Product portfolio LCA

We provide portfolio life cycle assessments that cover the life cycle impacts for the entire product portfolio for a company or an industry. Portfolio LCAs can also be made as Environmental Profit & Loss accounts (E P&L), where the environmental impacts are fully monetarised, or as Natural Capital Accounts with a focus on natural capital impacts (see more below).


Product portfolio life cycle assessments (OLCA)

A product portfolio LCA, also called an organisational LCA (O-LCA) or an Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF), can be described as an environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of all the products in the portfolio of an organisation.

A product portfolio LCA is therefore the basis for assuming full responsibility of environmental performance of the organisation and its value chain. The comprehensive knowledge of environmental hotspots is crucial to identify and plan impact reduction opportunities as well as to track environmental performance over time and to inform corporate sustainability reporting.

A product portfolio LCA is not used for comparisons between organisations since each organisation is inherently unique, even within the same sector.
A product portfolio LCA can be performed with a focus on a specific impact (like GHG) or be framed to consider multiple impact categories. The chosen impacts categories are mostly presented in absolute values for the whole organization and/or divisions and facilities.

The ISO/TS 14072 extends the scope for the functional unit and reference flow of anLCA, but else the well-known principles and requirements of ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 for product LCA are followed also for product portfolio LCAs. Read more here: UNEP (2015) Guidance on Organizational Life Cycle and JRC’s Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF) Guide.


An Environmental Profit & Loss account (E P&L) complements the normal Product & Loss account of a company with an account of the monetarised the external benefits and costs related to the life cycle of the product portfolio of the company. It can be described as a product portfolio LCA with monetary valuation of the impacts.

An E P&L thus goes beyond the product gates, beyond the individual products, and beyond the typical multi-indicator approaches to the full life cycle, to the full product portfolio and to full monetary valuation of the environmental impacts. The first acknowledged corporate E P&L was published by PUMA with their: “PUMA’s Environmental Profit and Loss Account for the year ended 31 December 2010”. In cooperation with Trucost and NIRAS we were among the first consultancies to provide E P&Ls. Our particular strength is that we provide detailed environmental inventories that are fully mass, energy and water balanced, which is a good measure of their completeness and consistency, and essential if the results are to be used for practical decision-making.

Natural Capital Accounts (NCA)

Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) is sometimes used as a synonym for E P&L, but can also be defined more narrowly as that part of an EP&L that is concerned with natural capital impacts, dependencies and assets. Natural capital covers all abiotic natural resources (minerals, soils, air, water) as well as biodiversity and other ecosystem resources that provide us with ‘ecosystem services’. Natural capital is thus an extension of the economic notion of manufactured capital (products which enable the production of more products) and an NCA provides a monetary valuation of the impacts on these capital assets.