What is LCA?
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a tool for quantifying the environmental load of products by analyzing negative environmental impact imposed by resources consumption and discharge over the products’ entire life cycle (raw material extraction → raw material production → product production → logistics → use → disposal). LCA enables evaluation of the negative environmental impact of a product in each life cycle stage or during the entire life cycle.
Expected Effects of LCA
Implementation of LCA is expected to produce the following effects:
- It is possible to choose the most appropriate from several environmental technologies.
- It is possible to know which stages in the entire life cycle are important for reducing negative environmental impact.
- It is possible to prevent a certain problem from causing a new negative environmental impact or from spreading or shifting to other stage(s) in the life cycle.
- It is possible to gain the grounds for making decisions on scientific and objective environmental policies.
- It is possible to provide and publicize environmental information in a timely manner.
Implementing LCA at KYOCERA Document Solutions
By implementing LCA, KYOCERA Document Solutions can find out the stage(s) where high negative environmental impact is produced out of the entire life cycle of products or services to determine which areas are necessary to be focused on for improvement. For example, the figure below shows the results of LCA that is carried out regarding the company's products' life cycle, focusing on the negative environmental impact that could cause global warming. According to this figure, key stages for reducing negative environmental impact are the "stage where the raw materials of products are manufactured" and the "stage where customers use the products." To reduce negative environmental impact in the future, it can be said that it would be effective to focus on these two stages, carry out more detailed analysis, and take appropriate measures.
In this way, KYOCERA Document Solutions implements LCA on all its conventional products. It is striving to reduce negative environmental impact by using information obtained from the results of LCA, carefully selecting the raw materials of products and consumables, and developing products, aiming for a reduction in electric power consumption when used and a reduction in consumable-related materials.