The packaging LCA is a standard template that can be used to import a Bill of Materials of a packaging system to understand the environmental impacts across the lifecycle of that packaging solution. 

You can download the Packaging importer excel file template in the tutorial: Model a packaging system.

Getting started
The first step is to change the name of the "Packaging System" in the first grey box to reflect the name of your packaging solution. This will automatically be populated to other headings so make sure not to change any other cells. The grey boxes indicate input cells where you can change or manipulate the information.

The template has three main sections:

  1. Materials (blue headings)
  2. Transport (yellow headings)
  3. End of life (green headings) 

Section 1: Materials
The materials headings are colored in blue. These headings include categories for common packaging materials such as foils, films and other materials used for the packaging of components. Fill in the amount by weight in kilograms (kg) or by volume in cubic metres (m3) of each material used in your packaging system. The total amount will automatically be calculated in each of the heading rows. 

The euro pallet amount is expressed as a percentage of the pallet used to store your components. For example, if there are 50 components on your pallet then the percentage of a single pallet that applies to each component is 2% entered as 0.02 units in the packaging template.

Section 2: Transport
Transport headings are shown in yellow. Transport has only two headings for inbound and outbound transport of the packaging system. Fill in the amount in metric ton*km to represent the transport used in your packaging system. The total amount will automatically be calculated in each of the heading rows.    

Section 3: End of Life
The End of Life heading is colored in green. End of life is simplified into just a few options: waste incineration, landfill and scrap. Fill in the amount by weight in kilograms (kg) of each material's end of life in your packaging system. Ensure any rows in this section which are unused are set to 0 or deleted. The total amount will automatically be calculated in the heading row.

Adapting the template
There are a few ways to adapt the template to your needs or make it simpler. These are optional, to be complete if desired but not required for the functionality of the packaging LCA template.

Any rows which have blank or zero amounts, can be deleted at the end to simplify the final BOM. Be careful not to deleted any of the heading rows unless they also have blank or zero amounts as this could cause problems with the formatting of the template for import.

To create a bespoke template for your company, simply delete any white rows under the materials, transport or end of life headings which do not apply to your company. If a whole section does not apply to your company, the heading row can also be deleted. Then save it as the new custom template to be used moving forward.  

To create another packaging system, simply rename the "Packaging System" in the first grey box to reflect the name of your second packaging solution and update the materials, transport and end of life amounts accordingly. Both the file name and the packaging system name in the first grey box should be unique to avoid overriding a previously uploaded packaging BOM.

This can then be used for an MCDA (Multi Criteria Decisions Analysis) to compare the environmental impacts across the lifecycle for the packaging solutions. More detailed information on MCDA can be found in the MCDA FAQ: http://support.makersite.io/en/collections/1860542-multi-criteria-decision-analysis 

Importing the packaging LCA template
This FAQ focuses mainly on how to fill in the packaging LCA template as described above but the import process remains the same:

  1. Click on set up so that a pop up window comes up 
  2. Click on Import a Bill Of Materials and the importer dialog comes up
  3. Drag and drop your BOM file into the importer

More detailed information on how to import a BOM can be found in the Upload a BOM FAQ: http://support.makersite.io/en/articles/2625330-upload-a-bom 

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