Sustainability and Life Cycle Management

839 Alleghenyville Road Mohnton, PA 19540-7708
Tel. 610-914-1356 email:
Aftan Sustainability, ISO 14001, and Lean Six Sigma Continuous Process Improvement Consulting
Life Cycle Management

Life Cycle Management (LCM) considers the comprehensive impact a product or service has on the environment. Life Cycle Management includes the product's entire Life Cycle from Cradle to Grave including the environmental impact of the

  • extraction, processing, and delivery of raw materials;
  • processing the raw materials to produce a product or service;
  • transportation required to deliver the goods or services to the consumer;
  • use of the product or service by the consumer; and
  • lastly, disposal and recycling.

Read this page to discover how to

  • measure Sustainability;
  • find out about tools used in Sustainable Life Cycle Management; and
  • finally, determine why using our Sustainability Consultants makes good business sense.
"Sustainable development - development that does not destroy or undermine the ecological, economic, or social basis on which continued development depends - is the only viable pathway to a more secure and hopeful future for rich and poor alike."
—Maurice Strong (1925-2015), Opening Statement to the Rio Summit, 1992
Aftan Sustainability Consultants make sure your business prospers and grows as well.

Carbon and Water Footprints are Two Primary Measures of Environmental Sustainability

Carbon Footprint

Carbon Footprint measures greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which most significantly includes

  • carbon dioxide;
  • methane; and
  • nitrous oxide.
Three Scopes of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Scope 1: Direct Emissions result from fuels consumed by the company on site for equipment, vehicles, and heating.

Scope 2: Indirect Emissions resulting from power plants producing electricity purchased by the company.

Scope 3: Indirect Emissions resulting from fuels consumed outside of the company by

  • the supply chain;
  • suppliers of capital goods and leased assets;
  • transportation and distribution;
  • business travel;
  • consumers of products and services; and
  • lastly, product disposal and recycling.

Water Footprint

Direct Water Use is fresh water consumed during manufacturing or production of the product or service as well as for any support activities.

Indirect Water Use is fresh water consumed by the extraction and processing of raw materials.

Three Components of a Water Footprint

Green Water Footprint - The amount of water from precipitation that is used to make the product.

Blue Water Footprint - The amount of surface water and groundwater that is used to make the product.

Grey Water Footprint - The amount of freshwater that is used to dilute polluted production wastewater to meet water quality regulations.

Quantifying and Comparing Your Company's Environmental Profile to the Competition

In the next section I'll introduce some of the common tools used by companies with successful Life Cycle Management programs.

Life Cycle Management Tools

Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)

LCA is the primary tool to assess your company's current and ongoing environmental impacts.


  • principals and framework are defined in ISO 14040;
  • requirements and guidelines are defined in ISO 14044; and
  • is a procedure that can be used as part of an Environmental Management System as defined in ISO 14001 to demonstrate Life Cycle Thinking.

After defining the goal and scope of the analysis, an inventory is created to document inputs and outputs of the process, product, or system covering all life cycle phases including

  • Raw Materials Acquisition;
  • Transportation;
  • Manufacturing;
  • Operating;
  • Maintaining;
  • Recycling; and
  • lastly, Disposing.

LCA provides an organized, consistent approach to evaluate processes, products, or systems which leads to meaningful and useful Life Cycle Impact Assessments (LCIA)

Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA)


  • uses the same organized, consistent approach to evaluate processes, products, or systems as for LCA. Each inventory item documented in the LCA is also costed for the LCCA.
  • quantifies the economic impact of each phase of the life cycle or the process, product, or system.

Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA)

  • Determines if the benefits derived from a course of action outweigh the associated costs.
  • Used to pick from several courses of action based upon each alternatives Cost/Benefit Ratio.

Material Flow Analysis (MFA) / Substance Flow Analysis (SFA)

MFA analyses the flow of materials through a process, across sectors, or in an ecosystem. With the addition of costs for the material flows, the result is Material Flow Cost Accounting. This tool is very useful in assessments of circularity.

Design for X (DfX)

DfX can be applied to any aspect of a product, process or company. In general, it means to Design for Excellence. It can include Design for Manufacturability, Sustainability, Cost, Yield, Inspection, Reliability, Procurement, Social Impact, or any number of business initiatives.
Tired of reading? Talk to us! Contact Us Online or Call Us at 610-914-1356.
Sustainability Consultant Lisa Peterson
Photograph by Wally Hines Photography

Lisa Peterson, Ph.D., PE, MBA is the President of Pennsylvania-based Aftan Engineering. Lisa is a uniquely qualified professional Sustainability, ISO 14001, and Continuous Process Improvement Consultant with a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification, 30 years' engineering experience, and has held high-level management positions. Read Lisa's Resume.

Lisa Peterson's Linked IN Profile
5 5 / 5 Stars ...success where others fail.
"Lisa can find solutions to problems in many ways. She knows her resources to help her accomplish tasks in a timely manner. Obstacles are not an issue and are deemed part of the solution process. Rather than let these get in the way, Lisa leverages them to find multiple solutions to the problem.

From this thought process, an approach of having backup plans is key to the success of the problem. This technique has allowed her success where others fail.

Lisa has instilled in me values and techniques by leading by example. Her drive and resolve are hard to keep up with. She is a role model for others to follow.

Lisa’s ethics are second to none often putting in more work and time than her peers. She knows hard work is the key to success."
Mark Hoover, Engineering and Production Manager
M-Tech Control Corp.
Sinking Spring, PA 04/14/19