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Life Cycle Cost-Benefit Analysis

Cost-Benefit Analysis is a decision-making process that helps to identify and quantify the costs and benefits associated with all potential scenarios or options.  It is a systematic approach to estimating the strengths and weaknesses of alternatives used to make decisions between alternatives.   Opportunity cost, the benefit missed by choosing one option over the other, is often also factored into the analysis. It can be used to compare intangible items, such as ecosystems services or the benefit of choosing an option that confers less environmental and negative health impact over a more detrimental option. In sustainability practices, cost-benefit analysis can help to identify options that may confer more favorable environmental conditions, while also minimizing costs over the entire life cycle.  It is important to consider the full life cycle in this type of analysis as costs may be higher upfront for greater benefits later on.

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