Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a standardized* method of evaluating environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of a product, from the extraction of resources from the earth, manufacturing and use, all the way through disposal.
LCA quantifies potential impacts such as contribution to climate change (Global Warming Potential), use of non-renewable energy sources (referenced here as Primary Energy Demand), water pollution, smog pollution, acid rain and others. These impacts are assessed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a methodology called TRACI.
We are proud to demonstrate our commitment to leadership, transparency and continual improvement by publishing this information regarding the LCA we conducted.
Why is Briggs & Stratton Conducting LCA's?
Briggs & Stratton engaged sustainability software and solutions firm PE INTERNATIONAL, Inc to conduct an LCA of our products in order to:
- Understand our impacts. Before we conducted this LCA, there was little quantitative information in our company or in the Outdoor Power Equipment industry overall about the contribution of various stages of the mower life cycle to various key environmental impacts. While there was an intuitive understanding that the consumer’s use of any mower was likely the biggest impact stage, we didn’t know exactly how much other life cycle stages would contribute to the whole.
- Identify opportunities for improvement. With this understanding, we are now able to better identify opportunities for improvement of our processes, designs, and use of our engines and other products. Because Briggs & Stratton is committed to creating value for all its stakeholders, this only furthers our commitment to improvement over time. Moving forward, using LCA as a tool, we will evaluate the environmental impacts from new products under development.
- Engage consumers. We feel that transparency, leadership and values are key elements that our customers and consumers are looking for when they make decisions about our products. We conducted this LCA and are communicating the results to begin a dialogue with our customers and consumers that drives all of us forward towards a more sustainable future.