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Appendix E The Federal Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) Digital Commons1 Life-cycle assessment is the assessment of environmental, economical, and social impact of a product throughout its lifespan, and is increasingly important in product design, procurement decisions, and policy making in the public and private sectors. The USDA, EPA, DOE, and other federal agencies have generated and are continuing to produce a critical mass of data available to support LCA activities. However, there is currently a lack of reliable, comprehensive, and open access data to support life-cycle assessments (LCA) for public and private decision making. The primary purpose of the federal LCA Digital Commons is to fully leverage federal investments in sustainability science and technology to maximize benefits by coordinating LCA data collection, organization, management, dissemination, and preservation. This project adopts an open source, open standard, and open access approach for system devel- opment. Stated deliverables from the federal LCA Digital Commons include: • Peer-reviewed LCA data, which ensures validity and reliability for analyses by providing reliable and comprehensive data made available through open database access • Data preservation • Standards and protocols, which are open, practical, and matured standards to represent and exchange LCA data and models 1www.lcacommons.gov/ 61
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62 SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT CONSIDERATIONS • Nomenclatures, which provide a shared vocabulary and naming convention to represent LCA data and model LCA methods and practices • Tools to collect, organize, validate, analyze, and visualize LCA data and models, and services to facilitate activities in the LCA community