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Comprehensive life cycle assessment of consumer goods


Initial situation and problem definition

GREENZERO GmbH specializes in the preparation of life cycle assessments for companies and their products. GREENZERO was commissioned by a large German retail company to carry out a comprehensive assessment of the environmental impact of a large number of hygiene products (Life Cycle Assessment).

GREENZERO's previously highly manual workflow reached its limits in this project. Therefore, makandra was brought in as a technical partner to develop customized software to carry out the life cycle assessments. The aim was to provide a digital platform that not only significantly accelerates the process of data collection and evaluation, but also makes it more consistent and automated.

Central challenges

Our two biggest challenges in setting up the digital platform were, firstly, the collection and analysis of an enormous amount of data and, secondly, the involvement of numerous stakeholders, each with different access rights.

  • Data collection and analysis
    As part of the life cycle assessment, a comprehensive and detailed analysis of all individual ingredients of the hygiene products to be assessed was to be carried out. The aim was to examine the entire value chain of the products with regard to various environmental impacts, including CO2 emissions, soil acidification, summer smog, ozone depletion as well as land and water consumption. All the data collected was then validated and balanced using environmental databases.
  • Rights and roles
    In addition to the retail company and its suppliers, analysts and other external parties are also involved in the data collection and evaluation process. Depending on their respective roles, different access rights and role concepts should be taken into account.
We greatly appreciated the understanding of how to recognize difficulties, transport them easily and communicate them. I have to say, the results that we could already see and feel in the process are fantastic!
Michael Woywode Director Digital Solutions, Learning & Communication GREENZERO

Our solution for GREENZERO

As a result, we have developed a powerful digital platform that covers the entire life cycle assessment process for products.

The key features of the solution are 

  • The platform links the three players: trading companies, LCA consultants and suppliers. It enables products to be set up and guided through the data collection and balancing process in a predefined workflow.
  • Existing data can easily be reused for future life cycle assessments. This greatly speeds up the analysis of similar products from the same supplier
  • Individual dashboards with different functions depending on the user role offer a quick entry point in everyday life and provide an overview of the respective main drivers of life cycle assessments.

Added value and benefits of the solution

In addition to the core task of the platform, the life cycle assessment and overview of the costs of a climate-neutral product range, the platform's data basis also offers a number of other advantages: 

  • Basis for optimizing the product range
    The platform forms a very good basis for developing and implementing a more sustainable product strategy. The data obtained can be used to derive targeted measures to reduce environmental impact, for example by optimizing the selection of raw materials, production processes and packaging materials.
  • Planning further sustainability measures
    Further products or raw materials can always be evaluated in the light of the knowledge gained. The data basis is a good foundation for all further sustainability measures.
  • Risks in the supply chain (business resilience & risk)
    Risks in the supply chain can be derived from a risk management perspective, as the platform reflects a comprehensive picture of all critical raw materials and sources of supply used. 
  • Transparency as a competitive advantage
    Transparent and comprehensible information about the environmental impact and risks in the supply chain can also be presented to customers and used as a competitive advantage.

Technical implementation

Immediately after the start of the project, we held intensive discussions with all those involved. We then developed initial concepts, assumptions and wireframes, which we tested in an iterative approach. Before the first line of code was written, we created a hi-fi prototype to keep the effort as low as possible. Our motto right from the start: Accelerated decisions through rapid prototyping.

For the development of the platform, we started at zero and carried out a completely new development of the software. The collaboration was based on an agile approach. We always stayed in touch and focused on close, iterative coordination with the user groups. As always, we placed great emphasis on automated testing to keep the software reliable and stable in the long term, with a test coverage of almost 100%.

Due to the high data protection and security requirements, we operate the platform on our high-availability infrastructure located in Germany. All systems are designed with consistent redundancy to ensure stable operation.

Yes, I would definitely recommend makandra. The collaboration is characterized by a highly professional calmness and highly professional work, very innovative, very agile, but always on track, always a step ahead, and visually as well as technically inspiring for me.
Michael Woywode
Michael Woywode Director Digital Solutions, Learning & Communication GREENZERO

Project Scope Our Services for GREENZERO

Product Development
User Design
User Experience
Hosting & Administration