LCA allows environmental analysis at various stages of the product life cycle. Complete LCA requires the gathering of plenty of data and is a time-consuming process. Partial LCA can focus on selected lifecycle stages, e.g. packaging, and allows gaining visibility on some relevant parts of products’ environmental impacts. Accordingly, one can distinguish five basic variants of LCA analysis:
The inclusion of life cycle stages should be defined by the system boundary considered for a particular study.
Life Cycle Assessment – typical phases and variants