental impacts. The use of LCA results in
lasting value: it gives a comprehensive view and a better understanding of the
connection between product features and environmental impact. The assessment
includes the entire life cycle of the process, product, activity or service system,
encompassing extracting and processing raw materials, manu-facturing, transportation
and distribution, use, reuse, maint-enance, recycling and final disposal (Ryding 2011).
In Swedish Industries, the impact assessment have been systemised by the
development of the Environmental Priority Strategies (EPS) system. Its purpose is to
enable a person without a specialized competence to perform the impact assessment.
In order for the designer to use the EPS system (EPS), a PC tool has been developed.
With the PC tool it should be possible for a designer to choose between materials and
processes in regular design work. Thus, EPS is an easy and quickly used tool (Ritzn
et al., 1996).

2.3 The Use of LCA in Companies

According to Ritzn et al. (1996), LCA groups had been formed by specialists from
Swedish Industry. They perform specific LCAs, collecting data from databases and
participating in LCA development. The companies integrate LCA into on-going

Product Development (PD) projects. LCA has mainly been performed for already
existing products and also for separated materials or processes.
Experiences from the use of LCA in PD projects show that LCA is applied during
conceptual and detailed design phases (Figure 2). The product developers claim that
this is too late in the PD process as material and processes choices are often decided
by that time. A suggestion is that LCA should be performed during the feasibility
study instead. Objections against this, that data is both difficult to find and less
reliable early in the process and too many assumptions must be made.

Figure 2: PD-process and integration phases of LCA today and due to recommendations from product
developers (Ritzn et al., 1996).

Use of LCA will have a learning effect of lasting value for product developers. LCA
provides life-cycle thinking which is useful in other situations and also gives a better
understanding of cause and effect between the technical performance of the product
and environmental impact. Table 1 shows the advantages and disadvantages of LCA.

Table 1: Advantages and disadvantages of LCA (Ritzn et al., 1996).

Advantages of LCA
Comprehensive view of environmental
Provides comparison of environmental
Learning of lasting value.
Tool for communication.

Disadvantages of LCA
Time consuming, inventory analysis
Apparent exactness with answers in
Assumptions are necessary.
Lack of data and quality of data.

As revealed by Newcomb et al. (2003), Many of the complaints about LCA focus on
the intensive amount of time, data, money and effort required to perform a detailed
LCA. Although implementing the ISO 14040-14043 LCA standards costs between

$15,000 to $30,000 per product, it also can cost from tens to hundreds of thousands of
dollars to perform just one LCA. Many efforts are aimed at improving the individual
stages of LCA. Some LCA researchers suggest using a hybrid LCA. The hybrid LCA
uses both process and input-output analysis to develop the life cycle inventory. The
hybrid approach has the advantage of eliminating the need to define strict production
system boundaries, an often controversial task.
Newcomb et al. (2003) counts life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) problems as one
of the two biggest problems with LCA. In 1998, a conference of LCA practitioners
and methodologists convened in Brussels to discuss the issues with LCIA. There was
great concern about the appropriate level of sophistication used in LCIA.
Sophistication is defined as, the ability of the model to accurately reflect the
potential impact of stressors.

2.4 LCA Within the Context of International Organization for Standardization (ISO
With the passage of time LCA became an important tool for environmental policy, and
even for industry. The LCA approach described in ISO 14040-14043 is essentially the
same as the one promoted by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
(SETAC). A conventional LCA consists of the following steps (Table 2), which are
outlined in the ISO 14040 - ISO 14043 standards and in SETACs Code of Practice.
Table 2: Four steps of LCA within the context of ISO

ISO Codes
ISO 14040
ISO 14041
ISO 14042
ISO 14043

Scopes / Area
Goal definition and scoping
Inventory analysis
Impact assessment
Improvement Assessment (SETAC term) /Interpretation (ISO term)

2.5 Quick LCA Tools

Although the traditional LCA study provides detailed assessment of the system under
study, typical limitations include long lead times in data collection and analysis.
Quick LCA tools are examples of potential acceleration aids. Some quick LCA tools
have used as online check points for greenhouse gas emissions, attracting thousands
of visitors, while others have been the subject of considerable investment in
development but with limited uptake upon completion (Horne & Verghese, 2009).
The development and use of quick LCA tools would fast-track the integration of
environmental design aspects into the product development process. Table 3 shows
several Quick LCA tools that have been used in the packaging industry.

Table 3: Quick LCA Tools (Horne & Verghese, 2009)

Name of tool
Packaging Impact Quick Evaluation Tool

Tool for environmental optimization of

Packaging design (TOP)

MERGE (also known as COMPASS)

tool by Environmental Defense (also
referred to as The
Sustainable Packaging Coalition) in the
USA now has an exclusive license for the
packaging design aspect of this tool.

Wal-Mart Scorecard

Features of tool
Evaluates all stages of the life cycle for
the complete packaging system and all its
packaging components per pallet. Reports
against key environmental indicators and
packaging specific indicators. Delivered
as a web-based tool.
Evaluates packaging in conjunction with
the product in light of the essential
requirements of the EU directive.
Indicators considered: product-packaging
combination, added value, logistics
efficiency, heavy metals, reuse and
environmental impact. Delivered in a
spreadsheet format.
Focuses on formulating goods such as
household/professional cleaning and
maintenance products. Metrics for
consumption, energy consumption, virgin
material content, non-recyclable material
greenhouse gases and pallet inefficiency.
The aim is to increase the percentage of

resources by replacing non-recoverable
materials. The tool calculates raw scores
of packaging based on: packaging
material, production, transportation.
Other factors considered include:
recycled content, renewable energy
resources. Limitations are that the tool
gives raw score, rank and weight, which
are not readily transparent.

Full LCA methodologies are codified in the ISO standard series 14040 (ISO
1996). Carrying out an LCA consists of four main phases (Schepelmann ,

3.1 Goal and Scope

Clearly defining the goal and scope of an LCA is of crucial importance in order not to
provide confusing results and misleading interpretations. Thus, the following
questions should be considered:

What is the purpose of the LCA?

What is the spatial and temporal scope of the LCA?
What are the functional units to be assessed?
Who is the target group?
Which decisions must the LCA support?
What is the extent of these decisions?
Which product/solution is to be assessed, and which alternatives to be

3.2 Inventory Analysis

The inventory analysis phase accounts for input and output flows of materials, energy,
water and pollutants. This phases reliability affects the complete assessment.
Therefore it is necessary to follow the precise standards for data collecting,
calculation procedures, allocation rules such as SETAC (1993) and ISO (1996).

Impact Analysis
The impact assessment phase implies the selection of impact categories, classification
and characterization of environmental impacts based on the inventory analysis,
regarding goal and scope. The impacts assessment procedure is codified in ISO
standard 14042, though the impacts are often contextspecific and can thus hardly be
generalized. The identification of impact categories depends on the goal of the
particular LCA. General impact categories are resource depletion, human health as
well as ecological and global impacts. These impacts are operationalized by specific
impacts such as global warming, ozone depletion, acidification or eutrophication. In
the characterization phase, the impacts are analyzed, quantified and calculated,
requiring scientific knowledge about loadresponse relationships. For that purpose,
the inventory data needs to be analyzed by modelling approaches, like the use of
equivalence factors or toxicological data.
3.3 Interpretation
The interpretation phase organizes the results of the inventory analysis
and impact assessment in a comprehensible way in order to handle them
by decision makers. The findings allow a global view on the lifecycle of
products and processes. With respect to the goal and scope of the study
conclusions and recommendations may be formulated.
As a basis for a decisionmaking processes considering environmental
aspects, the LCA results point out the various options for improvements
and supports other environmental concepts, tools and systems such as
eco-labelling, environmental management system.
To interpret the results of LCAs confidence limits are indispensable from
an ecological and an economic perspective. If these limits show a wide
range of uncertainty the ecological benefits of an investment become
questionable. In this case the results can lead to misjudgments.

4.0Example of Product or Industry

An example implementation of LCA in the denim jeans industry as written in The life
Cycle Of A Jean (Levi Strauss & CO. 2015). This analysis will be performed

according to LCA methodologies including goal and scope, life cycle inventory
analysis, impact analysis and interpretation.
Life Cycle of a denim jeans

Figure 2 Life Cycle of Levis 501 denim jean (Levi Strauss & CO. 2015)

4.1 Goal and scope

Product: Denim Jean
Denim jean is mainly made from cotton fibre. Cotton is a natural fiber
material obtained from Cotton plant ( Gossypium) . The natural fiber is widely
used in production of garments and textiles.

Examining the environmental effect of denim jeans life cycle.


Involve all the process in denim jeans production from cradle to grave, from
raw material to disposal.

4.2 Life Cycle Inventory analysis

Figure 3 shows the flow chart of the process, requirement and waste in the jeans LCA.

Figure 3: Process, Requirement and Waste Flowchart


1. Raw material process 1

The raw material process 1 consist metal mining, petroleum refinery and cotton
a. Petroleum refinary
Material: Crude oil
Resource use:
a. Land
b. Electricity
c. Water for refinery cooling
d. Fuel for lorry, other vehicle and equipment
Boilers, process heaters, and other process equipment are responsible for the
emission of particulates, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur
oxides (SOx), and carbon dioxide. Catalyst changeovers and cokers release
particulates. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, toluene,
and xylene are released from storage, product loading and handling facilities,
and oil-water separation systems and as fugitive emissions from flanges,
valves, seals, and drains. Petroleum refineries use relatively large volumes of
water, especially for cooling systems. Surface water runoff and sanitary
wastewaters are also generated (World Bank Group 2007).

Figure 4: Petroluem refinery

b. Metal mining
Material: copper ore
Resource use:
a) Land for mining and building
b) Fuel for tractor use in mining, collecting and transportation

c) Building material
d) Electricity for mining process and equipment
e) Water for saperating copper ore from dirt, rock and other material.
Rock and soil produce from digging to acsess the copper ore. Sometimes there
are radioactive materials such as uranium, thorium and radium. Poisonoius
Water runoff that damage fish habitat.

Figure 5: Copper Mine

c. Cotton Plantation
Material: Cotton
Resource use:
a) Land for cultivating
b) Fertilizer for crop growth
c) Water for cultivating and cleaning
d) Fuel for farm equipment (harvesting) and transportation (delivery)
e) Electricity for processing plant and storage.
f) Pesticide and herbicide
Waste :
Waste water from cultivation, dried leaf and plant.

Figure 6: Cotton Plantation


d. Nylon And polyester manufacturer

Material: vegetable and fruit example soybean hulls and peanut hulls
Resource use:
a) Fuel for transportation and machinery
b) Electricity for factory equipment and building
c) Land for building and storage.
d) Water for cooling and cleaning
Waste :
Made from petrochemicals, these synthetics are non-biodegradable as well, so
they are inherently unsustainable on two counts. Nylon manufacture creates
nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Making polyester uses large amounts of water for cooling, along with
lubricants which can become a source of contamination. Both processes are
also very energy-hungry.

Figure 7: Nylon And Polyester

e. Copper ore smelter

Materials : Copper
a) Electricity for running the construction tools and building
b) Water for cooling and cleaning
c) Fuel for transportation
d) Land for building
Poisonous waste water from cooling , copper slag.

f. Transportation
a) Fuel
b) Water for cooling
c) Land for road
Poisonous waste water from cooling , copper slag.

g. Zipper manufacturing
Materials : polyester and nylon
a) Electricity for running the factory equipment and building
b) Water for cooling and cleaning
c) Fuel for transportation
d) Land for building
Poisonous waste water from cooling , poisonous gas due to heating and
melting the materials.

h. Rivet manufacturing plan

Materials : Copper
a) Electricity for running the construction tools and building
b) Water for cooling and cleaning
c) Fuel for transportation
d) Land for building
Poisonous waste water from cooling,


i. Denim and cotton thread manufacturing

Materials : Cotton thread and fabrics.
a) Electricity for running the construction tools and building lighting
b) Water for cooling and cleaning
c) Fuel for transportation
d) Land for building
Poisonous waste water from cooling and fabric dye.
j. Denim jeans manufacturing
Materials : zipper, cotton fabric, copper rivet
e) Electricity for running the construction tools and building
f) Water for cooling, cleaning and dying
g) Fuel for transportation
h) Land for building
Poisonous waste water from cooling, cleaning and washing.
5. Marketing
The finish jeans arrive at the marketing shop lot where will be on display.
Resouses use are electricity for lighting, water for air cool tower and sanitary
and land for building shop lot.
6. Used phase
The used phase contain caring for the jeans and use of water, detergent and


7. End of life
The end of life the jeans either when to landfill, reuse or recycled ro the
copper rivet.
The finish jeans arrive at the marketing shop lot where will be on display.
Resouses use are electricity for lighting, water for air cool tower and sanitary
and land for building shop lot.

4.3 Life Cycle Impact Assessment

Impact categories
Impact categories are divided into type which is Endpoint and Midpoint. Endpoint
categories seek to represent the environmental damage to the Area Protection such as
natural environment or human health and Midpoint cover between the inventory and
the End point.
a. Endpoint
Massive land is needed for all of the activity from cultivating food for the sheep,
raising the sheep and set up the factory. The cleared land before is a forest that full
of trees. Even though for pasture the tree cut down then replace with grass it still
not enough to replace what is lost. The use of excessive pesticide and fertilizer
made the soil less biodiversity and the run off pollute the water system.

b. Midpoint
All of the activity in the inventory required transportation that relies on diesel fuel.
The electricity use in the activity of producing cotton generated by coal and both
of them is a fossil fuel. Fossil fuel is the main contributor of emission that the root
causes of global warming and air pollution.


4.4 Life cycle interpretation

There are three major environmental issues that are soil, water and air pollution. The
most significant is the air pollution that cause by the long term and repeating usage of
fossil fuel, followed by the soil contamination by the excessive use of pesticide and
fertilizer. Currently the industries use a biodegrade able detergent in cleaning the
wool. The biodegrade detergent helps in maintaining the ecosystem and human health.
A solution is needed in order to stop the environmental issue majorly cause by fossil
fuel. And it is estimated that the fossil fuel is going to run out. A new method or fuel
for powering the transportation that is safe to the environment is needed.

5.0Discussion & Conclusion

5.1 Discussion
In doing the LCA the information gathered might be not 100% accurate because of the
author is not actually doing the research on the site. It is based on assumption and
previous research. It is quite hard to find data that can be represented in volume form.
There a lot of methods in conducting an LCA for a product, and the assessment keeps
on getting updated day by day.

5.2 Conclusion
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a powerful method in determining the impact of a
product to the environment or human well being. During this report writing both
authors gain vast knowledge regarding LCA. Both authors find that the LCA has been
updated and refined to become a powerful tool in helping designer design a better


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