Life cycle assessment (LCA) is increasingly identified as the proper tool/framework for performing cradle to grave analysis of a product, technology, or supply chain. LCA proceeds by comparing the materials and energy needed for materials extraction, benefaction, and end-of-life management, in addition to the actual lifetime of the product. This type of analysis is commonly used to evaluate forms of renewable energy to ensure that we don't harm the environment in the name of saving it. For instance, LCA for photovoltaic (PV) technologies can be used to evaluate the environmental impacts.
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