Loyola University Chicago


Total Cost of Ownership

and Life Cycle Assessment

As part of Loyola’s cost-containment efforts, the Purchasing Department employs multiple decision-making aspects. One of these is Total Cost of Ownership or TCO. Total cost of ownership is a composite of financial obligations including initial purchasing, operations and maintenance, utilities and energy, renewal, and decommissioning or disposal. For certain categories, taking the TCO into account reflects not only “first-cost” of purchasing or leasing but also future costs as a best fiscal management practice.
Where appropriate, total cost of ownership is integrated into the Request for Proposal (RFP) process for vendors with equipment that has on-going costs to the university. TCO is also integrated into significant single projects where items or facilities are being developed, especially regarding ongoing utility consumption and waste generation.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is another decision-making tool that incorporates non-financial impacts of university decision-making. An LCA compiles the inputs and outputs of materials and energy and the associated impacts attributed to the product or services being procured throughout the life cycle from extraction and manufacturing through use and eventual disposal. Sometimes referred to as “cradle to grave” analysis, an LCA can incorporate the environmental and social impacts of purchasing decisions.

TCO Resources:

US Environmental Protection Agency - https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice
North American College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) - https://www.nacubo.org/