The AHEC-commissioned LCA study is being conducted in line with the ISO14040 series of standards including recommendations for stakeholder consultation and peer review to ensure credibility.

The ISO 14040 series does not prescribe a methodology, but is intended to provide information on how to conduct, review, present and use an LCA. The standards cover LCA terminology, data quality and how to assure it, presentation of results and LCA applications and limitations. The ISO14040 series includes the following:

  • ISO 14040 specifies the general framework, principles and requirements for conducting and reporting LCA studies. It does not describe the life-cycle assessment technique in detail. 
  • ISO 14041 specifies the requirements and the procedures necessary for the compilation and preparation of the definition of goal for and scope of a Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA), and for performing, interpreting and reporting a Life-Cycle Inventory analysis (LCI).
  • ISO 14042 and ISO 14043 cover respectively impact assessment and life-cycle interpretation and between them describe the other stages of LCA.

The AHEC-commissioned LCA also includes, as a discreet component, assessment of the life cycle ‘carbon footprints’ of American hardwood products and competing products in conformance to evolving carbon footprint standards. These include:

  • UK PAS 2050 Specification. Published jointly by the The Carbon Trust, UK government, and BSI British Standards, PAS 2050 represents one of the first attempts to formalise and standardise procedures for measuring greenhouse gas emissions embedded in goods and services throughout their entire lifecycle. 
  • The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol being evolved by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The GHG Protocol process brings together a diverse range of stakeholders in an effort to develop an international “carbon footprint” standard.