By Sphera’s Editorial Team | February 29, 2024

Over the past decades, sustainability has increasingly become a central focus for companies across industries. Among the tools utilized to measure and enhance sustainability practices, life cycle assessment (LCA) offers a comprehensive view of a product’s or process’ environmental impact throughout its entire life cycle, from raw material extraction to disposal.

As regulatory and consumer pressures mount, having a plan for measuring and managing your product sustainability is more important than ever. Sphera’s full range of LCA software solutions, coupled with Managed LCA Content (MLC), and its team of over 200 sustainability consultants can help you reach your product sustainability goals, no matter where you are on your LCA journey.

Whether you are just getting started with your product sustainability program and are looking for help in developing a model, or you already have experts and systems in place, Sphera’s unique combination of software, services and data can take you to the next level.

Maturity level 1: reactionary

Reactionary companies may have a basic understanding of LCA principles but lack the resources or expertise to implement it effectively. They typically conduct sporadic LCAs, often in response to external pressures, such as regulatory requirements or stakeholder demands.

Reactionary companies looking to implement an LCA program can benefit from implementing Sphera’s LCA Calculator solution. LCA Calculator is a cloud-based solution that is preconfigured with your preferred LCA model, allowing non-expert LCA practitioners to model scenarios.

Need help with determining your model? Industry-specific sustainability consultants can help!

Maturity level 2: managed

Managed companies have a defined product sustainability program. While they recognize the importance of sustainability, their approach to LCA remains fragmented. Managed companies often conduct LCAs in a piecemeal fashion, addressing issues as they arise rather than adopting a holistic, proactive strategy. Their focus may be primarily on compliance rather than driving meaningful change.

Sphera’s LCA for Experts software allows in-house LCA experts to model, report on and manage their product sustainability performance from design to production. Sphera’s LCA Database Server allows teams of multiple in-house experts to work collaboratively across their LCA for Experts instances.

Maturity level 3: optimized

Optimized companies demonstrate a genuine dedication to integrating LCA into their business practices. They allocate resources and invest in building internal capabilities to conduct robust assessments of their product. Optimized companies view LCA as a strategic tool for decision-making, guiding product design, supply chain optimization and sustainability reporting. They actively seek out opportunities to reduce environmental impacts and continuously refine their LCA methodologies based on feedback and emerging best practices.

LCA BOM Import is a semi-automatic, add-on tool for LCA for Experts that integrates with the customer’s product lifecycle management (PLM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) or product planning and control (PPC) system and leverages the bill of materials (BOM) to automatically generate LCAs for complex products.

Maturity level 4: leaders

Leaders are at the forefront of LCA maturity, setting industry standards and pushing the boundaries of sustainability innovation. They have fully integrated LCA into their organizational culture, with dedicated teams overseeing LCA initiatives at every stage of the product life cycle. Leading companies go beyond compliance and actively seek out opportunities for eco-design, circular economy practices and life cycle thinking. They are ready to tackle decarbonization goals and have the tools necessary to comply with the rapidly changing regulatory landscape.

LCA Automation allows companies to scale their product sustainability programs by generating LCAs and other environmental impact reports for their entire product portfolio.

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