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(%%   + "   "/ A life cycle assessment (LCA, also
2, "  2 E, 8 " ,8 known as life cycle
   ,  ,  "   + analysis, ecobalance, and cradle-to-
  "(%% "  " grave analysis) is a technique to assess
 each and every impact associated with
(%%  ;  2    2 all the stages of a process from cradle-
      to-grave (i.e., from raw materials
 ""  " +-  "  through materials processing,
,+ " ,  "  "  +  / manufacture, distribution, use, repair
Ê   6    " + and maintenance, and disposal or
2",, " ", " " recycling). LCA¶s can help avoid a
Ê  -,- E  narrow outlook on environmental,
  " ,-     " social and economic concerns.
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V 2   well as depletion of minerals and fossil
The goal of LCA i to compare the full
range of environmental and social The procedures of life cycle
damages assignable to products and assessment (LCA) are part of the ISO
services, to be able to choose the least 14000 environmental management
burdensome one. At present it is a way standards: in ISO 14040:2006 and
to account for the effects of the 14044:2006.
cascade of technologies responsible for
goods and services. It is limited to that,
though, because the similar cascade of

impacts from the commerce
responsible for goods and services is Illustration of LCA phases. These are
unaccountable because what people do often interdependent in that the results
with money is unrecorded. As a of one phase will inform how other
consequence LCA succeeds in phases are completed
accurately measuring the impacts of
the technology used for delivering
products, but not the whole impact of
making the economic choice of using

The term 'life cycle' refers to the notion

that a fair, holistic assessment requires
the assessment of raw
material production, manufacture,
distribution, use and disposal including
all intervening transportation steps
necessary or caused by the product's
existence. The sum of all those steps ±
or phases ± is the life cycle of the
product. The concept also can be used
to optimize the environmental
performance of a single product According to the ISO 14040[4] and
(ecodesign) or to optimize the 14044[5] standards, a Life Cycle
environmental performance of a Assessment is carried out in four
company. distinct phases.

Common categories of assessed 

damages are global
warming (greenhouse gases), V
(soil and ocean), smog, ozone layer In order to make efficient use of time
depletion,eutrophication, eco- and resources and outline how the
toxicological and human- study will be conducted and what final
toxicological pollutants, habitat results will be obtained, the following
destruction, desertification, land use as six decisions must be made at the
beginning of the LCA process:
x     x    CO2 ) and technical (e.g., intermediate
chemicals) quantities for all relevant
     unit processes within the study
           boundaries that compose the product
 system. Examples of inputs and
outputs quantities include inputs of

materials, energy, chemicals and 'other'
± and outputs of air emissions, water

emissions or solid waste. Other types
 of exchanges or interventions such
as radiation or land use can also be
x            included.

Usually, Life Cycle Assessment
?n the first phase, the LCA-practitioner inventories and modeling are carried
formulates and specifies the goal and out using a dedicated software
scope of study in relation to the package, such as SimaPro or GaBi[7][8].
intended application. The object of The National Renewable Energy
study is described in terms of a so- Laboratory and partners created the
called      . Apart from United States Life Cycle ?nventory
describing the functional unit, the goal (LC?) Database to help LCA
and scope should address the overall practitioners understand environmental
approach used to establish the system impact through individual gate-to-gate,
boundaries. cradle-to-gate and cradle-to-grave
accounting of the energy and material
The system boundary determines flows into and out of the environment
which unit processes are included in that are associated with producing a
the LCA and must reflect the goal of material, component, or assembly.[9].
the study. ?n recent years, two All LCA software attempts to analy e
additional approaches to system every stage of the product's life cycle,
delimitation have emerged. These are based on data input by the decision-
often referred to as µconsequential¶ maker. Again, a life cycle analysis is
modeling and µattributional¶ modeling. only as valid as its data. Thus, it is
Finally the goal and scope phase necessary for the decision-maker to
includes a description of the method first have an extensive knowledge or
applied for assessing potential access to the details of the product
environmental impacts and which "cradle-to-grave": resource extraction,
impact categories that are included. product manufacture, use, and

2 Depending on the software package
employed, it is possible to model not
The second phase of Life Cycle only the environmental impacts of each
?nventory (LC?) involves data stage in the product's life, but also the
collection and modeling of the product underlying costs and social impacts.
system, as well as description and The software program can be designed
verification of data. This encompasses to assess the life cycle holistically or
all data related to environmental (e.g., with a specific aspect in mind, such as
optimal recyclability or waste Cycle ?nterpretation is a systematic
minimi ation. technique to identify, quantify, check,
and evaluate information from the
Ê           results of the life cycle inventory (LC?)
             and/or the life cycle impact assessment

 The purpose of performing life cycle
   c?          interpretation is to determine the level
             of confidence in the final results and
         communicate them in a fair, complete,
              and accurate manner.

The third phase 'Life Cycle ?mpact         
Assessment' is aimed at evaluating the     

contribution to impact categories such
as global warming, acidification, etc.
The first step is termed This is accomplished by identifying the
characteri ation. Here, impact data elements that contribute
potentials are calculated based on the significantly to each impact category,
LC? results. The next steps are evaluating the sensitivity of these
normali ation and weighting, but these significant data elements, assessing the
are both voluntary according the ?SO completeness and consistency of the
standard. Normali ation provides a study, and drawing conclusions and
basis for comparing different types of recommendations based on a clear
environmental impact categories (all understanding of how the LCA was
impacts get the same unit). Weighting conducted and the results were
implies assigning a weighting factor to developed.
each impact category depending on the
relative importance. The weighting 2 
step is not always necessary to create a
so called ³single indicator´. See for
instance the prevention based model of Based on a survey of LCA
the eco-costs. practitioners carried out in
2006 most life cycle assessments
are carried out with dedicated software
   packages. 58% of respondents
used GaBi Software, developed by PE
The phase stage 'interpretation' is an ?nternational, 31%
analysis of the major contributions, used SimaPro developed by PRé
sensitivity analysis and uncertainty Consultants, and 11% a series of other
analysis. This stage leads to the tools. According to the same survey,
conclusion whether the ambitions from LCA is mostly used to support
the goal and scope can be met. Life business strategy (18%) and R&D
(18%), as input to product or process during the consumer phase of these
design (15%), in education (13%) and jeans with 80% of this impact is
for labeling or product declarations stemming just from using a dryer to
(11%). dry them instead of air drying.
Several online sources for performing
LCAs are available. Three of these are
The importance of LCA study is in BEES, Athena, and Economic ?nput-
progress and can be measured by the Output LCA (E?O-LCA).
companies implementing these studies:
Ë 3M
Ë Agfa
Ë Alcan
Ë BlueScope Steel
Ë BCorporation [11] 
Ë Continental A life cycle analysis is only as valid as
Ë Daimler its data; therefore, it is crucial that data
Ë Electrolux used for the completion of a life cycle
Ë Fujitsu analysis is accurate and current. When
Ë General Motors comparing different life cycle analyses
Ë Hewlett Packard with one another, it is crucial that
Ë Gennecott Utah Copper equivalent data is available for both
Ë Levi products or processes in question. ?f
Ë Loup Valley Dairy one product has a much higher
availability of data, it cannot be justly
Ë Nissan
Ë Procter & Gamble compared to another product which has
less detailed data.
Ë Rio Tinto Borax
Ë Toyota
Ë Volvo
Ë Unilever The validity of data should always be a
Ë Wharington concern with life cycle analyses. Since
An example of LCAs application to we are living in a global world and
labelling is the ?nternational economy, new processes,
Organi ation of Standardi ation's manufacturing methods, and materials
"ecolabelling" program, which are introduced to various processes and
identifies environmental preference for products. Therefore, it is important to
a product or service based on life cycle have current data when performing a
considerations. Specifically, type ??? LCA. ?f data from 5 to 10 years in the
"ecolabelling" requires an LCA with past is used, the LCA will not be
parameters set by a third party in order accurate, because the quantitative
to elucidate environmental data for the analysis will not reflect the current
product or service. methods utili ed in the process or

Another example of an application of

LCAs being performed in industry is Therefore, drawing conclusions from a
through Levi 501 jeans. Through a life report using such data will be
cycle assessment, Levi Jeans found ineffective, since the data is
that 60% of their climate impact occurs unavailable. Some products, whose
processes have not changed in 5 to 10  

years (if there are any) will be exempt
from this. When analy ing electronics, 
such as cell phones or computers, for
example, the most current data is !""#
necessary. Since new computer and Cradle-to-grave is the full Life Cycle
cell phone models are created every Assessment from manufacture
few months, the results of a life cycle ('cradle') to use phase and disposal
analysis of a 3-year-old computer phase ('grave'). For example, trees
system will often not be applicable to produce paper, which can be recycled
current systems. into low-energy
production cellulose (fiberised
paper) insulation, then used as an
One of the most important parts of energy-saving device in the ceiling of a
LCA data analysis is determining the home for 40 years, saving 2,000 times
most costly portion of the life cycle. the fossil-fuel energy used in its
The life cycle considered usually production. After 40 years
consists of four stages: embedded the cellulose fibers are replaced and
energy due to processing raw the old fibers are disposed of, possibly
materials, materials processing and incinerated. All inputs and outputs are
manufacturing, product use, and considered for all the phases of the life
product disposal. ?f the most costly of cycle...
these four stages can be determined,
then impact on the environment can be
efficiently reduced by focusing on !""#
making changes of that particular
phase. Cradle-to-gate is an assessment of
a  product life cycle from
manufacture ('cradle') to the factory
gate (i.e., before it is transported to the
   consumer). The use phase and disposal
            phase of the product are usually
           omitted. Cradle-to-gate assessments
   are sometimes the basis for
     environmental product declarations
            (EPD) defined as "quantified
        environmental data for a product with
            pre-set categories of parameters based

         on the ?SO 14040 series of standards,
           but not excluding additional
   Ê    environmental information".[19]
Cradle-to-cradle is a specific kind of
 cradle-to-grave assessment, where the
end-of-life disposal step for the
 product is a recycling process. ?t is a
method used to minimi e the

environmental impact of products by while the latter stage that deals with
employing sustainable production, vehicle operation is sometimes called
operation, and disposal practices and the "downstream" stage.
aims to incorporate social
responsibility into product The factor "Tp = Petroleum refining
development.[20] From the recycling and distribution efficiency = 0.830"
process originate new, identical from the DOE regulation accounts for
products (e.g., asphalt pavement from the "well-to-station" portion of the
discarded asphalt pavement, glass gasoline fuel cycle in the USA. To
bottles from collected glass bottles), or convert a standard Monroney
different products (e.g., glass wool sticker value to a full cycle energy
insulation from collected glass bottles). equivalent, convert with Tp. For
Products can now obtain a cradle-to- example, the Toyota Corolla is rated at
cradle certification level.[21] Cradle-to- 28 mpg station-to-wheel. To get the
cradle certification evaluates products full cycle value, multiply mpg by
based on 5 categories including Tp=0.83 to account for the refining and
material health, material reutili ation, transportation energy use - 23.2 mpg
renewable energy use water full cycle.
stewardship, and social responsibility.
The ideal cradle-to-cradle product
would have little to no human health The same adjustment applies to all
risk, be recycled in a closed loop vehicles fueled completely
design, be created using solar or other with gasoline, therefore, Monroney
renewable energy, have no impact on sticker numbers can be compared to
local water sources, and be designed in each other with or without the
a way that respects the rights of the adjustment. A recent study examined
people of our planet.[22] well-to-wheels energy and emission
effects of various vehicle and fuel
systems.The well-to-wheel variant has
V""# a significant input on a model
developed by the Argonne National
Gate-to-gate is a partial LCA looking Laboratory. The Greenhouse gases,
at only one value-added process in the Regulated Emissions, and Energy use
entire production chain. Gate-to-gate in Transportation (GREET) model was
modules may also later be linked in developed to evaluate the impacts of
their appropriate production chain to new fuels and vehicle technologies.
form a complete cradle-to-gate
The model evaluates the impacts of
fuel use using a well-to-wheel
$""%& evaluation while a traditional cradle-
Well-to-wheel is the specific LCA of to-grave approach is used to determine
the efficiency of fuels used for road the impacts from the vehicle itself. The
transportation. The analysis is often model reports energy use, greenhouse
broken down into stages titled "well- gas emissions, and six additional
to-station", or "well-to-tank", and pollutants such as volatile organic
"station-to-wheel, or "tank-to-wheel". compounds (VOCs) and carbon
The first stage, which incorporates the monoxide (CO).
feedstock and fuel processes is
sometimes called the "upstream" stage,
regulating provisioning and cultural

Economic input±output LCA (E?O-
LCA) involves use of aggregate sector-
level data on how much environmental
impact can be attributed to each sector 2  2   V
of the economy and how much each  2 
sector purchases from other
sectors. Such analysis can account for Life cycle energy analysis (LCEA) is
long chains (for example, building an an approach in which all energy inputs
automobile requires energy, but to a product are accounted for, not only
producing energy requires vehicles, direct energy inputs during
and building those vehicles requires manufacture, but also all energy inputs
energy, etc.), which somewhat needed to produce components,
alleviates the scoping problem of materials and services needed for the
process LCA; however, E?O-LCA manufacturing process. An earlier term
relies on sector-level averages that may for the approach was  
or may not be representative of the
With LCEA, the    

specific subset of the sector relevant to
a particular product and therefore is   is established.
not suitable for evaluating the
environmental impacts of products.
Additionally the translation of
economic quantities into
environmental impacts is not validated.

 ?t is recogni ed that much energy is

lost in the production of energy
2V 22 2 commodities themselves, such
as nuclear
While a conventional LCA uses many energy, photovoltaic electricity or
of the same approaches and strategies high-quality petroleum products. p
as an Eco-LCA, the latter considers a  
much broader range of ecological        
impacts. ?t was designed to provide a  during extraction and conversion,
guide to wise management of human directly or indirectly. A controversial
activities by understanding the direct early result of LCEA claimed that
and indirect impacts on ecological manufacturing solar cells requires
resources and surrounding ecosystems. more energy than can be recovered in
Developed by Ohio State University using the solar cell. The result was
Center for resilience, Eco-LCA is a refuted[28]. Another new concept that
methodology that quantitatively takes flows from life cycle assessments
into account regulating and supporting is Energy Cannibalism.
services during the life cycle of
economic goods and products. ?n this
approach services are categori ed in
four main groups: supporting, Energy Cannibalism refers to an effect
where rapid growth of an entire
energy-intensive industry creates a environmental acceptability; for
need for energy that uses (or example, simple energy analysis does
cannibali es) the energy of existing not take into account the renewability
power plants. Thus during rapid of energy flows or the toxicity of waste
growth the industry as a whole products; however the life cycle
produces no energy because new assessment does help companies
energy is used to fuel the embodied become more familiar with
energy of future power plants. Work environmental properties and improve
has been undertaken in the UG to there environmental system.[33].
determine the life cycle energy ?ncorporating Dynamic LCAs of
(alongside full LCA) impacts of a renewable energy technologies (using
number of renewable technologies. sensitivity analyses to project future
improvements in renewable systems
and their share of the power grid) may
  V   help mitigate this criticism.

?f materials are incinerated during the

disposal process, the energy released
A problem the energy analysis method
during burning can be harnessed and
cannot resolve is that different energy
used for electricity production. This
forms (heat, electricity, chemical
provides a low-impact energy source,
energy etc.) have different quality and
especially when compared with coal
value even in natural sciences, as a
and natural gas[31] While incineration
consequence of the two main laws
produces more greenhouse gas
of thermodynamics. A thermodynamic
emissions than landfilling, the waste
measure of the quality of energy
plants are well-fitted with filters to isexergy. According to the first law of
minimi e this negative impact. A
thermodynamics, all energy inputs
recent study comparing energy should be accounted with equal
consumption and greenhouse gas
weight, whereas by the second
emissions from landfilling (without law diverse energy forms should be
energy recovery) against incineration
accounted by different values.
(with energy recovery) found
incineration to be superior in all cases
except for when landfill gas is
recovered for electricity production.[32] The conflict is resolved in one of these
Ë value difference between energy
 inputs is ignored,
Ë a value ratio is arbitrarily assigned
(e.g., a joule of electricity is 2.6
A criticism of LCEA is that it attempts times more valuable than a joule of
to eliminate monetary cost analysis, heat or fuel input),
that is replace the currency by which Ë the analysis is supplemented by
economic decisions are made with an economic (monetary) cost analysis,
energy currency. ?t has also been Ë exergy instead of energy can be the
argued that energy efficiency is only metric used for the life cycle
one consideration in deciding which analysis .
alternative process to employ, and that 
it should not be elevated to the only
criterion for determining

* soybean biodiesel because it can
account for an ecology of
Life-cycle analysis is a powerful tool contexts interacting and changing
for analy ing commensurable aspects through time. This analysis tool should
of quantifiable systems. Not every not be used instead of life-cycle
factor, however, can be reduced to a analysis, but rather, in conjunction
number and inserted into a model. with life-cycle analysis to produce a
Rigid system boundaries make well-rounded assessment.
accounting for changes in the system
difficult. This is sometimes referred to
as theboundary critique to systems
thinking. The accuracy and availability 
of data can also contribute to ?n recent years, the literature on life
inaccuracy. For instance, data from cycle assessment of energy
generic processes may be based on technology has begun to reflect the
averages, unrepresentative sampling, interactions between the
or outdated results. current electrical grid and
future energy technology. Some papers
have focused on energy life cycle,
Additionally, social implications of while others have focused on carbon
products are generally lacking in dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
LCAs. Comparative life-cycle analysis The essential critique given by these
is often used to determine a better sources is that when
process or product to use. However, considering energy technology, the
because of aspects like differing growing nature of the power grid must
system boundaries, different statistical be taken into consideration. ?f this is
information, different product uses, not done, a given class of energy
etc., these studies can easily be swayed technology may emit more carbon
in favor of one product or process over dioxide over its lifetime than it
another in one study and the opposite mitigates.
in another study based on varying
parameters and different available
data[37]. There are guidelines to help
reduce such conflicts in results but the
method still provides a lot of room for
the researcher to decide what is
important, how the product is typically
manufactured, and how it is typically

The Agroecology tool "agroecosystem

analysis" offers a framework to
incorporate incommensurable aspects
of the life cycle of a product (such as
social impacts, and soil and water
implications)[38]. This tool is
specifically useful in the analysis of a
product made from agricultural
materials such as corn ethanol or
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future costs by Jan Emlemsvag [
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á Life cycle costing: techniques, models, and applications By B. S. Dhillon
á Life cycle assessment w.r.t. wikipedia [http: //]

Life cycle analysis is also known as life cycle assessment (LCA) or cradle-to-grave analysis.
?t is the investigation and the valuation of the environmental impacts of a given product or a
?n LCA, we compare the full range of environmental and social damages by products and
services and choose the one which has the least impact. µLife cycle¶ refers to a fair and
holistic assessment of each step in delivering the product. ?t involves the assessment of raw
material production, manufacture, distribution, use and disposal including all transportation
steps necessary. This is being applied in various companies like Levi 501 jeans, Toyota,
P&G, etc. The µecolabelling¶ program of ?nternational Organi ation of Standardi ation
identifies the environmental preference for a product based on life cycle considerations.
There are 4 phases in which life cycle analysis is carried out.
1. V!+ ?t outlines how the study will be conducted, how much time and
resources will be needed and what final results will be obtained.
2. 2+ ?t involves data collection and modeling of the product system.
?t includes all data related to environmental (e.g., CO2, o one layer depletion) and
technical (e.g., intermediate chemicals) quantities relevant to the functional unit
defined in the goal and scope definition.
3. 2+ ?mpact potentials are calculated here by
normali ation and weighting. Normali ation provides a basis for comparing different
types of environmental impact categories (all impacts get the same unit). Weighting
implies assigning a weighting factor to each impact category depending on the
relative importance.
4. + This involves an analysis of the major contributions and sensitivity
analysis of the significant data elements. We have to ensure that the results meet the
goal of the study.

LCAs are majorly carried out by using speciali ed dedicated software packages. Two widely
used softwares are GaBi developed by PE ?nternational and SimaPro developed by Pre
Data plays the most crucial role in LCA. The data used in analysis has to be accurate and
current. Also, equal amount of data should be available to compare one life cycle analysis
with the other. When analy ing electronics, such as cell phones or computers, for example,
the most current data is necessary. We also determine the most costly portion of the life cycle
(embedded energy due to processing raw materials, materials processing and manufacturing,
product use and product disposal) and then try to reduce the impact on environment by
focusing on making changes in that phase.
Life cycle assessment has various variants:
á Cradle-to-grave (from manufacture to disposal phase)
á Cradle-to-gate (from manufacture to factory gate i.e. before it reaches customer)
á Cradle-to-cradle (where disposal step for the product is a recycling process)

There are several criticisms for LCA also.

á LCA is powerful tool for analysing commensurable aspects of quantifiable systems.
Not every factor, however, can be reduced to a number and inserted into a model.
á Rigid system boundaries make accounting for changes in the system difficult.
á Comparative LCA is used to determine a better process or product to use. However,
because of aspects like differing system boundaries, statistical information, product
uses, etc., these studies can easily be swayed in favor of one product or process over
another in one study and the opposite in another study based on varying parameters
and different available data