An independent quality check to enhance the reliability and credibility of LCA results and conclusions
LCA produces quantitative environmental performance indicators by system modelling. LCA results cannot be validated by direct measurement. A critical review brings an extra pair of eyes (or even several pairs) to check an LCA study and provide validation.
Critical review involves an individual or panel examining all the elements of an LCA study to check that the whole is "fit for purpose". So the study's scope, the system model, the data used and assessment applied, the interpretation of results are all considered.
A critical review aims to ensure the LCA study has been carried out according to best practice and international standards. At EuGeos we aim to make critical review a positive process despite its name. When carrying out a critical review we aim to improve an LCA not to operate a fault-finding
Critical reviews work best if the reviewer is involved from the outset and the review process covers each stage in turn. That way the reviewer helps steer the study along the best course to its objectives.
If you are commissioning an LCA comparing products or services and you intend to disclose the results to the public, then a critical review is mandatory under ISO 14044.
In this case the aim is to ensure that the study is robust enough to support comparisons about different products or processes providing the same function.
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) verification is very similar to critical review; the verifier checks the LCA and also ensures that the EPD itself complies with the rules of the EPD Programme that is publishing it.
Don't make critical review a bolt-on extra:
For a better LCA and a quicker process, think 'review' from the start of your project
+ to prepare and carry out an LCA review
+ to fill a position on an LCA review panel
+ to review your environmental product declarations (EPDs)
+ to carry out full verification of EPDs in the International EPD® System and EPD Ireland
+ to discuss other LCA requirements, such as LCA studies, carbon footprints, water footprints or EPDs