Lifecycle costing

Lifecycle costing

Lifecycle costing is used to determine the full cost of owning a device or product for the duration of its lifetime. This stands in contrast to the process of basing cost decisions primarily on purchasing price. For example, it is common for higher quality or higher efficiency equipment to require more up-front costs, but they may break even or become cheaper in the long run if they require less maintenance, are more durable, or use less energy or other consumables.

Lifecycle costing at Waterloo

Waterloo has created a Lifecycle Costing Guideline to ensure commitment to using this methodology in order to bring the greatest long-term value to the University. Or, in cases where a product with higher lifecycle cost is selected, there is transparency in the long-term needs among all stakeholders.

IT equipment is an optional category under the guideline, but is strongly encouraged, especially for devices with potential for high energy consumption or consumables.

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For more information, please see the guideline information on the Secretariat’s site, and contact the Sustainability Office ( for access to the Excel-based calculation tool.