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  • Jim Ramm

Why Lifecycle Analysis Is Core to Reducing Environmental Impact

Updated: Jun 21


LCAs are the foundation for regulatory compliance in many carbon markets and tax incentives, including the new 45Z clean fuel production credit.


Understanding and implementing lifecycle analysis (LCA) is more critical than ever for organizations striving to stay ahead of regulatory requirements, consumer expectations for sustainability, and the competitive landscape shaped by environmental accountability.

 

The most recent example is the inclusion of LCAs in determining eligibility for the biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) clean fuel production tax credit under Section 45Z of the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which applies to fuels sold from 2025 through 2027. Under Section 45Z, these biomass-based diesels are eligible for tax credits with a carbon-intensity (CI) score 50 percent lower than petroleum-based diesel, and LCAs are the foundation for regulatory compliance.

 

To assist the industry in understanding LCA and to take advantage of these tax credits and other revenue-generating carbon-credit initiatives, EcoEngineers (Eco) is launching a new program, the LCA Academy, June 25-26 in Des Moines, Iowa, and Sept. 4-5 in Houston, Texas. The LCA Academy is designed to help biomass-based diesel producers and traders grasp the essential role of LCA in reducing environmental impact and to engage with key government officials who are determining how LCAs are incorporated into tax policies and other incentive programs.

 

About the LCA Academy

Eco’s LCA Academy offers industry leaders and producers the opportunity to gain insights and significantly impact the field. In this one-and-a-half-day program, participants will learn about LCA concepts; methodologies and the role of LCA in environmental, social and governance (ESG); compliance and conservation.

 

The first day focuses on the importance of measuring the impact of products on the environment, the principles of LCA and carbon accounting, and insights into the regulations shaping the global marketplace, including the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, the U.S. IRA, Canada’s Clean Fuel Regulations, California and British Columbia’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard programs, Oregon and Washington’s Clean Fuels Programs, the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, U.S. DOE grants, and Environmental Product Declarations, as well as European standards such as the Renewable Energy Directive (RED III), and participation in voluntary carbon markets (VCMs).

 

In addition, participants will learn to interpret LCA results and use various assessment techniques for corporate and product reporting. The LCA Academy will address differences between LCA and scope reporting, data relevance and dataset selection, incorporation of ISO quality standards, and review and comparison of LCA tools.

 

The second day offers two tracks:

 

  • The Practitioner Track provides an immersive, hands-on workshop for all levels of experience. Participants will learn how to collect, quantify and analyze CI scores using leading LCA technologies like GREET and ISO standards, and learn the basics of utilizing LCA models and creating an LCA model from scratch.


  • The Executive Track focuses on developing and deploying climate-friendly technologies and operational improvements in manufacturing, dependent on their performance as measured by an LCA. This session includes a forum for influencing industry trends and regulations to work towards a consistent LCA approach in policies. It will also include key representatives from leading agencies focused on regulations and climate change.

 

What is LCA?

LCA is a systematic and comprehensive method for evaluating the environmental impact of a product, service or system from its inception to end-of-life. This analysis examines energy usage, raw-material extraction and processing inputs and outputs throughout the various lifecycle stages, including coproducts and waste.

 

Typically, LCAs assess a functional unit’s global-warming potential or carbon footprint but can also encompass other impact categories such as land use, eutrophication, acidification and water use.

 

Eco’s LCA Expertise

At Eco, we are dedicated to helping our clients navigate the complexities of carbon emissions and climate change. We are an industry leader in performing LCAs, with a team of renowned scientists performing more than 1,000 carbon LCAs since 2015. Our team is adept at utilizing all available LCA tools to bring the right strategies and solutions to help you reach your carbon-management and ESG goals.

 

We use LCAs to assist our clients in reducing their CI scores and help them find innovative ways to generate additional revenue from their offsets. We recently helped North Dakota-based Red Trail Energy become the first ethanol producer to enter the VCM and the largest carbon-removal project registered to date.

 

Join us at the LCA Academy and be part of the movement to reduce environmental impact and drive sustainable growth by registering at eventcreate.com/e/ecoengineers-lcaacademy.






Author: Jim Ramm

Vice President, U.S. Biofuels

EcoEngineers

515-985-1260

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