The creation of a life cycle assessment requires the systematic recording and evaluation of all environmental pollution that a company has. This ecological analysis makes it possible to run the company in an environmentally friendly manner.
The success of such an effort can be seen by comparing successive life cycle assessments. The commercial and tax law is used to evaluate the assets and liabilities of a commercial balance sheet. But how can one assess the environmental impact? Various methods have recently been developed here:
Immission limit value method - The environmental pollution is determined using the immission limit values for water, air and soil. The problem here is that there are no or only controversial limit values for some loads.
Material flow method - The degree of environmental pollution is measured using an unacceptable amount of pollutants. This amount of pollutants (also called critical amount) should be just high enough that no permanent environmental damage is caused. This is where the problem with this method lies. How high is the degree of pollution that can just be tolerated?
Other methods relate to societal evaluations, e.g. B. the company's reputation in society. In addition, the willingness to pay for certain environmental measures or the costs incurred in avoiding environmental damage can also be included in the assessment.
In the report on life cycle assessments of March 31, 1994, the German Economic Institute comes to the conclusion that life cycle assessments can only be as good as the information available on ecological interdependencies. In many cases, however, these are still very sketchy. In this way, new scientific findings can turn even the best life cycle assessment upside down.