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A core component of successful implementation of a circular economy (CE) strategy is the quantification of improvements or changes with respect to environmental impacts, resource usage, waste and/or economic costs. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a vital tool for the quantification and assessment of effectiveness and impacts associated with CE strategies. Incorporating LCA allows a comprehensive and transparent assessment of products, services or organizations, and can help to identify any potential unintended consequences associated with a change in process or practice. The implementation of LCA can appear complicated for non-practitioners, but there exist clear guidelines on how to conduct life cycle assessments, as described in this chapter. There are several frameworks for the incorporation of LCA into CE strategies, as described here, and LCA may play a key role in the development of meaningful indicators for CE with regards to the product level assessment. This chapter includes an assessment of the challenges associated with implementing LCA in CE, which include the difficulty in managing numerous indicators in parallel, and the lack of available data. Additionally, this chapter highlights the benefits associated with transparency, consistency, comparability and the system approach and its complementarities with the CE strategy.

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