IE & MFA: LCM and Industrial Ecology
Comparing process-LCA and IO-LCA: Bioethanol production in Spain
Biofuels production has risen in Europe and particularly in Spain in the last years due to a favorable legal framework. Environmental impacts have been considered by several studies, however, a sustainable study, which includes social and economic aspects should be conducted. This study shows the new Spanish Input-Output –Life Cycle Assessment (IO-LCA) tool and its implementation to a case study. In order to validate the tool, results were compared to those obtained by Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to the same case study.
National particularities were considered to develop the Spanish IO-LCA. Spanish and European public databases have been used. Bioethanol production from national barley grain was assessed using the Spanish IO-LCA and LCA, following the ISO standards 14040 and 14044:2006.
Energy demand, greenhouse gases and other pollutants emissions were estimated by both methodologies. Besides, economic activity, new employment and multiplier effect were estimated by the Spanish IO-LCA.
Results were generally higher estimated by the Spanish IO-LCA than by LCA. However some exceptions were identified, mainly related to the Agricultural stage, where some environmental aspects could not properly be estimated by the Spanish IO-LCA. The most relevant sectors to each aspect have been identified through the Spanish IO-LCA.
After the comparison between the Spanish IO-LCA and LCA results for the case study, IO-LCA seems to be a clear, fast and comprehensive tool, which can be used under the Spanish particularities. The IO-LCA could estimate properly most of the environmental aspects, although some areas of improvement have been identified. The new tool offers beside relevant information, such as economic activity and new employment, which should be considered from a sustainable point of view.
Hybrid life-cycle MFA of ferrous materials embedded in passenger cars under explicit consideration of grades of secondary materials
1Waseda University, Japan; 2Kyushu University, Japan; 3AIST, Japan; 4Tohoku University, Japan; 5NIES, Japan
In contrast to polymers such as plastics or textiles which are doomed to degrade over successive recycling, metals can be subjected to unlimited cycles of recycling. In reality, however, metals are seldom used in isolation, but in combination with different metal species as alloys and/or parts. While beneficial in the use phase, the combination or mixing of different metal species can result in qualitative degradation of secondary metal materials.
Notwithstanding its vital importance for LCM of metals, qualitative issues of secondary metal materials have seldom been the subject of MFA studies. Based on the hybrid MFA tools we elsewhere developed  and the information about the product lives , this paper focuses on the qualitative issues of secondary ferrous materials associated with the life cycle of passenger cars. WIO-MFA  enables one to estimate the composition of materials embedded in products. UPIOM  provides an efficient way for visualizing intersectoral material flow.
These tools were applied to 2005 Japanese IO data with 420 sectors extended for the make and use of eight types of ferrous scrap (pig iron scrap, own scrap, process scrap, stainless scrap, heavy scrap, shredder scrap, press scrap, and other scrap). It was found that end-of-life (EoL) passenger cars contributed to around one third of the total generation of shredder iron scrap: around one third of ferrous materials used in a passenger car can be recovered as shredder scrap. As for the absorption of secondary ferrous materials, the role of passenger cars was found to be rather limited. While ferrous scrap constitutes around 37 percent of the ferrous materials embedded in a passenger car, three fourth of it came from non EoL sources, and the share of shredder scrap in it was less than 1 percent. Shredder scrap generated from EoL passenger cars thus have to be absorbed by other sectors, in particular, construction sectors. Substantial amounts of critical metals are being used in the production of high quality steel, such as high tensile steel, to be embedded in passenger cars. Our finding suggests that a significant portion of them is being dissipated as construction steels.
 Nakamura, S.; Nakajima, K.; Kondo, Y.; and Nagasaka, T.; J. Ind. Ecol., 11, 50-63 (2007)
 Nakamura, S.; Kondo, Y.; Matsubae, K.; Nakajima, K.; Nagasaka, T.; Environ. Sci. Technol., in press, (2010), DOI: 10.1021/es1024299
 Kagawa, S.; Nansai, K.; Kudoh, Y.; Energy Econ. 31, 197-210, (2009)
Sustainability assessment within the residential building sector based on LCA and MFA: The experience in a developed (Spain) and a developing country (Colombia)
1University of Pamplona, Colombia; 2Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
More than ever, the residential building sector is concerned with improving the social, economic and environmental indicators of sustainability. In order to overcome the increasing concern of today’s resource depletion, environmental considerations and to address sustainability indicators, a practical life cycle method has been proposed to decision making integrating environmental and socio-economical aspects to analyse the impact of sustainability within the residential building sector using two practical life cycle methods. One method is the Material and Energy Analysis (MEA) which is suggested as an appropriate tool to provide a systematic picture of the direct and physical flows of the use of natural resources and the other is the environmental management tool of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as a complement to evaluate environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of the system.
Furthermore, the method provides sustainability information that facility an adequate decision making towards sustainable development at macro and micro levels. Sustainability assessment at macro level is determined by exogenous variables that can influence the development of a country. Meanwhile sustainable at the micro level is made within the limits of the whole building life cycle, starting from the construction, use (operation and maintenance) and finishing with the end-of-life phase. To illustrate it, a case study has been carried out based on the application to two buildings, one located in Barcelona, Spain and one situated in Pamplona, Colombia. Then, the main objective of this thesis is to propose a practical life cycle method including environmental and socio-economical aspects to evaluate indicators that explicitly measure the residential building sector’s impacts. This thesis has also provided initiatives for residential dwellings to reduce environmental impacts and assist stakeholders in improving customer patterns during the dwelling life cycle.
The findings of this thesis state that the appropriate combination of building materials, improvement in behaviours and patterns of cultural consumption, and the application of government codes would enhance decision-making in the residential building sector towards sustainability. The difference in consumption in Colombia and Spanish dwellings is not only due to the variation in results for bio-climatic differences but also because of the consumption habits in each country. The importance of consumption habits of citizens and the need to decouple socio-economic development from energy consumption are sought for achieving sustainability from a life cycle perspective. There is a crucial necessity to provide satisfaction to basic needs and comfort requirements of population with reasonable and sustainable energy consumption.
Dynamic modelling of material flow and CO2 emissions induced by introducing next-generation vehicles
The University of Tokyo, Japan
Recently, “next-generation vehicles” such as hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) have attracted attention because they reduce CO2 emissions in the use phase. Many researchers have been evaluating the energy consumption and CO2 emissions for next-generation vehicles based on both a product life cycle assessment and long-term global analysis. However, there has been little discussion about the change of material flow at the production process, although some types of next-generation vehicles have considerably different material composition.
This study presents the global steel, aluminum and copper flow for vehicles from 2005 to 2050 by using MFA (material flow analysis) and evaluates their recyclability in which the introduction of HEVs and EVs is considered. Then, the change of CO2 emissions in the production and usage of the vehicles is also estimated. For these analyses, two scenarios were envisaged as follow. In scenario I, next-generation vehicles will not be introduced. All vehicles used in the future are conventional internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs). In Scenario II, HEVs and EVs will be introduced on the basis of the “BLUE Map scenario” which was proposed by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The MFA showed that the global steel demand and discard in 2050 will be 229 Mt and 205 Mt, respectively in the scenario I; as well. 36.2 Mt and 32.4 Mt for aluminum, and, 3.57 Mt and 3.21 Mt for copper. In the scenario II, both the steel demand and discard decrease by 11.1 Mt compared with Scenario I. The aluminum demand and discard increase by 3.4 Mt and 1.4 Mt respectively, compared with Scenario I. The copper demand and discard increase by 10.8 Mt and 6.12 Mt respectively compared with Scenario I.
Then minimum requirement of primary aluminum and unrecyclable scrap in 2030 was calculated by using multimaterial pinch analysis. In Scenario II, 6.1 Mt of scrap cannot be recycled due to the high concentrations of alloying elements, which is 3.1 Mt more than the case in Scenario I.
Life cycle management - managing the sustainability of supply chains in the TOSCA project
SCA Hygiene Products, Sweden
A life cycle approach is a given starting point for international companies working actively to manage their product’s environmental impact and overall sustainability. From initial work with performing a life cycle assessment of products, it is natural to quickly come to the conclusion that to improve a product’s environmental performance the company has to start thinking in terms of life cycle management. To manage and efficiently steer the work in the different parts of the life cycle, different tools has to be applied such as environmental management systems, procedures for approval of chemicals, product safety, supplier evaluations, energy or water saving programmes, etc.
It is also obvious that for the parts that are upstream of the company, i.e. the suppliers and subsuppliers, a common approach on sustainability can make it possible to do this work in an efficient way. Structured procedures for data collection, evaluations, feedback and follow-up have to be documented and implemented. The suppliers have to have a clear picture of what is expected of the delivered products, and what is expected from the relationship in the future. For a customer the business decision depends on factors like quality, product safety, price, and delivery performance. These factors have to be weighed in with the environmental performance.
Often, the relationship between a supplier and a customer has a history spanning over many years, and in our experience the best results are reached when there is a mutual understanding on expectations and plans on both product and its future development, and on company performance in many aspects.
This presentation will show how the management of the upstream part of the supply chain can be approached. The work is carried out as one activity of the TOSCA project, where AkzoNobel and SCA work together with Chalmers University of Technology, supported by the EU Life+ programme. The overall objective of TOSCA is to show practical experiences and examples on how to work with sustainability aspects in supply chains. As a delivery from this project a knowledge portal is published, where the participating companies show examples and experiences of how they work in the different parts of the chain. This portal is available through www.tosca-life.info.
Meeting the climate pledge via sustainable consumption wedge -Development and application of dynamic hybrid multi-region LCI
National Taiwan University, Republic of China
With the emerging concern of global warming, a lot of effort had been spent to promote to mitigate greenhouse gas emission via altering lifestyle worldwide. However, only few studies focus on to prioritize the various options of behavior changes and quantify the real effect, those studies adapted a concept called “stabilization wedge”, which stand for the change that could offset a certain amount of carbon emission to fulfill the mitigation sharing under specific reduction target. Moreover, lack of “footprint” perspective during wedge identification contradicts to the essential features of global material economy and overlooks the main contributors of greenhouse gas emission. Regarding to the quantification of carbon footprint(CF) of a nation, Environmental-extended input-output analysis (EEIO) had widely been applied. But the assumption of technological indifference and low sectors resolution hinder the evaluation credibility and application. As a result, this study proposes to apply a novel inventory method called Dynamic Hybrid Multi-Region Inventory (DHMRI) to trace the amount and composition of CF and evaluate the effect of behavior change. We illustrate the applicability of this framework by analyzing the potential of household behavior change to support the fulfillment national reduction pledge in Taiwan. The estimation reveals that the carbon footprint per capita triggered by household consumption is 6.34 tons in 2006. Among the different consumption categories, shelter and service are the largest drivers of carbon footprint, followed by food and mobility. Owing to lack of precise data on future consumption pattern, the category-specific GHG elasticity documented in the literature are applied to forecast expansion of CF per capita in 2020. Therefore, the total reduction required to achieve the pledges are obtained. Since the sustainable consumption wedges are defined as which represent those behaviors change that are able to reduces direct and indirect GHGs emissions to the atmosphere that starts at zero today and increases linearly until it accounts for a specific amount of CFs in 2020, we identify 13 behavior changes, including enlarge the installation of renewable energy, reducing private car use, consumption only at hotel and supermarket with environmental certification, phase out of one-time plastic and increase the share the bio-material, etc. This study indicates with this analytic framework, the “low-carbon lifestyle” can be transform from conceptual insipiration to practical strategies.
Skallerup Klit's carbon footprint - a tool for building up the business strategy
1Aalborg University, Denmark; 2Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal
Skallerup Klit, a holiday center located in North Jutland, Denmark, has since 2003 worked actively with energy reductions. In 2010, it was certified as CO2 neutral (for the year 2009), and uses this label for branding as the first CO2 neutral holiday center. There are, however, reasons to question “CO2 neutrality” as a strategy not least because this goal can be reached rather easily by offsetting and without making actual emission reductions. The purpose of this study is to present recommendations on how Skallerup Klit can build up a business strategy by using their values and ethics in combination with a life-cycle perspective and Carbon Footprint (CPF) as a tool. This gives the opportunity for Skallerup Klit to address emissions throughout the life cycle of the products and services related to a holiday at the centre. Furthermore, inclusion of additional parameters such as transportation and food, which are important features of a holiday, is needed to give a truer picture of the real emissions associated with staying at Skallerup Klit as well as possible solutions to lower these emissions.
In order to analyze the perspectives for Skallerup Klit to use the CFP to build up their business strategy, an identification of the current organizational structure, environmental policy, targets and objectives are conducted through interviews and study of company related documents. This forms the basis for an assessment of Skallerup Klit´s values and commitment towards environmental and life-cycle management as well as stakeholder influence and involvement.
Financial data are used to calculate and assess the CFP by using Input-output LCA. IO LCA is suitable for making a screening of which areas in the operation of a company are contributing most significantly with GHG. The system boundaries of the assessment include parts of scope 3, hence including emissions from the supply chain and from transportation and food/beverages consumed at the holiday center. On the basis of the identified hot spots, the paper suggests scenarios on reduction potentials in the categories Energy, Transportation and Food, and provides actual recommendations for future energy and CO2 reduction initiatives.
Finally, a possible future network in the region of North Denmark is discussed as a platform for a hyperactive strategy, where Skallerup Klit actively try to affect the environmental awareness and involvement of its stakeholders and thus actively create future customer demands for a sustainable holiday.
The importance of normalization references in interpreting LCA results
1University of California, United States of America; 2University of Minnesota, United States of America
Normalization is a step connecting characterization and weighting within Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA), a process which translates Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) results into more comprehensible and comparable metrics. Normalization References (NRs) are the characterized results of a reference system, typically a national or regional economy. Normalization is widely practiced in LCA-based decision support and policy analysis. Compilation of NRs demands significant effort and time as well as intimate knowledge of data availability and quality. Consequently, only one set of NRs published in 2006 is available for the U.S., and has been adopted by various studies. In this study, completeness of the previous NRs was evaluated, and significant data gaps were identified. Filling in these data gaps increased the magnitude of NRs for ‘human health cancer’ ‘human health non-cancer’, ‘ecotoxicity’, and ‘eutrophication’ by 639,544%, 106,688%, 6,311% and 101%, respectively. Such changes can alter or even reverse the outcome of an LCA study. We applied the previous and updated NRs to conventional gasoline and corn ethanol LCAs. Using previous 22 NRs, corn ethanol showed weighted environmental impact an order of magnitude higher than gasoline, while applying updated NRs showed comparable impacts between the two. The results demonstrate that NRs play a decisive role in LCA interpretation. The updated normalization references are made available to the public.