IDC’s LCA Calculator

05 April 2011

I’ve just had wind of the launch of a new Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) calculator from design agency Industrial Design Consultancy (IDC). Seems pretty timely considering all things sustainability we have been looking at recently for our inaugural edition of DEVELOP3D Sustainability.

There is an increasing pressure on product developers to understand the environmental impact their design decisions have. However, traditional lifecycle assessment programmes can often involve large amounts of research, require specialist knowledge and take a considerable amount of time. So, IDC wanted to create a user-friendly and straightforward software package that would enable designers and engineers to take that first step towards putting sustainable design at the heart of the development process.

Three years in development, the LCA Calculator provides a quick and intuitive way for designers and engineers to understand, analyse and compare environmental impacts of products and particular design decisions. It analyses the effects that a product or service has on the environment over the entire period of its life – from the extraction and processing of raw materials from which it is made - through to the manufacturing, packaging and marketing processes, and the use, re-use and maintenance of the product, and on to its eventual recycling or disposal as waste at the end of its useful life.

“As a design consultancy, our job is to help companies develop better products.  We were aware that many companies don’t know where to start when it comes to assessing environmental impact.  They know that the move towards ‘greener’ product design is inevitable and want to be part of it, but until now there has not been a simple tool to assess the environmental impact of a product,” says Stephen Knowles, managing director of IDC.

The LCA Calculator is available in three versions: Pro, Business and Corporate Bespoke. Full details are available at www.lcacalculator.com

 

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