According to Standard ISO 14006: 2020*, ecodesign is defined as: “a methodological approach that takes into account the environmental aspects of the design and development process intending to reduce negative environmental impacts throughout the entire life-cycle of a product.” The normative framework is ISO 14040 for Life Cycle Assessment “LCA”- Principles and Frameworks and ISO 14044 for Life Cycle Assessment - Requirements and Guidelines.”
Follow the three founding principles of LCA: 1- MULTI-STAGE - Take into account all stages of the life cycle in order to avoid burden shifting among different life-cycle stages 2- MULTI-INDICATORS - Several indicators to avoid impact transfers in order to avoid burden shifting among various impact categories 3- MULTI-SYSTEMS- Take into account the product's surroundings and their life cycle
LCA can support ecodesign both qualitatively and quantitatively. During the briefing or initial concept idea of a new food packaging combination, LCA can be applied qualitatively through the principles of Life Cycle Thinking. In contrast, at a more advanced development stage of the food packaging combination, quantitative LCA can be applied through screening LCA or detailed LCA. The level of detail can progress proportionally with the product development process. The LCA methodology is precisely described in ISO 14040 (principles and framework) and ISO 14044 (requirements and guidelines). This method of an iterative nature comprises four main steps:
Definition of the objectives and scope of the study
Definition of study objectives, Definition of the scope of the study, Definition of the Functional Unit, Choice of indicators, Draft life cycle.
The life cycle inventory
Identification and quantification of material flows and energy entering and leaving the system's boundaries for all life cycle processes.
This step involves translating the consumption and the releases identified during the impact inventory environment. There are different methods of evaluation. The method recommended by the Commission European method is the PEF (Product Environmental Footprint).
Interpretation of the results
This is the step of analyzing the results, identifying significant issues and verifying the results by checking for completeness, sensitivity and consistency. It must make it possible to provide recommendations transparently. "
ISO 14006:2020. Environmental management systems - Guidelines for incorporating ecodesign.
ISO 14040: 2021. Environmental management: Life cycle assessment - Principles and framework.
ISO 14044: 2021. Environmental management: Life cycle assessment - Requirements and guidelines.