Life Cycle Assessment and Forest Products: A White Paper

There is an amplified focus on the environmental, social and economic sustainability credentials of companies and products.

This has led to an increase in the application of life cycle thinking, which includes economic, environmental and social consequences of a product or process over its entire life cycle, from raw material extraction to manufacturing, packaging, distribution, use and end of life. Life cycle thinking has been developed into systematic approaches. Under these approaches, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is one of the specific analysis tools that can be used for products and services.

LCA is increasingly being used as an important and effective tool to support multiple types of sustainability goals. LCA’s advantages are derived from the comprehensiveness of the approach. It is a sophisticated analysis tool that requires a strong understanding before being used effectively. LCAs are most useful when the goals of the assessment have been clearly defined in advance.

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and PwC developed this white paper to provide information about LCA and to be a reference for those interested in learning how LCA can be applied in the forest products industry. This white paper is intended for those new to LCA, as well as those who are already familiar with the concept.