Looking through a systemic lens

Businesses are the sum of their parts. To fully embed sustainability and make true change happen, a systemic approach to building solutions is key.

Life Cycle Thinking is a systemic framework that takes a holistic view of the production and consumption of a product or service and assesses its impacts on the environment through the entire life cycle. LCT goes beyond focusing on a specific site or product.

The benefit of using an LCT approach means that negative impacts are minimized while avoiding the transfer of these impacts from one life cycle stage to another. When applied to product design, production processes and a decision-making aid, LCT is a meaningful strategy for crafting and implementing effective sustainability strategies.

The LCT concept is based on the Life Cycle Management approach.


“LCA is a key pillar in the understanding of the environmental impacts related to the BabyNes system and helps to identify opportunities towards enhancing overall product sustainability.”

Daniel Manser
R&D and Technical Manager, BabyNes Advanced Nutrition System at Nestlé

Life Cycle Management

Life Cycle Management (LCM) is an integrated approach to measure and minimize the impacts on the environment, the economy and society of a product, process or service during its entire life cycle.

LCM uses a toolbox of different approaches and methodologies, including:

  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  • Life Cycle Costing (LCC)
  • Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA)
  • Eco-labeling
  • Design for the Environment (DfE)
Life Cycle Thinking - Assessment - LCT - LCA - Corporate Footprint

True sustainable change happens when we take a systemic approach to building solutions.

There are many advantages for companies that choose to use LCM, which significantly reduces overall production costs by decreasing both the energy requirements and use of raw materials. This reduction then has a positive impact on the environment, as the company releases fewer harmful emissions. LCM also enhances the company’s image to consumers, the public, and governments.

Among the proposed tools offered by LCM, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) represents one of the most thorough and reliable methods.

LCA has become an important tool for the environmental impact assessment of products and materials and businesses are increasingly relying on this method for decision-making.