In a report entitled Smart Innovators Product LCA Software, Verdantix has identified 18 companies that offer product LCA software, ranging from specialists such as PE International, PRé Consultants and SolidWorks, to consulting firms like Bureau Veritas, PwC and WSP Environment & Energy.
Demand is being helped by regulations for environmental reporting. Europe leads the world in setting standards for product sustainability with regulations such as the EU’s REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances) and the French government’s Bilan Carbone which requires Scope 3 emissions data reporting by the end of 2012. France is expected to become the leading market for LCA software adoption worldwide.
Among adopters are global food retailers and public procurement agencies who aim to improve their sustainability credentials and cut costs through better purchase decisions. Brand name suppliers like Unilever seek to get ahead of the curve by performing product LCA studies, while potential for differentiation also lifts LCA software demand as firms upgrade environmental design product strategies.
“In the last two years more than a dozen suppliers have rushed into the product LCA software market” said Emilie Beauchamp, Verdantix the report author. “In 2010 investors committed more than $20m to fund new ventures and accelerate growth plans for existing players. So far demand for product LCA software has been patchy, price points for new online applications are as low as $85 per month and the market lacks direction. But in 2012 demand will pick up due to a growing focus on green procurement, new regulations that require reporting of Scope 3 emissions and evidence of business value delivered by LCA projects.”