C5.3.1 Goal and Scope Definition


The first stage of the LCA process is to determine the overall aim of the LCA. In determining this you should consider issues including:

  • The intended application of the LCA.
  • The reason why it is being conducted, the objective:
    • Is it to compare results against competitors?
    • Is it to prove the environmental benefits?
  • Who the intended audience for the results of the LCA is.
  • Whether the results will be made public.


The scope is the area that will be included in the process. This should be defined using a number of considerations, including:

  • The specific goal of the LCA.
  • Limitations (including design constraints on the product).
  • Stakeholder concerns.
  • Regulator requirements.
  • The specific product to be assessed.
  • Assumptions that will have to be made.


As we have already discussed, it is not possible to include every aspects of every element. Therefore it is important that the scope of the LCA is considered carefully.