It has become pretty important at Amway. LCA, is an internationally recognized way to determine the environmental impact of a product throughout its life cycle. An LCA analyzes the entire production process from raw materials to manufacturing to distribution to “end of life management.” (Can it be recycled or will it go to a landfill?)
Amway Research Scientist David Byrne recently attended the LCA XII Conference in Tacoma, Washington, and shared the evolution of Amway’s use of LCA and our goal to be recognized as a sustainability leader in the direct sales industry. Here is the gist of his message:
Amway’s first product, L.O.C., was a phosphate-free, all-purpose cleaner that was one of the first bio-degradable products on the market. It was the first of many products we designed with environmental considerations. The company’s founders did this because it was the right thing to do.
However, our Independent Business Owners, customers and partners now want to know about our sustainability efforts. That’s why in 2009 Amway started using LCA. As a test case, an LCA helped shape the design of the new eSpring system launched in Japan that year. The result? It used 46% less energy than its predecessor.
Now sustainability requirements are integrated into corporate objectives for all new products and sustainability claims are tested along with performance claims. At Amway, LCA has been used successfully, and it’s gaining recognition inside and outside the company.