Lifecycle Assessment: Where is it on your sustainability agenda?
Retailers are demanding more information on suppliers’ sustainability programs to align with and support their own organizations’ goals. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has launched a “Sustainable Product Index,” which requires suppliers to provide more transparency on their sustainability performance throughout their entire supply chains. While still in the early stages of adoption, the index is the first step of a collaborative effort involving dozens of retailers, suppliers, academics, non-governmental organization (NGOs) and other partners that aims to create a global set of standards for measuring and communicating the sustainability impact of products. The collaboration should eventually create a common database of product lifecycle data.
Enter lifecycle assessment (LCA). While LCA can be time consuming and technically challenging, it can deliver real benefits when used appropriately. From cost efficiency through an improved network of locations or more informed materials selection to growth opportunities stemming from product innovation and improved branding, LCA can enable financial results through better visibility. But it must be nested within a broader sustainability management approach in order to deliver the desired results.
This Deloitte whitepaper is the first in a series that will explore the business implications of environmental lifecycle assessment, including key market drivers, business challenges and opportunities.