Making sustainability data more business-friendly

After inquiries from several large, progressive companies, PRé developed two web-based tools - Share and Collect. These web-based extensions make it easier for all departments to use LCA data, while reducing the workload of LCA teams.

The cycle of making environmentally friendly business decisions

Because life cycle assessments consider all phases of a product’s life cycle, LCA results can literally benefit all departments in a company. Making more sustainable decisions, however, is often an iterative process, and LCA results are complex enough that most departments can’t do their own interpretation.

To understand the impact of updated product design, for instance, a product designer would have to ask for a new LCA to be done. The LCA department would perhaps have to go through another round of data collection. This means a lot of waiting and a lot of work. It’s clear why this cycle gets in the way of a company fully embracing sustainability.

Reducing the workload of sharing complex information

After several large, progressive companies approached PRé with their own version of this problem, we decided to develop a solution that could be shared.

One goal was to make it easier to collect data from suppliers, departments and other stakeholders. To do so, we developed a user-friendly online survey tool – SimaPro Collect.

Another goal was to put more control in the hands of the people who are going to use the LCA results. We developed a second online tool, SimaPro Share, which can be used to change and understand product scenarios without input from the sustainability department. This cuts down on the waiting time and reduces the workload for LCA professionals. Together, these two tools can be reached via an online platform.

Working with PRé proved to be a very productive partnership. The communication during the project was very open and all of our needs were met. The tool that was created specifically for Steelcase will make the LCA process much more streamlined and consistent for years to come.

Massimo Collotta - Environmental Engineer, Global Sustainability at Steelcase

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