There are many approaches, programmes and activities in the life cycle thinking basket that are essential in a green economy. These have been developed to assist in decision-making at all levels regarding product development, production, procurement, and final disposal. They can be used in all sectors, and offer the possibility to examine a range of key impact categories (e.g. carbon footprint, water footprint, etc.), as well as the ultimate effects of these on all three key sustainability pillars (e.g. life cycle sustainability assessment). Life Cycle Management (LCM) puts life cycle thinking and LCA into a business context.
Life Cycle Management
Life Cycle Management (LCM) is a product management system aiming to minimize environmental and socioeconomic burdens associated with an organization's product or product portfolio during its entire life cycle and value chain. LCM is making life cycle thinking and product sustainability operational for businesses through the continuous improvements of product systems, and LCM supports the business assimilation of policies such as integrated product policies.
Organizations use LCM to support their goals of providing products or services which are as sustainable as possible. Many organizations have seen this strategy lead to improvements in their image, stakeholder relations, shareholder value, as well as awareness of and preparedness for changes to their regulatory contexts.
LCM is not a single tool or methodology but a management system for collecting, structuring and disseminating product-related information from the various programs, concepts and tools incorporating environmental, economic, and social aspects of products, across their life cycle. The organization must 'go beyond its facility boundaries' and be willing to expand its scope of collaboration and communication to all stakeholders in its value chain.
Life Cycle Management in Practice
Source: Lienne Pires - 3M Brazil