Life Cycle Models as digital solution to assess sustainability and support industrial decision-making processes – Example of innovative biobased materials

Main Presenter: Maximilian Saiger 

Co-Authors: Matthias Harsch

Sustainability has become an essential criterion in today’s corporate decision-making processes. In addition, the EU Green Deal, for example, has set important framework conditions. This additionally increases the complexity of decision-making processes and thus the need to make this clear and feasible through innovative software tools. From this, LCS Life Cycle Simulation GmbH developed a digital solution, i.e. so-called spreadsheet based Life Cycle Models (LCM), as basis and digital solution to assess sustainability. This provides operational decision-makers with a flexible and customer-specific tool to independently consider products or technologies across the entire value chain, integrate aspects of ISO standards (ISO 50001, ISO 14040, 14064, etc.), use results from LCA databases, perform scenario analyses, and additionally conduct profitability analyses.

The implementation of the Life Cycle Model approach is exemplified by the analysis of an innovative biobased material and a comparison with conventional material systems and technologies. LCM can be used to change parameters and variate the results to see break even points or most relevant processes or indicators, e.g. with using a normalization to compare all relevant environmental parameters.

The key to implement LCA in business is to ensure, as detailed as necessary and as simple as possible, what is really essential to execute a high-quality LCA according to today’s standards. Practitioners need a flexible, transparent and manageable tool to handle LCA in adequate timeframe and at reasonable cost. Spreadsheet-based, customized LCA tools represent a practicable, proven solution for any life cycle related investigation.

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