Life Cycle Assessment: Goal and Scope Definition

  • Michael Z. Hauschild
Living reference work entry


The goal and scope definition is the first phase of the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology according to the ISO standard for LCA (ISO 14040 2006; ISO 14044 2006). The overall LCA methodology and its applications are treated in the entry on Life Cycle Assessment.

Theory and Application

The LCA methodology comprises four methodological phases among which the goal and scope definition (G&S) is the first as illustrated in Fig. 1. The G&S phase is where the study is defined and central choices made regarding its conduct.
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  1. EC-JRC (2010) International reference life cycle data system (ILCD) handbook – general guide for life cycle assessment – detailed guidance, First edition March 2010. EUR 24708 EN. European Commission – Joint Research Centre – Institute for Environment and Sustainability. Publications Office of the European Union, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
  2. Hauschild MZ, Rosenbaum RK, Olsen SI (2017) Life cycle assessment – theory and practice. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  3. ISO 14040 (2006) Environmental management – life cycle assessment – principles and framework. International Organisation for Standardisation, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  4. ISO 14044 (2006) Environmental management – life cycle assessment – requirements and guidelines. International Organization Standardisation, GenevaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© CIRP 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management Engineering, Division of Quantitative Sustainability AssessmentTechnical University of DenmarkLyngbyDenmark

Section editors and affiliations

  • Wim Dewulf
    • 1
  1. 1.Science, Engineering and Technology GroupKU Leuwen, Department of Mechanical EngineeringLeuvenBelgium