As global environmental concerns increase, industries continue to respond prominently to meeting sustainable practice standards through technological innovations and new business models. By implementing sustainable practices companies can create a competitive advantage and ultimately drive profitability in addition to mitigating environmental impacts. However, this potential is limited because current comprehensive environmental metrics, including Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), cannot be completed until after the product bill of materials is developed and the manufacturing process has been defined. In addition, the current LCA standards do not provide practitioners with a sufficiently standardized method of conducting an assessment, which makes its application to product development less reliable. This research develops a framework by which environmental impacts of a product system can be assessed and addressed during product development using a more standardized and precise LCA method. The basis of this method integrates systems engineering tools and a functional analysis based approach to LCA. Using this framework, designers can easily develop, classify, and explore different product designs based on predictive environmental impacts.

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