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Lifecycle Assessment Boosts Transparency of Sustainability Performance

deloittesustainabilityRetailers are demanding more information about their suppliers’ sustainability programs and a higher degree of transparency about their sustainability performance to align with their own organizations’ goals, according to a recent white paper. A key finding indicates that lifecycle assessment (LCA) can help corporations meet the growing need for greater transparency and traceability of their sustainability performance across the supply chain.

In light of Wal-Mart’s recent launch of its Sustainable Product Index, Deloitte has written a whitepaper, Lifecycle Assessment: Where is it on your sustainability agenda, to address the business implications of environmental lifecycle assessment (LCA) including key market drivers, business challenges and opportunities.

Deloitte says that although the Wal-Mart index is still in the early stages of adoption, it is the first step of a collaborative effort involving dozens of retailers, suppliers, academics, non-governmental organization (NGOs) and other partners to create a global standards for measuring and communicating the sustainability impact of products.

The white paper addresses the challenges and benefits from lifecycle assessment as well as implementation guidelines. LCA can enable financial results through better visibility, but it must be in combination with a broader sustainability management approach in order to deliver benefits, according to the paper.

The good news, according to Delitte, is that LCA can support a number of company initiatives including supply chain, cost savings, product and packaging development, risk reduction, regulations and sustainability strategies and reporting.

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