Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
Turning a vicious circle into a virtuous one
The life cycle of a cable
Towards a smaller carbon footprint
Sustainable development aims to protect the environment while continuing to improve living standards for current and future generations. Innovation is the key to success.
In sustainable companies, new products are not just qualified in terms of quality, performance, and price, but must also take into account the long-term environmental effects.
To meet our customers’ growing requests for evaluations of our cables and their effect on the environment, Nexans has developed specific Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) software.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) quantifies the environmental impact of a product or system through all stages of its life cycle (from cradle to grave) by:
- Compiling an inventory of energy and material inputs and environmental releases through all stages of cable life: i.e. from raw materials through materials processing, manufacturing, distribution, use (including losses from the Joule effect), repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling
- Evaluating the potential impacts associated with identified inputs, and releases into the atmosphere, soil, or water; it also takes into account energy consumption
- Interpreting results and passing this information on to the customer
- Among 11 key indicators, a well-known environmental indicator is the “global warming potential” or “carbon footprint” which estimates how our cables are contributing to global warming during their lifetime.
The main concern of Life Cycle Assessment is to identify where negative impact is most prevalent in the product’s life cycle so that pollution transfer can be avoided through alternative solutions. Better knowledge of the sources of pollution can be used for continuous improvement in reducing the impacts throughout the supply chain.
The Global Warming Process
Once the environmental impact is assessed, results are communicated transparently to our customers through a Product Environmental Profile (PEP) Eco-declaration. This allows them to compare the full range of environmental effects assignable to products and services so as to:
- Support their business strategy and future R&D efforts
- Improve materials procurement, and product or process design
- Reinforce the credibility of their products and services (labeling, product declarations)
- Thus, the LCA service not only allows us to gain deeper insight into the development of Nexans products and solutions, it also allows our customers to remain more competitive in their own markets.