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Sustainable Operations and Closed-Loop Supply Chains by Gilvan C. Souza

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Chapter 4

Eco-Efficiency and Metrics

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

After lean implementation, the firm continues on its journey toward sustainability by moving toward eco-efficiency: reducing the environmental impact of products and processes. The first step in eco-efficiency is to have an understanding of the environmental impact of the firm’s products and processes, and this is accomplished through life cycle assessment (LCA). The objective of LCA is to find the full range of environmental (and sometimes, societal) damages assignable to products or processes through their entire life cycle, which comprises raw material extraction and processing, transportation, manufacturing, packaging and distribution, use by consumers, and end-of-life/ disposal. ...

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