Guidelines for Impact Reports

Product Life Cycle

Phantm’s Impact Reports uses life cycle inventory (LCI) data that represents an industry average for materials, manufacturing processes, and end-of-life impacts. This report's Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) can be used for directional guidance in internal decision-making and understanding trade-offs.

The reports follow the guidelines of ISO 14040 - Environmental Management in determining and documenting the scope, assumptions, consistent boundary conditions and data sources. According to ISO 14040, LCA results should not be used to make comparative assertions between competitive products without applying context and interpretation.

The environmental impact calculated in this analysis is for the packaging required to deliver the amount of product described by the functional unit. This includes the number of primary, secondary and tertiary packages. Package numbers are calculated based on the pallet configuration modelled in the bill of materials (BOM). If the secondary and tertiary package data is not entered, environmental impact cannot be calculated accurately.

The analysis can include environmental impact for all life cycle phases in a cradle-to-grave analysis.

Product LCA Consists of Four Phases


LCA Data: Impact Categories

Global Warming Potential

Global Warming Potential (GWP) considers the total quantity of greenhouse gasses (GHG) emitted throughout the life cycle reported in kilograms of CO2 equivalent. This calculation follows the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) 2021 uptake method and considers climate feedback loops. It also considers global warming potential for a 100-year timeframe.

Fossil Fuel Use

This indicator considers the total quantity of fossil fuel consumed throughout the life cycle reported in gigajoules (GJ) equivalents composed/kg dissipated based on an extraction/consumption/competition/adaptation approach. This indicator uses the Impact World+ method, the primary energy content, and assumes fossil resources are mainly used for energy purposes. Fossil fuels include coal, petroleum, and natural gas.

Water Consumption

This indicator considers the relative available water remaining per area in a watershed after the demand of humans, aquatic ecosystems, and manufacturing process has been met, compared to the world average. The AWARE method is used to calculate the water scarcity footprint, which looks at the potential to deprive another freshwater user by consuming freshwater in a given region. The water scarcity footprint is the water consumption inventory multiplied by a characterisation factor based on the availability and demand of fresh water in a given region. The characterisation factors have a range of 0.1 to 100, with higher numbers associated with more water-scarce regions and are dimensionless (m3 world eq./m3). The water scarcity footprint results are typically reported in m3 world-eq but may be reported in litres world-eq if there is a small quantity of water being considered in the analysis.

Phase Impacts

Material Phase

The material phase measures the environmental footprint of extracting and processing materials.

Manufacturing Phase

The manufacturing phase calculates the impact of companies' manufacturing or conversion processes to add value and create the package or product.

Transportation Phase

For the transportation phase, the impact is calculated based on the mode of transportation (road, rail, air, sea) as well as the distances travelled.

End of Life

The end-of-life impact calculation incorporates the most likely fate of the product/ package and its components based on typical curb-side municipal waste management. Typical percentage rates for region-based recycling, incineration, and landfill are used to calculate the impacts.

Use Phase (if applicable)

Use phase includes the environmental impact during the useful life of the package/ product. Typically, the use phase impact is due to the consumption of resources like electricity, fuel, or other consumables.

Who Benefits and Why



Glossary Term Description
Weight Reduction Packaging weight reduction can be calculated as the difference between the immediate, previous, and present packaging design. For environmental relevance, packaging weight reduction should be communicated by material category. Sometimes when package/products are light-weighted, this can require other parts of the packaging system (e.g. secondary packaging) to increase in weight to protect a thinner, more fragile part of the package/product. These weight increases and reductions should be clearly communicated, considered, and quantified.
Packaging To Product Weight Packaging to Product Weight Ratio: The ratio of the weight of all packaging material used compared to the weight of the product or functional unit delivered. This is automatically calculated in Phantm Assess.
Material Scrap Rate Percentage of material scrap of a manufacturing process. Default percentages are pulled from industry average processes. This value can be edited to reflect improved efficiency or yield of manufacturing process. Changing this value affects the LCA of material, manufacturing, and inbound transportation impact. Only available for components with one manufacturing process per material.
Packaging Reuse Rate The number of times packaging accomplishes the same use, rotation, or trip for which it was conceived and designed within its life cycle. Determine if packaging conforms to definition of reusability per EN 13429 and ISO/CD 18603. If packaging is deemed reusable per referenced standards and guidelines, include all reused packaging components or packaging units. This metric can be used for primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging. In cases where several packaging levels are being reused, their individual rates should be reported separately and not be cumulated.
Packaging Recovery Rate The mass fraction or absolute mass of packaging recovered from all sources (commercial and residential) based on relevant waste management statistics. Determine if packaging conforms to the criteria for recoverability as per the relevant standards above. Include disclosure of material aspects of the package/product that would preclude recovery, e.g. colour, material combinations, or coatings. If criteria are fulfilled, express total recovery rate as % of total packaging weight put on the market that is effectively recovered and provide the breakdown per practiced recovery option. Material Recycling: measure each type of packaging produced and/or used for which national waste management recycling rates exist. Note that depending upon the packaging (type, shape, size, colour) true recycling rates might not coincide with national recycling rates for specific material or packaging category. Composting: measure each type of packaging produced and/or used for which national waste management industrial composting rates exist. Note that in many regions the rate of composted organic waste may not coincide with the rate of composted packaging waste due to lack of acceptance. Energy Recovery: If packaging is deemed to have energy recovery value and appropriate infrastructure exists, use national waste management statistics. If data is available, measure by material type. Packaging going to final disposal and non-recovered littering is implicitly calculated from the recovery rate and does not need to be measured separately.
Cube Utilisation Total product volume in a transport unit divided by the volume of the transport unit.
Packaged Product Shelf Life The ratio of a product’s shelf life in packaging to a product’s shelf life without packaging. Measure the length of time a product in packaging is suitable for sale compared to a product not in packaging. Compare only same product types in same packaging types. This metric does not apply to products which do not have a clearly defined shelf life. Do not take and compare measures of different types of products in the same types of packaging or of same types of products in different types of packaging.
Damage Rate Damage rate measures the frequency a component is damaged during transportation, with the goal of transporting the product to its destination. Damage rate is entered on each component and is rolled up at each package and at the packaging system level or product level.
Total Cost of Packaging The total cost of all materials, energy, equipment and direct labour used during the sourcing of raw, recycled and reused materials and the production, filling, transport and/or disposal of packaging materials, packaging components or units of packaging.
EPR Fees EPR Fees are calculated for manufacturers based on a cost per kg of material produced. Phantm Assess calculates the total cost for Packages and Packaging Systems or Product based on entered in cost per kg of material.
Chain of Custody Known The linked set of organizations, from point of harvest or extraction to point of purchase, that have held legal ownership or physical control of raw materials or recycled materials, used in packaging constituents, packaging components, or packaging systems. Phantm Assess asks how much of the Chain of Custody is known for the component. A complete chain of custody is measured by a value of 100%. This means that each party in the supply chain is under contractual obligation and is able to disclose proof of their material source(s) through purchasing agreements, inventory records, etc.
Primary Package Cube Efficiency Ratio of Product volume and Primary package volume. This shows how much empty or head space is there in the primary package. A higher % denotes more efficient use of the Primary package volume and reduced empty space.
Secondary Package Cube Efficiency Ratio of total Product Volume in secondary package and Secondary package volume. This shows how much of the secondary package volume is occupied by the product. A higher % denotes more efficient use of Secondary package and reduced empty space.
Tertiary Package Cube Efficiency Ratio of total Product Volume on Pallet and Pallet Volume. This shows how much of the tertiary package volume is occupied by the product. A higher % denotes more efficient palletization and reduced empty space.
EOL Waste Potential This is the potential for the package/product to be either landfilled, incinerated or composted at end of life based on the current municipal waste infrastructure in the selected region.
EOL Recycling Potential This is the potential for the package/product to be recycled at end of life based on the current municipal waste infrastructure in the selected region.
Primary Package Recyclable Score (0-5) 0 - Contaminant: Contaminates the recycling stream 1 - Not Accepted: Not accepted by recycling plants 2 -Little: Very little acceptance but is trending towards becoming more acceptable 3 - Limited: Has a limited acceptance 4 - Becoming Widely: In process of being widely accepted 5 - Widely Accepted
Secondary Package Recyclable Score (0-5) 0 - Contaminant: Contaminates the recycling stream 1 - Not Accepted: Not accepted by recycling plants 2 - Little: Very little acceptance but is trending towards becoming more acceptable 3 - Limited: Has a limited acceptance 4 - Becoming Widely: In process of being widely accepted 5 - Widely Accepted
Primary Package MCI (0-1) This is the material circularity index calculated for the primary package.
Single Use Plastic Plastic that is used once, then discarded.
Post Consumer Recycled Content (PCR) This is the percentage of post-consumer recycled content contained in the Material as defined by ISO 14021. % PCR for materials usually range between 0% to 100%. PCR is not available for all materials.
Post Industrial Recycled Content (PIR) Post Industrial waste in the form of scrap, rejects etc that is collected from industries and used as recycled content in a new product/package.
Bio-Renewable Content Refers to the percentage of bio-based content contained in the Material. This percentage can vary from 0% to 100%. Not all materials will have bio-based content. Primarily paper and plastics will have this content.
Certified Content Refers to Material sources that have been certified by third party certification programs deemed relevant by the Phantm Assess user. The definition of 'Certified' varies by user. A wide range of certification programs exist, and Phantm Assess does not provide guidance on which of these programs may be relevant to users' decision-making. Prior to data input, users are encouraged to create a list of which certification programs they support, and then use this list as the basis for data entry. For example, forest product certification programs that may be of interest to users include the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Pan European Forest Council (PEFC) or Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). The percent certified range is between 0% to 100%.

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