Insights / Sustainability

Life-Cycle Assessment: Measuring Environmental Impact

LCA measures a product's environmental impact

Life-cycle assessment (LCA) quantifies a product's environmental impact throughout its entire life cycle, from sourcing and manufacturing to distribution and end-of-life.

Berlin Packaging's LCA tool follows the guidelines of ISO 14040 in determining and documenting the scope, assumptions, consistent boundary conditions, and data sources. LCA is part of our holistic approach to sustainable packaging. We deliver sustainability improvements via innovative and integrated solutions that drive competitive advantages and increased productivity for our customers while meeting all technical and performance criteria.

Why LCA Is Important

LCA is a valuable tool that provides accurate and trusted data on a product's carbon footprint, including greenhouse gas emissions, water use, mineral resource use, and fossil fuel use. This information enables brands to make informed decisions and effectively communicate their commitment to sustainability.

By benchmarking a package's environmental impact from “cradle to grave,” LCA can help brand owners make informed choices about their packaging materials and designs. It offers comparisons between potential solutions and provides alternatives for the most sustainable package based on a set of requirements and constraints.

LCA Facts

  • LCA applies to all packaging materials: plastic, glass, metal (aluminum and steel), paperboard, and varying percentages of post-consumer recycled (PCR) content (e.g., 25% PCR, 50% PCR, 100% PCR).
  • It is suitable for all market categories: food, beverage, household care, personal care, cosmetic, automotive aftermarket, wine, beer, spirits, pharmaceutical/nutraceutical, pet care, and cannabis.

Leveraging LCA for Sustainability Messaging

Use consumer-friendly language to highlight specific environmental benefits. For example, “Our new package reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 20%. That's equivalent to removing 10,000 passenger vehicles from the road for an entire year!”

Case Study: Naked Wines

Naked Wines lightweight wine bottles from Berlin Packaging

Our LCA tool has helped many customers balance sustainability with brand positioning, performance, and functionality. We partnered with Naked Wines to create glass wine bottles that are 29% lighter than comparable products. Our LCA tool uncovered significant reductions in fossil fuel use (−3,375 tons), CO2 emissions (−986 tons eq), water usage (−321,553 m3), and glass usage (−1,901 tons).

Explore related topics: Ocean-Bound Plastic, PCR Content, Compostable Packaging, Container Deposit/Refund Programs, Refillable & Reusable Packaging, Mechanical and Advanced Recycling, and Bioplastic

Robert Swientek

By: Robert Swientek
Date: June 27, 2023

If you're looking for sustainable packaging solutions for your business, please request a packaging consultation today.