The international product design organisation has opened this deal up to students, researchers and lecturers, who can use the tool for integrating sustainable design into the curriculum or their research.
Both quick and intuitive, the LCA Calculator is a smart way for designers and engineers to get to grips with, compare and analyse the environmental impacts of products and particular design decisions.
The device analyses the effects that a product or service has on the environment over the entire period of its life - from the extraction and processing of raw materials from which it is made - through to the manufacturing, packaging and marketing processes.
Moreover, it looks into the use, re-use and maintenance of the product and on to its eventual recycling or disposal as waste at the end of its useful life.
IDC's Managing Director Stephen Knowles believes that sustainability should form an important part of the education of designers and engineers.
"If future generations are going to enjoy high quality sustainable products and lifestyles, it is essential that the designers and engineers learn how to use these tools and techniques. We have priced the Education version of the LCA Calculator as low as possible to maximise access to students," he commented.
The Education version starts at £40 per user and allows students to benefit from all the analysis tools of the main Corporate version, which is £2,000 for small teams. Users can also sign up to a 14-day free trial.
For researchers, the LCA Calculator has already proved successful in a number of research projects, including the Low Carbon Vehicle Technology Project (LCVTP), which is being coordinated by Warwick University to assess the carbon output of vehicle designs.