Step 1: Setting the goal and scope

The goal and scope is the most important step when doing an assessment. It describes the reason for doing the assessment. Steps which you need the go through are shown in the figure below.

 1.1. Define the goal

The first step is to define the goal of the assessment. Things which need to be defined are:

  • The product to be assessed
  • The goal of the assessment, for example:
    • Identify where the product can improve and where it outperforms.
    • Support internal communications and decision-making.
    • Support external (B2B or B2C) communication

figuren Anneke 13 januari3

1.2. Define the scope

Next the geographic scope and the stakeholder groups included in the assessment need to be defined.

  • Describe the geographic scope of the assessment by making explicit the value-chain actors which are included in the assessment, and their respective economic sectors and locations.
  • Define the stakeholder groups included in the assessment.The assessment is supposed to cover three stakeholder groups: workers, consumers and local communities.
    • Workers: Different groups of workers can be involved in the life cycle of the product: employees (i.e. workers with formal contracts, including temporary and part- time employees), workers employed through agencies or contractors, informal workers (i.e. workers without formal contracts), apprentices and trainees, migrant workers and home workers. The practitioner determines and documents which groups of workers are considered in the assessment.
    • Consumers: Consumers are considered when the impact of the product or product application during the use phase needs to be assessed. Consumers are not considered in cradle to gate assessments.
    • Local communities: It refers to the people living in the surroundings of a any one of the life-cycle stages. The local community in the use phase is only considered if the relationship with the product is clear and meaningful for the assessment.


Example scale based case study | Here you will find a real application example of the scale based methodology. The product under assessment is a shoe created with natural fibers. The goal of the assessment is to compare 1 pair of shoes against a baseline. The results help to identify improvement opportunities as well as areas in which the shoes outperform. The assessment  includes all direct suppliers, use phase and end-life. The geographic scope of the assessment is the USA and all workers have formal contracts  Download the case study.


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