By Muhammad Hussin Abdul Jabar
Life cycle assessment (LCA) refers to an analysis tool utilized to assess the environmental impacts emitted from the life cycle of a product, service, or activity. Through its implementation, producers, manufacturers, and service providers are able to provide mitigation strategies for the impacts of their operations thus reducing the environmental concerns from their side.
In Malaysia, LCA is included in the project development and monitoring through the Carbon Reduction Initiative and National Database Development. This enables an active participation of industrial players as it is a national policy. However, existing literatures suggests that their participation is still deemed at a low level due to the low demand of green products and services1.
On an international scale, LCA is a part of the ISO 14040 series. It is also adapted in Malaysia and governed by the Standard and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM). Additionally, under the Ninth Malaysian Plan, The Malaysia Life Cycle Inventory Database (MYLCID) was established with SIRIM as the governing agency2. It provides Malaysia-specific life cycle inventory results for a wide selection of materials, processes, and systems. The database supports the quantification of environmental performance and sustainability assessment based on life cycle assessment concept3.
Besides industrial players, academic field also demonstrates interest in LCA studies. This can be observed through various publications of LCA studies on academic databases. From Malaysia’s point of view, among the topics for researchers are LCAs for palm oil, energy, and waste management industries. This is due to various environmental concerns derived from these industries, which leads to increasing demand of mitigation measures. Furthermore, the involvement of academics in LCA activities enables collaboration with industrial players. Therefore, it encourages the inclusion of industrial point of view in academic field, which leads to both industrial and academic exposure to the involved parties.
As a conclusion, LCA is an advantageous tool to be applied in environmental impact mitigation efforts. Malaysia also possess the expertise to conduct it comprehensively. However, more efforts need to be done to promote the participation of involved parties in its implementation and utilization.
- Hafizan, C., Hussein, N. & Noor, Z. Z. Life Cycle Assessment Framework Application in Malaysia. IOP Conf. Ser. Mater. Sci. Eng. 1051, 012101 (2021).
- Economic Planning Unit. Ninth Malaysia Plan 2006-2010. (2006).
- SIRIM. Malaysian Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) Database. https://mylcid.sirim.my/my-lcid/index.xhtml.