Life Cycle Management is the basis of all cleantech. Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is used to compare technologies to determine which is most sustainable from “cradle to grave”, or “lust to dust”. Life Cycle Management (LCM) is the basis for improving the sustainability of the organization and its products and/or services.
The UN Life Cycle Initiative is the best global starting point to understand LCM. It has training tools, publications, and links to the global network of LCM practitioners. They offer the Life Cycle Management Navigator, a great online capacity building guide and decision support tool specifically designed for decision-makers in small and medium sized enterprises. Also check out this UN Life Cycle site which may be the original version of the Initiative site described above.
Another phrase for Life Cycle Management is Design for Environment (DfE). The US EPA DfE program is the leading organization in this field, providing training tools and many networking opportunities. EPA publishes “Greening Your Products” which describes attributes of greener products, procedures for improving design, and procedures for greening of manufacturing processes. A more technical resource is Cleaner Technologies Substitutes Assessment – A Methodology and Resource Guide.
There are many resources for life cycle management, but getting started requires a good analysis of your organization’s entire business, from raw materials and resources to the final disposal or recovery of products. If you decide to manage your product life cycle more sustainably, I can help you evaluate the opportunities for design, purchasing and supply chain management, operations and production, customer relationship management, and product disposal or recovery.
Suggest new life cycle management resources below!