Production and Design

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is the prevailing methodology to quantify environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life − from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair, maintenance, and disposal or recycling. DEQ’s Materials Management program employs this technique (and relies on others who have used it) to identify where impacts occur, to measure the magnitude of these impacts, and to evaluate alternatives. 
The goal of LCA is to compare the full range of environmental effects assignable to products and services by quantifying all inputs and outputs of material flows and assessing how these material flows affect the environment. This information is used to improve processes, support policy and provide a sound basis for informed decisions that reduce the environmental impacts of materials.