Tu - Poster: Tuesday Poster Session
Analysis of the life-cycle costs and environmental impacts of cooking fuels used in Ghana
1University of Ghana, Ghana; 2Koforidua Polytechnic, Ghana
This is an extension of work, recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, in which the environmental impacts of some cooking fuels used in Ghana were compared using the life-cycle assessment technique. The life-cycle approach has become one of the most actively employed methods for the analysis of environmental sustainability options. The cradle-to-grave approach gives a fuller assessment of the ecological effects of various production and consumption choices. While the earlier study focused solely on the environmental aspects of the major cooking fuels used in Ghana, the present study aims to extend it to cover all available fuels on the market and also to carry out cost analysis in order to assess the socio-economic implications of the usage of the various fuels and hence to facilitate decision-making.
To this end life-cycle costing tools are being used to determine the implications of alternative choices and policy decisions which could be made by consumers, manufacturers or policy-makers. The results will indicate the various costs associated with the utilization of the fuels for cooking, namely, capital, operating, maintenance and fuel distribution costs. The total life-cycle cost is the present value of the sum of all the listed costs over the estimated lifetime of the particular system. The calculations are based on a functional unit of 1 MJ of useful energy. (The useful energy is defined as the actual heat delivered from the fuel multiplied by the efficiency of the stove). The sensitivity of the results to key assumptions is being examined.
Seeds4Green: Free collaborative internet platform for LCA studies
1Gingko 21, France; 2PanOrder, Germany
Seeds4Green is a free collaborative internet platform for LCA studies.
In 2009 and 2010, Defra (UK) joined forces with Ademe (French Environmental and Energy Management Agency) to sponsor the development of a collaborative LCA website with the technical support of the EU’s Joint Research Centre. Seeds4Green is a wiki platform that aims to provide an easy way gather and share documents linked to environmental sustainability. Both agencies support the transparency and sharing of data and view this as a one of the solutions that allows a wider range of users to acquire LCA information more easily and promote sustainable goods and services.
We anticipate that the information stored here could be used by many audiences - from purchasers to eco-designers, businesses, eco-labeling teams within public authorities as well as LCA practitioners, researchers and students throughout the world. Currently summaries are in both French and English.
The purpose of the platform is to collaboratively build knowledge on the environmental quality of goods and to diffuse the results of LCA studies. It provides purchasing guidelines and systemised criteria making green purchasing operational and eco-labels even more transparent and comprehensive.
The presentation/poster will explain the features of the platform including detailed examples of data summary sheets making it immediate accessible and showing its ease of integration in individual work habits.
Life cycle assessment for biodiesel production under Latvian climate conditions
Riga Technical University, Latvia
The EU Renewable Energy Directives’ sustainability criteria (EU/2009/28) stated that biofuels must offer at least 35% carbon savings compared with fossil fuels. To all Member States, the European Commission has indicated that the use of the transport biofuels have to reach the lvel of 5.75% in 2010.
In Latvia, rapeseed methyl ester (RME) is generally supposed to be one of the more valuable possibilities. As the investment are growing, it is important to evaluate the environmental impacts of these productions and to stress the main sources of these impacts.
Nowadays, in Latvia the share of biofuels in the transport sector is attested on a value of 0.3% (around 75% biodiesel and 25% bioethanol). The biofuel production in Latvia doubled in the last two year: the total biodiesel production is now around equal to 64 ktonne/year (year 2009).
The aim of this paper is to understand and to model the environmental performance of biodiesel produced by rapeseeds under local Latvian conditions. The energy crops have been studied, with regard to their levels of biodiesel productivity. Current Latvian climatic conditions and cultivation parameters have been taken into account. A comparison with the impacts of the related fossil based diesel has been conducted.
The system boundaries include rapeseed cultivation, oil extraction and processing, biodiesel production and final use. The system has been expanded to take into account the valorization of by-products in substitution of natural gas production (from fermentation of straw in the cultivation process), animal feed (rapeseed meal) or chemicals (glycerin). Simapro 7.1 databases and the impacts 2002+ method have been used for the Life Cycle Impact Assessment. The functional unit was off-road transport over a distance of 100 km by a compact pickup truck.
This study shows that the environmental benefits from biodiesel have better results compared to the conventional diesel. The valorization of by-products lead to a considerable environmental improvements. For the global warming environmental impacts the valorazion of the by-product is fundamental in order to have a level lower then that one of conventional diesel.
The rsults lead to the conclusion that is feasible to successfully increase the environmental and sustainable efficiency of the analyzed Latvian biodiesel production model. The use of the LCA methodology is a fundamental tool in a foreseeable future increase of the Latvian biodiesel production.
Life cycle inventory of pine and eucalyptus cellulose production in Chile: Effect of process modifications
University of Concepcion, Chile
Chile is a major exporter of bleached kraft cellulose, with an annual production around 5,000,000 tonnes per year, supported by more than 2 million hectare of pine and eucalyptus plantations. Forestry and industrial wood processing features large amounts of water and chemicals consumption, as well as significant effluent discharges and air emissions, and occupational risks. As a result, growing concerns have put pressure on industry in order to improve process performance, according to modern standards. Within this context, different initiatives to reduce water and carbon footprints, effluent toxicity, and other environmental and occupational hazards along the cellulose value chain have been developed. This work reports results on the use of life cycle thinking to improve environmental and occupational health performance throughout the cellulose life cycle, within a cradle-to-gate approach. Primary data have been used in this study, and cover 100% of pine and eucalyptus cellulose production capacity in Chile.
Results show that most fossil energy consumption takes place in raw materials transport, chemical manufacturing and limestone kilns in cellulose plants. Most effluent discharges are associated with bleaching operations, and the large majority of accidents occur during wood harvesting. Process modifications and production practises introduced during the last decade have led to significant reductions in the consumption of natural resources, pollutant discharges, and accidents. The introduction of advanced forestry practises; modified cooking, oxygen delignification, and elementary chlorine bleaching, new effluent treatment and air pollution controls, and closer water cycle in cellulose manufacturing have been implemented in all new plants. As a result, in the last decade overall water consumption has dropped from 80 m3/ton cellulose to nearly 40 m3/tonne, AOX discharges and the number of hours lost by accidents have been reduced by 300% and 150%, respectively.
The evolution of life cycle inventories resulting from process improvements is reported in detail in this paper, and environmental and social implications are thoroughly discussed within the context of Chilean reality. Finally, a LCI tool to support continuous improvement in cellulose production is proposed.
Assessing the environmental advantages of high strength steel
1IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Sweden; 2Sperle Consulting AB, Sweden
High strength steel often includes more alloy metals compared to ordinary steel grades. Therefore the environmental impact per tonne of steel normally increases with increasing steel strength and alloying content. On the other hand, the use of high strength steel means that less material is required to fulfil a specific function and/or that the life-span of the steel product increases.
Assessing the environmental impacts of high strength steel, compared to ordinary steel, requires a careful definition of the functional unit, which takes into account the differences in material quantity and service life. These benefits of high strength steel can vary from product to product, which means that specific comparisons need to be done for each product where the material is used.
Another challenge is the modelling of recycling. The use of scrap varies between steel grades. If the scrap input is modelled without environmental impact, a stainless steel grade using a large share of scrap comes out better than a stainless steel grade with a large share of virgin raw materials, even though its content of alloys is higher. This will encumber new steel grades in the calculations. The use of scrap in a new steel grade is typically small, since there is not yet much scrap on the market. This means that the assessment results will not reflect the future potential for such a steel grade.
Using less material in a product not only reduces the quantity of materials produced. It can also affect the use phase and waste management of the product life cycle. A preliminary estimate shows that every million tonne of advanced high strength steel that replaces conventional steel in the European road vehicle fleet results in a saving of 8 million tonne CO2 emissions and 30 TWh non-renewable energy resources provided a lifetime of ten years. Over 90 % of these savings are related to the use of the vehicles. These results highlight the importance of including the use phase in order to recognize the environmental potential of advanced high strength steel.
A database and software tool for design engineers are also developed in this project. This tool is intended for assessments of the life cycle environmental savings obtained when high strength steel replaces ordinary steel. The tool allows for the assessment of both passive and active structures, with focus on the latter (e.g., trucks, cars, buses, trains, and ships).
Development of a sustainability assessment system for steel and composite bridges
University of Stuttgart, Germany
In bridge construction, despite a new regulation allowing for the consideration of sustainability related aspects, currently mainly cost aspects are taken into account in assignment practice. This is due to the fact that there is a lack of quantifiable sustainability criteria, which can be included into bid invitations for bridges. To develop such quantitative criteria, regarding the aspects of ecological quality, economical quality and functional quality, an interdisciplinary project, including civil engineers, LCA specialists, economists, and specialists form the German Federal Highway Research Institute has been launched by the FOSTA, the German Research Foundation for Steel Applications.
To develop reference values for economic and ecological criteria, the life cycles of three representative bridges are analyzed and assessed using the methods of LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) and LCC (Life Cycle Costing) within the same system boundaries. Data acquisition for the use / maintenance phase of the bridges is supported by analyzing and interpreting data bases of the German Federal Highway Research Institute. External costs and ecological effects of bridge construction and maintenance, being used to take into consideration the functional quality of the bridges, are accounted for separately. Using the results of these studies, an applicable sustainability index for bridges is developed. Methodological approaches for this are currently being generated.
Within the presentation, the systematic approach for the development of the sustainability assessment system will be outlined. Criteria chosen will be explained, first results will be presented and conclusions to be drawn from these findings will be discussed.
Fully parameterized LCA tool for wind energy converters
University of Bremen, Germany
Wind energy converters (WEC) are supposed to provide the world with “clean” and almost carbon neutral energy, reducing the emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gases and other environmental impacts. In fact, during their use phase WECs generate comparably clean electricity. On the other hand energy is consumed for production, transport, disposal of the WEC etc. and greenhouse gases are emitted. Here the question about the WECs energy balance arises: at what point in their lifetime does the generated energy exceed the consumed energy and how much CO2 is saved by using energy from wind. In order to answer these questions, to calculate the energetic payback time and the harvest factor and to analyse other environmental impacts of WECs a project in cooperation between ENERCON GmbH and the University of Bremen has been carried out. Within this project a fully parameterized LCA Tool for ENERCON WECs has been developed.
For this tool an extensive collection of primary data in has been carried out. This data has been completed with data from PE databases and literature and was transferred into a parameterized material flow model in the LCA software GaBi 4. By using about 330 partly predefined parameters this tool allows assessing the environmental impact of different WECs. The user can select the basic WEC layout and define further parameters as for example transport distances, life span of the converter, or average number of yearly full load hours. Thus site specific LCAs can be created as well as environmental aspects of different production, operation and recycling scenarios can be compared.
Analyses performed with this model showed a great impact of the wind conditions on the key results. A comparison of an inland site with an average of 2.170 full load hours per year, a near-coast site with 2.500 full load hours and a coast site with 3.100 full load hours shows for example harvest factors of 35.4 for the inland site, 40.8 for the near-coast site and 51 for the coast site. For the carbon footprint figures of 8.9 grams of CO2 per kWh for the inland site, 7.7 grams for the near-coast site and 6.1 grams CO2 per kWh for the coast site result. This means over its life cycle the E-82 E2 spares the environment up to 85,000 tons of CO2 compared to the European grid mix (UCTE) and up to 160,000 tons compared to a coal fired plant.
Optimal repowering of wind energy converters: Energy demand and CO2 intensity as indicators
University of Bremen, Germany
In many areas in Germany (and probably elsewhere) the best onshore sites for wind energy converters (WEC) are already taken. In order to still increase the electricity generation from wind in these regions repowering of these sites is the most promising option. Finding the right moment in time for replacing old WECs with new ones is dependent on a lot of factors. The main driver for the operators is probably the economic side. This factor is heavily dependent on subsidies and feed-in tariffs or on the general development of electricity prices. From an environmental perspective, however, there are other factors relevant for the decision when to replace old WECs and we believe they should be taken into consideration, at least when contemplating subsidies or other incentives for repowering. Since the main reason for promoting wind energy is saving CO2, the CO2 intensity of the repowering process and its impact on the overall CO2 intensity of the generated electricity should be taken into account. When a new WEC is manufactured and installed, there is additional energy expended and CO2 released. If this environmental “investment” is justified is dependent on the age and efficiency of the replaced WEC, the site specific conditions, and the energy and CO2 efficiency of the new WEC.
In cooperation with Enercon GmbH we have developed a modular LCA tool that allows for simulating different repowering options in order to find the optimal replacement strategy for WEC sites regarding cumulative energy demand (CED) per generated kWh and the respective specific CO2-emissions. The results indicate, that there is an optimal point in time for specific sites, depending on the availability of modern and more efficient WEC technology. Replacing WECs too early might lead to an overall increased CED such that energetically the investment does not pay off at all. On the other hand, replacing the WEC too late displaces the “break even point” for the investment unnecessarily into the future.
By-products and recycled material in the life cycle of steel
1TU Berlin, Germany; 2ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe, Germany
The inclusion and assessment of recycling processes and by-products frequently has a decisive influence on the results of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies. Currently, no generally accepted approach how to deal with by-products and secondary materials either used in the production or recovered from recycling processes exists. The existing specifications in the international standards of LCA (ISO 14040/44) are merely of generic nature but nevertheless a concrete allocation procedure has to be defined in the goal and scope definition of the specific life cycle study. As a consequence several different allocation methods are used, sometimes even in very similar cases.
Steel manufacturing is a system that produces several by-products, uses secondary material and contains well established multirecycling processes. There are mainly two complementary production routes, the blast furnace route and the electric arc furnace route which are connected by recycling of end-of-life products.
Both routes use steel scrap, to a greater or lesser extent, as secondary raw material and a “fair” accounting of the burdens of primary production and secondary products is of utmost importance for a feasible model of this product system.
In this paper an evaluation framework for the existing allocation & evaluation methods (e.g. Cut-off approach, Avoided-burden approach, Principle of the saved primary resource or System boundary extension) is developed using criteria like applicability, change in inherent properties, time stability, applicability for metals etc. as a basis.
In addition, selected approaches will be applied to the case study of the integrated steel works of the ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG in Duisburg (Germany).
Based on the theoretical evaluation and the practical application a proposal for a consistent assessment framework will be developed as a contribution to derive a generally accepted guidance on this topic.
Environmental assessment of a biomethane production system from offshore-cultivated macroalgae
1Montpellier SupAgro, France; 2INRA, France
Biofuels from algal biomass, also called third generation biofuels, seem to be a promising source of bioenergy for the future. As its cultivation does not need any fertile land use, it avoids to deal with food competition, as opposed to other biofuels feedstocks. Macroalgae present even a few more advantages compared with other third generation feedstocks. First, as a macro-organism cultivated in a natural environment, the facilities used might be less heavy than for microalgae: no need of sophisticated harvesting systems (like centrifuge or use of flocculants) nor of complex cultivation systems (like raceways or photobioreactors). Moreover, they can reduce eutrophication when grown in eutrophized zones.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an efficient tool for quantifying environmental impacts of biobased materials, especially for biofuels. To assess if this feedstock could effectively be an eco-friendly source of bioenergy, LCA is used in this study. The functional unit used is one MJ produced by the combustion in an engine of methane produced by anerobic digestion of macroalgae. These algae are cultivated on long-lines in a coastal environment, after a plantlets production in a nursery. After harvesting and ship transportation, seaweeds are transformed as biogas in an anaerobic digestion plant. The production system is described at a semi-industrial scale, with experimental data from Britany (France) for the brown seaweed Laminaria saccharina cultivation system. They are then compared with 1 MJ of natural gas as a fossil fuel reference, burnt in an engine. The Recipe method is used to carry out the impact assessment.
The results highlight the importance of the technics applied in the nursery to ensure the environmental performances of the production system (from 55% to 95% of the impacts for each impact categories considered). The key factor to focus on to improve the system performances are first the electric consumption, especially to light plantlets. Then, the polyamid small ropes wound on the offshore cultivation infrastructures and where plantlets are caught is another step which impact the most in the process. A first stage of ecodesign allow enhancements, reaching interesting levels of impacts compared with the fossil fuel reference (natural gas): reduction of 35% of the greenhouse gas emissions and of 70% of the fossil depletion. This first study shows that despite its recent concern, further improvements could be achieve in the near future and could make the use of macroalgae for biofuels production competitive compared with other terrestrial feedstocks.
Development of sustainability management system based on LCM approach for steel industry
PE Sustainability Solutions, India
Leading companies are becoming increasingly aware about the sustainability challenges. The industries have already responded to these challenges through adoption of pillars of sustainability. The growing pressure from all stakeholders forces the companies to incorporate the sustainability in all the activities. There are number of initiatives exist on incorporating sustainability in overall business activities. Consequent to evolution of various management tools for supporting and improving sustainability performance of the industry, companies have focused their attention towards applying proper management tools as a decision support system based on quantitative approach in their overall management system
Life Cycle Management (LCM) has been a widely accepted quantitative management tool for evaluating the significant environment aspects and its impacts in a holistic manner. Researchers have also attempted to integrate the social and economic aspects through LCM.
This paper provides a framework for evaluating the environment, social and economic aspects for companies using LCA approach and designing a sustainability road-map for the significant sustainability aspects. Further, the proposed LCM application will help companies to design, implement, assess and review the sustainability management system based on quantitative analysis of various sustainability indicators which emerged from taking into account of all the stakeholders view points and also results of comprehensive LCA study of the operations. The paper also proposes an approach for quantitative materiality assessment and integration of social, economic and environmental performance through deployment of LCM approach for a typical steel industry.
This paper demonstrate that how LCM approach can be implemented on a consistent manner in order to implement Sustainability Management System (SMS) in large steel plant.
Exergetic life cycle analysis in the selection of energetic sources for isolated communities in Latin American
1Universidad Central de Las Villas, Cuba; 2Centro de Investigaciones y Pruebas Electroenergéticas (CIPEL); 3Universidad de Cotopaxi, Ecuador.
The distributed generation (DG) is the electric power generation, to small and medium scale, located the nearest to the load center, with the option of being interconnected with the network for the purchase effects or sale; this scheme allows to take place and to management the energy in the same consumption place. Some productive and service companies and facilities of very high importance, as the hospitals, they use their own systems of electric generation to avoid possible blackouts of the network.
Usually many of these installations use polluting energies as the natural gas or the gasoil to assure electricity, although this type of self-sufficient generation can be based on ecological sources as the biomass, wind, sun or hydrogen.
Usually a technical and economic analysis defines which kind of energy source to use, having in consideration the characteristics of the region from the climatological point of view; normally for this evaluation some software like HIBRID2, HOMER or VIPOR (or at least any preliminary evaluation) is used to do one evaluation of alternative, but they are not kept in mind the environmental aspect. With the increasing environmental operation standards of modern energy conversion systems, the upstream and downstream processes, e.g. fuel supply or power plant and infrastructure production, become increasingly relevant  .
The proposal of this work is carried out this analysis including this aspect, by using Environmental Exegetic Life Cycle Analysis (ELCA) methodology in order to assure this point of view in the final decision that why scheme type or energy source to use for each case considering renewable and non renewable consumption in all stage of life cycle of each technology considered.
In the study case it was showed that the best environmental results are obtained when the photovoltaic and wind energy is used.
Life cycle assessment of biodiesel production from cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) oil obtained under Spain conditions
1IMDEA Energy Institute, Spain; 2Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain
The energy goals fixed both Europe as in Spain are on the side to increase the biomass use as energy source in a medium term. The cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) is recognized as one of the potential source of biomass for biodiesel production, as well as other industrial applications. In this study, the life cycle of the biodiesel production from cardoon oil has been evaluated, following the ISO standard 14040 and using the Gabi software as calculation tool. In accordance with this methodology, the functional unit selected is the cultivation of 1 ha•year with Cynara cardunculus to obtain biodiesel by transesterification of the oil obtained from cardoon seeds; the system boundary has been defined with the stages: cultivation, crop transportation, mechanical separation of the crop, oil extraction by cold press, transesterification with ethanol and biodiesel distribution.
In the life cycle inventory analysis (LCI) the flows of material and energy for each stage have been defined from previous researches. According to them, a 2.5% of the total production of cardoon biomass (14 ton/ha•year) is used to obtain 370 kg of biodiesel with similar characteristics to N.2 diesel.
For the life cycle impact assessment (LCIA), the indicators considered were resources consumption, the net energy ratio (NER) and the method Impact 2002+ to evaluate environmental impacts. The LCIA results showed that the natural resource for industrial purposes mainly consumed is the water (78.4%). The net energy ratio estimated for the entire process is 1.6.
According to the CO2 balance, the crop can absorb until 12.5 times the CO2 quantity generated in the whole process, so the system is considered a CO2 sink. In general, the stage with major impact was the cultivation, due to the phase of NPK fertilizer production.
In comparison with the production in Spain of biodiesel from rapeseed oil, the whole process consumes less material and energy resources, although it requires 4 times more land extensions. Similarly, the production of biodiesel from cardoon gets a better result in the categories of environmental impacts assessed.
Greenhouse gas emissions and economic feasibility of ethanol production systems in Thailand
1Keio University, Japan; 2Yokohama National University, Japan; 3Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
Biofuels have received considerable attention as renewable transportation fuels in place of fossil fuels. Thai government has promoted the production and use of bioethanol in order to ensure national energy security and mitigate global climate change. In addition, bioethanol can contribute to local agricultural and economic development. Main raw materials for bioethanol in Thailand are cassava and sugarcane and the main production area of these crops is northeast Thailand, which is the poorest region of the country. For this reason, it is expected that the production of bioethanol will improve the livelihood of local communities, especially small-scale farmers. In sum, bioethanol production in Thailand is related to not only an energy and environmental policy but also an agricultural and economic policy.
The aim of this study is to assess the environmental and economic performance of fuel ethanol production in Thailand. Life cycle assessment (LCA) has been carried out to determine the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from, and the cost of bioethanol production. We considered two different fermentation feedstocks, namely, cassava chips and molasses. The LCA is based on the data collected through field surveys in Thailand to take site-specific factors into consideration. We conducted interviews with local farmers, local government officials, researchers, and managers of ethanol plants, sugar factories, and cassava chip factories.
Focusing particularly on ethanol production systems, we examine several ethanol plant types in this analysis. Although bioethanol is a renewable energy source, whether bioethanol can offer the GHG benefits depend on how it is produced. In the case of Thailand, fuel consumption for heat and power generation and anaerobic wastewater treatment in ethanol plants are key factors to reduce GHG emissions. Therefore, we classified ethanol plant types according to energy source and wastewater treatment method. On the other hand, one of the biggest problems for producing ethanol is its high cost. Ethanol production systems, such as combination of feedstock, energy source, and wastewater treatment method would affect not only GHG emissions but also production costs. Thus, in order to achieve the economic feasibility of producing ethanol and improvement of livelihood in rural area at the same time, a detailed assessment by plant type is required. Information from our study is useful in making policy and investment decisions on ethanol production in Thailand.
Climate neutral hotels – an industry solution framework
Switzerland has a long-standing tradition in the hotel sector. In the beautiful Swiss Alps, tourism has always profited greatly from nature’s beauty. Many hotel pioneers, such as César Ritz, came from Switzerland and were trailblazers in their profession and introduced their innovations to the rest of the world.
Our generation faces many challenges, the greatest task of our century being to stop the man-made climate change we are experiencing. Tourism, and with it the hotel industry, is often criticized for wanting to change landscapes in disharmony with nature. Consumers - whether private or business clients - are increasingly getting involved in climate protection. With sustainable products and services becoming more and more in demand, it is time to create sustainable services also in the hotel industry.
The range of services offered by myclimate integrates optimization of methods, operations and energy use at operational level. Through means of an annual evaluation, your business is accompanied on the road to sustainability. myclimate’s IT-based performance management system evaluates your business with regards to the measures it has adopted and its annual development. An industry benchmark provides insights as to the company’s status in the market, while at the same time, a performance certificate forms the basis for communication with end customers. Further supporting communication services are helping hotels gain credibility and recognition for being responsible businesses. A label with a unique tracking number for participating hotels that achieve climate neutrality provides transparency on the offsetting in the highly qualitative carbon offset projects of myclimate. In independent studies, myclimate has already been judged several times to be one of the leading offset providers in the world on the voluntary market
In cooperation with the national hotel industry association and experts in the field of energy efficiency, myclimate has created an industry solution for the hospitality sector by focusing on this aspect, offering a comprehensive solution from a single source - scientifically based, business-oriented and sustainable.
Keywords: climate neutral, hotel industry, climate neutral room night, hospitality industry
Turn LCA results into business strategy – A performance management approach
1doCOUNT, Switzerland; 2myclimate, Switzerland
How to use Information Technology to optimize primary data acquisition processes, data quality management and management decision process information sourcing for costeffectiv Life Cycle Impact and Sustainability Assessment for businesses and products.
Our world is increasingly subject to failures that require system-level and cross-systems-level thinking and approaches. It is no longer sufficient to view the world within the confines of an industry, a discipline, a process or even a nation. Yet the emergence of advanced technologies like business analytics can help uncover previously hidden correlations and patterns and provide greater clarity and certainty when making business decisions.
It has become apparent that LCM is increasingly important but more complex through missing concepts for data acquisition processes, data quality management, as of comparablility of data. The scope of the paper therefore presents the experiences of doCOUNT GmbH, its partners and its customers in impementing performant data acquisition processes, data analytics, benchmarking best practises and information sourcing supported by information technology.
doCOUNT is a Basel, Switzerland, based sustainability consulting and software service company that is pioneering Sustainability Performance Management since 1998. Its software, doCOUNT 2.0, is a Sustainability/HSE Performance Management and Accounting System, which incorporates the knowhow of 24 years of HSE and Sustainability management within multinational industries and SMEs. The software leans on financial controlling systems, supporting the data collection and interpretation process of environmental, social and financial criteria.
The paper will describe findings and necessary features for more independence and less TCO for process owners, and present specific filtering needs for extracting the business relevant information only. The paper also will conclude on necessary concepts and features for software to enhance data quality already within the data input process, as also automatical data testing and plausibility checking during the calculation process.
Furthermore the paper will highlight necessary LCM management features, like task management, documentation management, as also data consolidation and validation processes. It will describe how to link non-statistical data with statistical data for superior interpretation on effectiveness of measures and present special features like automated calculations, e.g. parallel multiplex effect calculations (e.g. ReCiPe, Ecoindicator, CO2e) or KPI dashboards.
The paper thus presents a wholistic view on needs and features for the integration of LCA Impact Assessment with Resource and Risk Management.
The way to climate friendly veal – a case study from a Swiss veal producer
The meat production is associated with high greenhouse gas emissions. According to a report from 2006 of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) our diets, in particular the meat, cause more greenhouse gases than either transportation or industry. This study shows a way to produce veal in a more environmental friendly way.
Gefu Oberle Group is a producer of Swiss veal in animal welfare with an in-house production of milk-protein based feed stuff. Out of the waste products rinsed milk and whey Gefu Oberle Group separates milk proteins for calf feeding stuff. From the co-product milk sugar heat and electricity is produced in a biogas plant. This produced heat is used in the process of milk protein separation and therefore reduces the demand of fossil energy carriers. The veal calves from Gefu Oberle Group receive a diet based on the separated milk-protein. The question rises whether this type of production shows lover environmental impacts than conventional whole-milk-fed veal production in Switzerland.
The analysis was performed by myclimate on behalf of the Gefu Oberle Group. For the assessment all relevant life cycle phases are considered including the husbandry and the feeding of the calves, the slaughtering process, the packaging material and its disposal to incineration as well as transportation of the products to the point of sale. The primary data for the milk-protein and the veal production were provided by the Gefu Oberle Group itself. Data for the direct emissions from the animals were taken from literature. The ecoinvent inventory database was used for further secondary data. The focus was set on the impact category climate change.
The milk-protein-fed veal production showed significantly lower impacts than conventional, whole-milk-fed veal production per kg product. The veal from Gefu Oberle Group has a carbon footprint of 8.03 kg CO2eq per kg veal, which is 73% less than the climate emissions of conventional veal production. In conventional veal production with whole milk based feeding the main impact regarding global warming potential derives from the feed. The use of waste products such as rinsed milk and whey as animal feed in veal production, in combination with biogas from milk sugar (otherwise used as pig feed), is a reasonable alternative to conventional whole-milk-fed veal production and a big step towards climate friendly meat production.
How sustainable are organic fair trade cocoa products? – A combination of social labelling and LCA
Much research is done to include social aspects in life cycle assessments (LCA) in order to get more outcomes about the sustainability of systems. This study shows a pragmatic way of combining qualitative social aspects (guaranteed by fair trade labels) and quantitative ecological aspects (analysed by LCA).
For this study all relevant life cycle phases were considered including the cultivation of cocoa in Peru and Dominican Republic, transportation and further processing in the Netherlands and Switzerland. Finally, disposal of the packaging materials to incineration was taken into account. The functional unit is 1 kg of cocoa product (beans, powder, butter or chocolate). Primary data were derived from local experts whereas secondary data were taken from the ecoinvent inventory V2.1 database (Swiss Centre for LCA 2009). The global warming potential (GWP) with a time horizon of 100 years according to IPCC 2007 was considered as well as the ecological scarcity as a total aggregated method. The LCA was performed using the software EMIS (Environmental Management and Information System).
Considering cocoa beans, by far the biggest environmental impact comes from transportation from farm to port (especially for peruvian cocoa which is transported 1500km by lorry). As cocoa cultivation is extensive and done in agroforestry systems, the actual cultivation causes only minimal emissions. If looking at cacao butter and powder, most of the environmental impact comes from the cacao beans production, but also the roasting, grinding and pressing of the butter / powder lead to relevant impacts. Considering chocolate bars, there is a significant difference in the environmental impact between dark and milk chocolate. Interestingly the difference between fair trade and conventional cocoa production in the considered countries is negligible. Much more important is the the date of land transformation especially for the global warming potential according to the PAS2050 guidelines. Transformation after 1990 leads to at least ten times higher climate impacts than transformation before 1990 due to the accounting of deforestation.
Combining social aspects guaranteed by established labels and environmental LCA leads to valuable information about the sustainability of products. A topic that has to be addressed more detailed for cacao product studies is the implementation of the land use especially if considering global warming potential.
Evaluating natural resources use for potable water production
1Public Research Centre Henri Tudor, Luxembourg; 2National Institute for Applied Sciences, France; 3Suez-Environnement, France
In LCIA, the natural resources use is considered by evaluating their scarcity (resource depletion, added energy or cost methods) or by calculating their exergetic content, i.e. ability to produce useful work (CExD, CEENE). Both the approaches mainly focuses on non renewable resources and implicitely assume an anthropocentric perspective, i.e. resources are evaluated according to their usefullness for human (production) activities. Alternative approaches have recently emerged, considering metrics based on a more objective (nature centered) value system, independent from the anthropogenic perspective. Solar energy demand (SED), being the content of equivalent solar energy required by every kind of natural resource (at a given quality state), is one of most valuable approches which has been recently linked to the Ecoinvent database. Within the EVALEAU project, the SED concept is applied to the evaluation of resources use by potable water systems, based on LCI data collected on existing production sites, and compared to conventional LCIA methods.
The case of potable water production is particularly relevant to the aims of the comparison of methods because of the need to evaluate the use of water resources, including the functional flow which ends up into drinking water, with respect to the other resources. In this respect, the use of SED brings interesting insights, providing an objective metrics to evaluate the treatment of high quality water resource (not necessarily so scarce) as compared to the treatment of low quality resource, the first treatment requiring lower efforts (an therefore lower use of natural resources) than the latter along the lifecycle. Also, the SED shades new light on the actual importance of infrastructures contribution, which is often claimed to be negligible, to the overall ecobalance as compared to the operation phase. Interesting enough, natural resources like sand, which are commonly disregarded in conventional LCA, are now re-evaluated.
Evaluation of resources’ use for the different systems are analyzed considering two indices: renewability index (RI), i.e. the ratio of the consumption of renewable resources to total consumption and resource intensity (R) representing cumulative resource consumption per unit of product. Looking at RI results, SED of non-renewables are always more important than renewables, i.e. more ecological effort is needed for the non-renewables. However, there are still open questions on how SED of renewables are calculated and how to consider the return of the used water streams in the environment (system expansion), distinguishing “use” versus “consumption”. Possible solutions are drawn and discussed.
Life cycle analyisis in water industry
Suez Canal University, Egypt
Life Cycle Analysis in Water Industry
Mohamed Tawfic Ahmed
Suez Canal University
The use of wastewater as a source of water is emerging as one of the most sustainable alternative in view of global water scarcity. A variety of risks and threats are impeded in the use of wastewater, specially those related to public health and environment. Environmental management tools have been developed and used in the water industry including the production of potable water or for wastewater treatment, with the prime objective of maintaining sustainability, and curbing the hazardous to consumers and alleviating the environment burden involved in this industry. In addition, a set of sustainability indicators were developed to help gauging sustainability issues in the water industry. Environmental impact assessment, EIA and risk assessment RA are among the early environmental tools employed in the water industry, with wide implementation in wastewater facilities and technologies. Despite the numerous advantages EIA and RA have added to the concept of sustainability and human safety, some shortcomings were also apparent that needed an additional tool to help overcoming such gaps. Life cycle analysis, an ISO guided step wise process, is considered the most holistic tool that would encounter all upstream and downstream impacts related to the industry. It also offers the prospects of mapping the energy and material flows as well as the resources, of the total system. On the other side, LCA tend to require copious sets of information and data that can limit its use in developing countries where information shortage prevails. Because of the viable role LCA is playing in promoting sustainability, an international initiative driven by UNEP / SETAC (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) has been launched to promote the use of LCA in various parts of the world. The initiative is disseminating LCA through a number of case studies, training programmes, and raising awareness schemes. The initiative is also paying special attention to developing countries in various parts of the world where the use of LCA is still limited. The present paper delineates on life cycle analysis as one of the most comprehensive guidelines used in water industry towards the ultimate goal of achieving sustainability. It also highlights the efforts of UNEP / SETAC initiative to promote LCA.
Life cycle assessment of an advertising folder
1Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy; 2ENEA, Italia
The broader awareness of the sustainable development issues causes more and more attention to be given to the environmental impacts of products through the different phases of their life cycle such as manufacturing, distribution, use and, when appropriate, to the fate after use. Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis has been recognized as a valuable tool to investigate the environmental performance of products as well as processes and services.
This research aims to assess the environmental impact of an advertising folder produced by COOP and, in particular, to quantify the life cycle CO2eq emissions for calculating the number of trees necessary to balance the pollution produced.
The functional unit chosen for this study is the weight of a biweekly edition of advertising folders obtained with three different papers belonging from certified and not certified forest. The LCA study was performed using the SimaPro 7.2 software and the following impact assessment methods: Eco-Indicator’99, IMPACT 2002+, EDIP 97, EPS 2000 and IPCC for CO2eq calculations solely. The system boundaries for the analysis include the paper production, transports from the paper industry to the printing industry, printing step, distribution and end of life thus obtaining “a cradle to gate” overview.
LCA analysis indicates that the higher environmental impact is mainly due to the paper production (71.39%) and to the printing process (16.98%). The use of papers with low grams per square meter and low amount of primary pulp causes a reduction in the environmental load.
Life cycle impact assessment of chemicals: Relevance and feasibility of spatial differentiation for ecotoxicity and human toxicity impact assessment
1Joint Research Center, Italy; 2Quantis, Switzerland; 3Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland; 4CIRAIG, Canada; 5University of Michigan, United States of America
Historically, life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) methods have mostly relied on generic or non-spatial multimedia environmental models. In recent years, several spatially distributed fate and transport models of chemicals, i.e. models allowing spatially explicit representations of contaminants from a given spatial distribution of emission were developed.
Among LCIA impact categories, those related to toxicity present a high variability among different models and are expected to be very sensitive to spatial differentiation. So far, spatial differentiation is recognized to be very relevant in order to reduce uncertainties in human toxicity and ecotoxicity impact assessment. Nevertheless, this has important drawbacks for life cycle assessment (LCA) practitioner workload, especially in terms of input data to be provided.
Therefore, there is a need of balancing the uncertainties related to site-independent models and the complexity/workload of those that are site-dependent.
This study, part of the European project LC-IMPACT, is focused on the evaluation of the relevance and feasibility of spatial differentiation. A cross comparison among several models (MAPPE global, IMPACT World, USEtox) is performed to determine conditions which warrant spatial resolution for characterisation factors concerning ecotoxicity and human toxicity and to support the development of specific emission/exposure scenarios.
Providing guidance on spatial differentiation, the results will help practitioners to identify situations for which spatial differentiation in the life cycle impact assessment of toxic chemicals should be considered relevant as well as how to create consistency between inventory and impact assessment regarding regionalization.
Making life cycle impact assessment models for toxicity suitable for organic acids and bases
1Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands; 2National Insitute for public health and the environment, The Netherlands
Multimedia fate and exposure models that are applied within life cycle impact assessment to address toxicity have a limited application domain. In general, they only work for neutral substances. However, a great number of chemicals emitted to the environment are dissociating chemicals. Ionization occurs in water. Since water is present in all environmental compartments, the transport between the different compartments can be influenced as well as the behavior of the chemical within the compartments. This research focuses on the modeling of organic acids and bases that can occur in ionized format at environmental pH. The multimedia fate, exposure and effects model USES-LCA is adapted to include a module that addresses the degree of ionization of chemicals. For this purpose, current advantages in modeling of ionizable chemicals are included, such as improved calculation of intermedia partitioning (soil sorption, bioconcentration). Subsequently, characterization factors are calculated for ecotoxicity and human toxicity, in terms of potentially affected fraction of species and disability adjusted life years per emitted chemical. The relevancy of taking into account the ionizing capabilities of chemicals will be tested by comparing the new characterization factors with the results derived with previous models.
Implementing Water Footprints into LCA of agricultural products - review of methods
1PE INTERNATIONAL, Germany; 2Universität Hohenheim, Germany
Freshwater scarcity is now recognized to become one of the main environmental issues in the future. However, the consideration of fresh water consumption in life cycle modeling is still in its infancy and so far, no standardized method has evolved. The need for such standardized methods is widely accepted among practitioners and in the recent past, several different suggestions for such methods have been made.
The first part of this work gives an overview over the latest publications in the field of water footprints and their implementation into LCA. A focus is laid on the methods needed to account for water in LCA of agricultural products. A set of methods is selected to be applied in a case study. The decision on which methods are selected is based on an assessment of availability and complexity of the required data.
The second part of this work is formed by a case study, where fresh water use (water footprint, WFP) in cotton production in the US is assessed from a life cycle perspective. Four different cultivation regions are compared (Far West, South West, Mid South, South East). Thereby the practical implementation of the methods chosen is in focus. Thus, not only the results of the water use assessment are discussed, but also the performance of the methods used. Further, the most important parameters of the overall model are identified by means of a scenario analysis, in order to assess where detailed data coverage is most essential.
Expected outcome: With the methods on hand, it is possible to account for fresh water consumption in LCA including impact assessment. However, no method can be used as stand-alone default approach, thus the creation of WFP for LCA practitioners remains challenging. The four cotton cultivation regions in the US differ considerably in their water consumption. In Far West water consumption is highest and if accounting for different water availability in the regions (water stress), the final WFP of cotton production in that region will be more than 300 times higher than in the region with the smallest WFP (South East). Inventory data on irrigation and water stress modeling are core factors influencing the overall outcome in this case study. Future challenges are the development of a harmonized, standardized and applicable method for implementing fresh water consumptions in LCA, the implementation of such methods in current LC-modeling software and improved availability of data required to create WFP.
Comparison of Water Footprint for industrial products in Japan, China and USA
The University of Tokyo, Japan
Recently, water scarcity has received attention. With the development of industries and the growth of population, the amount of water use has increased. In order to evaluate the water use of industrial products, the method of estimating water footprint (WF) has been developed. WF is defined as the amount of water use during the lifecycle. In this study, we compared WF of industrial products in several countries based on input-output (I-O) table analysis. For the comparison, we focused on Japan, China and America, in which data availability for water use were quite different.
To evaluate WF of industrial products in Japan, we used the I-O table in 2005 and the statistics for water use in 2005. The statistics show the amount of water use classified in 560 industrial sectors. We aggregated the water use to 241 secondary-industrial sectors defined in Japanese input-output table. Consequently, we obtained Japanese WF for 241 industrial commodities.
For China, the I-O table in 2007 and the statistics for discharged water in 2007 were obtained to evaluate Chinese WF of industrial products. Our estimated WF in this study accumulates the quantity of water intake during the lifecycle of the products, in other words, does not include the recycling water. Then, it was considered that the amount of water use in each sector is almost equal to the amount of discharged water. We allocated the discharged water of 38 industrial sectors into 89 secondary-industrial sectors defined in the I-O table according to the transaction value with the sector ‘’Production and Distribution of Water’’ obtained in the Chinese I-O table.
In the United States, the I-O table in 2002 and the water use statistics in 2000 were used to estimate WF of industrial products. The table consists of 426 sectors and there are 279 secondary-industrial sectors. We estimated the WF with the same way as mentioned above.
Finally, we compared the estimated WF of industrial products for the three countries. In WF for automobiles, the indirect water use dominated their WF in all countries. WF of crude steel for Japan and China were almost same, which were estimated as 1.5 m3/t in Japan, 1.3 m3/t in China. WF of pig iron, crude steel and ferroalloy was calculated as 4.6 m3/t in the U.S. To compare the result in each sector between countries in more detail, consistency of data for water use is required.
The preservation of material flows in recycling processes for further usage
1Bremen University, Germany; 2University of Oldenburg, Germany
After processing end-of-life products in a recycling plant material flows of various qualities are generated. The goal is to keep as much material flows in the recycling loop as possible to save primary resources. But the further use of recycling material flows as secondary resources into high valuable materials is only possible through maintaining specific requirements of these materials. Unfortunately, in recycling streams the material properties are associated with high uncertainty. By thoroughly and broadly identifying material properties the potential for further use of secondary resources can be assessed. A combination of the methodologies of Life Cycle Assessment, Material Flow Assessment, and Material Characterisation are quite useful here to establish the suitability of certain secondary material flows for further applications. The evidence of high uncertainties related to the properties of secondary material streams is cumbersome for the development of reliable models aimed at the prediction of waste material flows and their applications or potential for recovery. Dissipative losses of metals into other material streams, especially other metal cycles, sometimes substantially changes the properties of the receiving material stream. Copper in steel is only one example for this kind of quality problem. To assess the implications of this issue on the recyclability and sustainability of certain material flows, there is further research needed. Currently we only vaguely know the dissipative losses of metals in recycling operations. Material flow analysis with a focus on dissipation helps to shed some more light on this issue.
To meet the challenge to cope with uncertainties in this case we suggest a hybrid system which combines Petri nets and neural networks with a case based reasoning approach. We use the advantages of Petri nets in order to overcome the neural network deficiencies concerning their original design and definition of their initial weighs. Our solution solves uncertainty problems of process data defects using neural networks and case based systems together. Recovered similar cases have allowed the readjusting the network solutions, as well as the correction data. Another advantage would be to propose several solutions to experts.
In our paper we present necessary parameters for developing a model that addresses the issue of sustainable usage of recycling material flows. Main tasks are presented as uncertainties, dissipative losses, material properties and product development.
Comparative LCA of container deposit scheme and green dot system for PET bottles, cans and beverage carton waste in Spain
1Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain; 2Inedit Innovació S.L. UAB Research Park, Spain; 33Fundació Privada Catalana Per a la Prevenció de Residus i el Consum Responsable, Spain
This paper performs a comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the collection of packaging waste (PET bottles, cans and beverage cartons) in Spain. The objective is to provide quantitative environmental data of the implementation of a Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) in Spain, adapted from the German system, and its comparison with the Green Dot System (GDS) currently in operation in Spain. In addition, alternative scenarios of recovery and automation are also compared. Through GDS packaging waste is collected separately in containers on the street while in the CDS packaging waste is collected manually in small shops (20%) or automatically in large stores (80%) in weight for German model. The study has been divided by type of municipality in terms of number of inhabitants: rural (<5,000), semi urban (5.000-50.000) and urban (>50.000). LCA has been selected for the comparison between current models and for comparing alternative management scenarios. The results show that the CDS adapted to German model has better environmental performance than the GDS for all impact categories and when the manual return is lower than 40%, the CDS has better environmental performance than the GDS for all percentages of recovery and for all impact categories. Several European countries have implemented the RCRS and they reach up to 95% of waste packaging recovery. If this share was achieved in Spain through a CDS for PET bottles, cans and beverage cartons for Global Warming category it would mean 429.266 tones of CO2 eq. emissions and an annual savings of 226,685 tones of CO2 eq. respect to GDS.
Regional assessment of waste flow eco-synergy in food production: Using compost and polluted ground water in Mediterranean horticulture crops
1Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain; 2Institute of Research and Technology in the AgriFood sector, Spain; 3Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
The practice of intensive horticulture has produced an increasing economic and social benefits and a more efficient use of resources; nevertheless the increase of inputs associated to intensive horticulture has had bad consequences for the environment. Two of the main problems derived from the high use of mineral fertilizers are the loss of nutrients and aquifer pollution. Most of these intensive horticultural areas have been declared regions vulnerable to nitrate pollution. The nitrate content of irrigation water in our case study fields was considerably higher (192 g/m3 of NO3−) than the limit established by the European Directive 2006/118 for ground water (50 g/m3 of NO3 −).
On the other side the European Directive 1999/31 required member states to reduce the amount of municipal organic waste (MOW) being dumped in order to minimise environmental impacts and the loss of organic resources. Composting the MOW, as well as reducing the total amount of landfilled waste, has been reported to improve soil characteristics where this amendment has been applied, mainly due to the increase of organic matter, a parameter that has gradually decreased over recent years in the Mediterranean soils.
Taking into account the principles of the industrial ecology the aim of this paper was the study of using two wastes (MOW and water with high nitrate content) and compare the environmental benefit (or not) with conventional agronomic practices (using mineral fertilizers). The experiment was carried out in horticultural open fields located at el Maresme, near Barcelona (Spain). Life Cycle Assessment tool was used to compare both systems, taking as a functional unit the kg of product.
The use of the two waste flows had several positive effects: (1) crop was provided with the required nutrients, polluted water supplied rapid available nitrogen to the crops, while compost nitrogen was released slowly; (2) economic and impact savings on the production, application and polluting emissions related to the non-consumed mineral fertilizers; (3) impact reduction of the non-dumping of the MOW; and (4) reduction in the nitrate content of the polluted irrigation water mitigating its potential impact. Therefore, the use of the two wastes could have a positive synergetic effect leading to economic and impact mitigation.
How corporate LCM supports urban waste management and waste value chain
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, China
We should directly face the truth that climate change is not the only environmental problem in most of the developing countries for instance in China, various severe issues like WEEE, acidification, urban waste, water pollution are definitely not disregarded. As the case that a number of researchers in this field are come from industrialized regions, we do not distrust that the life cycle management practitioners are conscious on sustainability, however, it is hard to understand how complex the urban waste system in China.
This paper will describe the feasibility of improving the waste value chain through out the enterprise LCM. An entire life cycle based product waste management is to be introduced and the stakeholders engagement on the whole value chain level consists NGOs, schools, waste collectors/ recyclers, next generation/new product manufacturers should be tightly collaborated in order to face the complex waste take-back issue in China.
The intention of this paper is to guide the western enterprises, sustainable consultants and researchers to understand how they should deal with the product waste management via LCM rather than only focusing on the greenhouse gas. In additional, another purpose is to assist large corporations to drive the public sector in the developing countries to enhance their eco-awareness through sustainable product design, "green" education, innovative solution and exceptional sustainable activities.
Integrating sustainability considerations into product development: A practical tool for prioritising social sustainability indicators and experiences from real case application
1SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, Sweden; 2Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
The product development process is increasingly regarded as a crucial intervention point for sustainable development in society. While there are tools, although not yet perfected, available for considering environmental parameters in product development, there is a general lack of practical tools for considering social parameters. One missing methodological element is commonly accepted indicators.
In this paper, a tool for considering social sustainability in product development is described and its usefulness analysed. The tool was developed with a life-cycle perspective in mind, with the aim to facilitate integration into a more comprehensive life-cycle oriented sustainability assessment. The purpose of the tool is to identify critical social sustainability indicators in order to guide the further assessment. The tool, whose core element is an exercise based on the two-step Delphi method, involves the following steps:
1. An oral presentation held for the product development team, introducing social sustainability and the exercise.
2. The team members anonymously grade a preselected set of social sustainability indicators divided into five stakeholder categories (consumers, employees, local community, society and other actors in the value-chain), on a 1-10 scale on two dimensions: general importance and relevance for the specific product life-cycle. Team members are also given the chance to provide written comments to their grading.
3. After feedback on the participant’s average grading, the standard deviation and the comments relating to gradings that fall outside of the standard deviation, each participant is given the opportunity to revise their grading.
4. The revised gradings of the general importance and the specific relevance are multiplied, generating a final score for each indicator.
The tool was applied in a real product development case. 14 participants graded 36 indicators; final scores spanned from 17.3 to 60.7. Based on these scores, a smaller set of indicators was selected. The refined set will be used when evaluating new ideas for development routes in comparison to conventional products. In the full paper, the preselected indicators will be listed and participants’ feedback on the exercise as well as the refined indicator set’s usefulness will be further discussed.
The participants represented expertise from various parts of the product life-cycle, and therefore, the final scores were considered to reflect the overall importance and relevance of the indicators reasonably well. Overall, the tool can be considered a practical, time- and resource-efficient way of guiding in assessing, and increasing knowledge about, social sustainability in a product development project.
Waste Management System in gated communities - example VIT-University-Campus
Leibniz University Hannover, Germany
The Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) University, Vellore, Tamil Nadu is well known for their greenest and eco-friendly campus in India. The campus is still growing. In former times, it generated considerable amounts of waste which was not handled properly. VIT took the help of the NGO, which designed waste management system named as “Zero Waste Emission Concept”. Nowadays, VIT operates this system on its own. Organic wastes are mostly treated while the inorganic wastes are segregated and wastes with wealth are sold. This paper is a case study of a situation of waste management in India and the problems in collecting data for Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) modeling in developing countries are discussed. Most of data required for LCI modeling are not available for waste management as they are not quantified and monitored in a proper manner. Further, possibilities and recommendations for collection of data for proper scientific analysis and assessment are provided in this paper. Present waste management system practiced in VIT beginning from collection, transportation, segregation to treatment are shown in the form of material flows (organic, inorganic) as modeled by LCI Software Umberto. Based on LCI analysis, specific recommendations were provided to improve and optimize the present waste management system so that it is effective, environmental friendly and sustainable.
Concept of a modern data-management system for legally compliant and sustainable product design
The quality requirements for modern products on the global market expend permanently. In addition to the increasingly demanding user expectations the manufactures face, are the increasing volumes of legal requirements. In particular environmental protection and further aspects of sustainability gain in importance on both sides (consumer and legislative). To fulfil all of these requirements a huge amount of data (as well as other terms) must be managed. For example, the European regulation about use restrictions of substances and materials demands a complex information exchange in the supply chain. Some big companies have developed, with high costs to themselves, their own in-house. Other companies use existing on online systems. This central collection of data however usually means manual or semi-manual interfacing with the internal PDM/PLM systems, raising the uncertainties concerning data security for the customer and questions of the protection of the intellectual property. Additionally, this means the dependence on externally controlled systems outside their own sphere of influence. A key problem with companies’ internal systems and the existing online systems are the compatibility or lack thereof between them. Currently, no data exchange between the systems has been realized which makes an automate process for data inquiry in the entire supply chain and vertical data integrations practically infeasible.
The paper provides a solution that will effectively support all requirements for the modern product design process.
Empirical validation of uncertainty for the ecoinvent database
1GreenDeltaTC, Germany; 2CIRAIG, Canada; 3ecoinvent Centre, Switzerland
Uncertainty assessment is often seen as an essential part of data quality, verification and validation of LCA data. And yet, it is hardly applied, and in those rare cases where it is applied, the uncertainty figures usually base on expert judgement. This questions the whole uncertainty assessment.
To overcome this, the ecoinvent centre has commissioned a 1.5 years project to GreenDeltaTC and CIRAIG with the aim to develop an empirical validation of uncertainty figures that will then be provided for the complete ecoinvent database.
We show the approach, results, compare the findings to previously used, estimated data, and discuss consequences for an improved uncertainty management for LCA, and for an improved data quality assurance of LCA data sets and studies.
Life cycle database for bioenergy based on an open source IT infrastructure
1Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany; 2GreenDeltaTC, Germany; 3Universität Stuttgart, Germany; 4Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt, Germany; 5Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie, Germany; 6Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany; 7Hochschule Zittau/Görlitz, Germany
As part of the German funding program on energy-from-biomass a two-year’s project for a database on energetic use of biomass for Germany has been launched by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) in September 2010. The project with the acronym BioEnergieDat is carried out by a consortium of seven scientific partners led by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). It is based on previous work and experiences of the German Netzwerk Lebenzsyklusdaten www.netzwerk-lebenszyklusdaten.de and is aimed at a validated database for use within the German strategy on biomass, but due to a modular concept also for all applications of LCA and diverse related instruments like Carbon Footprint.
The database is derived based on a modular methodological approach and an open source IT infrastructure to assure a most flexibel access to data and tools developed within the project for exertal users. Concept as well as first applications will be presented, focussing on the following issues:
Outline of the database is derived from an analysis of user needs of data sets. This covers also implication of a learning curve approach which will be applied to generate data sets of 2020/30. A scheme for a hierarchical structuring of unit moduls for process chains of bioenergy is developed. A specific work package is devoted on methodological issues, supporting two goals: first, to provide consistent and harmonized procedures for modelling and accounting of process chains, second, to develop approaches for a future quality management of data sets.
For storage, management and generation of the LCI datasets, an Open Source IT Infrastructure is established, including a central data base and an open source LCA modelling tool. The IT-infrastructure allows access to common background data sets, standardized and concerted lists of common elementary and product flows and associated flow properties via the Internet. A service-oriented application programming interface (service-interface) to the database provides quick access to shared data sets for the domain experts directly from within their tool environment. As to data format, the IT-infrastructure will use the International Life Cycle Data (ILCD) format but will also support the Ecospold format for import and export of data sets.
Life-cycle assessment of two single family residental houses conforming to the new Norwegian standard TEK 07 and the passive house standard.
1Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway; 2Norbohus AS, Norway
The energy needed for operation of a building can be considerably decreased by improved insulation, heavier mass materials, and technical solutions etc. The more the energy needed for operation decreases, the more important it is to pay attention to the energy used and environmental impacts of the material production.
The scope of this study was to map out the environmental impact and energy use of the production of materials to two “identical” residential buildings, using two different timber framed envelopes which meets the requirements of the Norwegian building code of 2007 and the new passive house standard. A cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment is performed on the two case study buildings, Stord TEK 07 and Stord PASSIVE, which are two prefabricated residences delivered by the Norwegian building company Norbohus. The material input is as far as possible based on Norwegian production.
A total cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment will be done where the overall goal is to see how much energy that is needed in the production phase compared to what the energy need is in the operation phase for both cases.
Sensitivity of life-cycle assessments of windows to the choice of recycling allocation method
FH Burgenland - University of Applied Science, Austria
In sustainable construction, life-cycle assessment (LCA) of building components is an indispensable tool of life-cycle management. Several authors have demonstrated that LCA results may be highly dependent on the choice of allocation method, both for multi-output processes during the use phase and for recycling processes during the end-of-life phase of products. The objective of the work presented here is to investigate the effect of choosing a recycling allocation method on the LCA results of an important building component – windows.
Four different recycling allocation methods (cut-off method, 50/50 method, extraction-load, and disposal-load) are applied to each of four different frame materials (aluminum, steel, wood, and PVC). The LCA model is based on recycling data for Austria. Quantitative effects of choosing one method over the other are calculated for a select set of impact categories that are important in construction LCA. Calculations use commercial LCA software (GaBi 4.4) with primary data for the frame composition and secondary data for the component materials.
Results indicate that LCAs of metal window frames (aluminum, steel) are highly sensitive to the choice of recycling allocation (and recycling rates), while organic frame materials are less sensitive to the allocation method. Reasons for this dependency are discussed in detail.
While the end-of-life phase is often less prominent in LCA studies, the work presented here underscores the importance of this phase for an important class of building components. In particular, recycling processes and their modeling by a suitable allocation method can be critical to the overall outcome of window LCAs.
State of the art study - How is environmental performance measured for buildings/constructions?
Ostfold Research, Norway
For more than a decade Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been developed as a tool for assessing environmental aspects of different building products and constructions during its lifetime. However, we see a lot of LCA and EPDs of building materials which to a great extent have been limited to the environmental impacts associated with the building materials or products – cradle to gate. On the other hand as the energy for operation decreases as passive or low energy houses are built, the relative contribution to the total emissions in an LCA-perspective from building materials will increase.
A literature review has been performed including studies comparing the environmental performance of different building materials or components. The purpose was threefold:
• Which LCA-methodological aspects influence upon the results of different studies.
• How do the studies handle the analysed products’ or materials’ impact on the operation, maintenance and development of the building during its service life,
• What the studies define as important factors to include when doing an environmental life cycle assessment during the life span of constructions.
The results are discussed in relation to the ongoing standardisation processes by CEN TC350, prEN 15978 Calculation Method.
The knowledge platform formed based on experiences from LCAs in the construction sector through this review, will be an input to a White Paper on housing policies to the Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development.
Environmental life cycle assessment and optimization of buildings
Public Research Centre Henri Tudor, Luxembourg
Improving energy efficiency in existing buildings is undoubtedly considered to be one of the most sustainable and feasible measures for reducing carbon emissions and energy expenditures. In Luxembourg, the ministry of housing is currently supporting actions toward this direction, for the elaboration of an indicator for environmental friendly construction materials, completing the already existing “energy passport” for buildings. In this sense LCA is definitively an internationally recognized tool to assess the environmental impacts of a building across its life cycle, while meeting consumers demand. However, the application of LCA to the building sector is nevertheless anything but straightforward. The environmental assessment shall concern the whole lifecycle of the building, starting from the preliminary design phase. This is indeed the phase where the most important changes could be decided, e.g. regarding the orientation, the layout, the number and location of spaces and of course the choice of materials and other technical properties. These choices will have an utmost influence on the use phase of the building, by influencing e.g. the thermal properties.
From the screening of the literature, what seems to be missing in the current trends for sustainable buildings is a holistic perspective, i.e. the development of integrated sustainability assessment tools, including: 1) dynamic simulation of the life cycle of the building; 2) necessary level of sophistication of LCA. In such an integrated sustainability assessment tool, taking into account energy and environmental and occupants’ comfort criteria, the iterative trial-and-error process of searching for a better design solution would be too time-consuming and ineffective because of the inherent difficulty in exploring a large design space.
Within the present research project we are going to tackle two major research challenges: 1) The linking of building design and thermal analysis tool (TRNSYS) to LCA calculation (OpenLCA) considering dynamic LCIs, harmonized set of LCIA and indoor comfort criteria, flexible and consistent set of methodological assumptions. The challenge here is to carry out a complete and reliable LCA in combination with building design and analysis, targeting the preliminary design phase, and not only considering environmental scores as an additional database to be used to evaluate the building use phase and materials (i.e. simplified LCA), as it has commonly been done in literature. 2) The definition and operation of an optimization approach to deal with the number of alternative building design in the preliminary design phase.
Preliminay results of LCIA in the Sicilian durum wheat pasta chain production
Università degli Studi di Catania, Italy
Pasta is still the most important food in Italy, always present in the Mediterranean diet.
This study wants to point out the preliminary results obtained through Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA ) on dried pasta production.
We analyzed the principal impacts on the environment, caused by a small company in Floridia (Sicily), whose managing staff has always cared for the environment.
For this purpose we applied LCIA to exploit the available resources more sensibly, reduce power consumption, and limit the impact on the environment of the whole production cycle. This approach focuses on a charge of consumption and emissions produced during LCI to specific categories of impact attributable to known environmental effects. Moreover, also we quantified, with appropriate characterization methods, the magnitude of the overall contribution due to the process against the effects concerned. We defined a suitable functional unity, 0.5 kg package of durum wheat pasta and we examined all the different stages of the company’s production cycle.
The results, reported in some tables, can be used to apply the instruments for the environment management, the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), to the whole chain production of pasta, in order to estimate its impact on the environment and to make the necessary intervention.
Product end-of-life in the motorcycle industry. Defining scenarios
1University “G. d’Annunzio” Chieti-Pescara, Italy; 2CisiService Spa, Italy
The end-of-life has become an essential part of the Life Cycle Management (LCM) of durable goods of many manufacturing systems, in particular, those affected by the application of the Extended Producer Responsibility principle (WEEE and ELV EC Directives).
The scientific literature highlights that its application could promote the transition from a linear to a closed-loop system, which involves final producer and all actors of the supply chain, i.e. the whole production system. Such changes have been defined "eco-innovations". Numerous approaches and methodological and operational contributions have been provided and many case studies have been reported to support the technical, economic and environmental validity of such solutions. Using a life-cycle oriented approach, manufacturers could compare alternative scenarios in advance and decide how to act on the system. This process requires the solution of some trade-offs. Constraints imposed by regulatory pressure; technology; previous productive policy; product specifications; structure and relations of the supply chain; local, natural and competitive environment; have to be compared with opportunities and costs resulting from scenarios implementation. According to the industrial ecology principles, one of the most eco-efficient solutions requires the involvement of SMEs belonging to a local supply network, taking advantage of cooperation and synergies to reach the definition of a so-called "disassembly network" or a "recycling network".
A project has been recently started in collaboration with a number of companies from the motorcycle industry located in Val di Sangro Industrial Area, Abruzzo, Italy. Italy is the first European manufacturer and the first market for the two wheeled vehicles.This project aims at studying the possibility of recovering and recycling industrial scraps, components and materials resulting from the end-of-life collection of assembled products, the main objective is to identify those scenarios that would feature the lowest overall environmental impact, and, consistently with that, an improved operational and economic performance of the wide local industrial network in which they will be implemented. The 2-wheeler sector presents some technological and production characteristics that makes it particularly interesting for the implementation of "closed-loop” approaches.Starting from results of preliminary analyses, this paper describes methodological approach followed in defining scenarios and the role of the above mentioned constraints pointed out in this specific industry.
Life cycle management and urban settlements in spatial planning
Ministry of Public Works and Ttransport, Albania
In order to preserve the natural landscapes and to achieve a sustainable development in Albanian coastal area, this paper presents plan proposals guided by sustainable principles of planning and sustainable applications into dwellings. Study area is south coastline Albania, 170 km long, about 70,000 inhabitants, rich in historical monuments, archaeological sites, and with unique scenic landscapes. Traditional villages settled in the hills, have Mediterranean features as vernacular/self built architecture by stone, in white color.
Firstly, an assessment of sustainability by analysing the life cycle of the buildings, (grouping them into categories, is done with the purpose to categorise the reuse of them as housing stock for tourist purpose). Assessment of the whole urban settlements as an assemble and coastal urbanization trend, is done by considering social economic and political changes after 1990-ies. The economic changes (reuse of private property, demand for fast tourism development and coastal land) changed the report of construction land use and natural landscape. Social changes (population movement toward the coast, and density chaos) changed the report of the population with the buildings use. Massive emigrations created house stocks. The uncontrolled distribution of population, lead to uncontrolled investment of capital, which influenced urban infrastructure, lands use, natural and cultural heritage.
Secondly, spatial plan configurations are introduced based on networks of traffic and water, considering flows, ecological factors, design, and LC management. By concentrating the infrastructure in corridors, lead to reduction the barriers and less fragmentation of landscape, conservation of the smaller regions from the unplanned development. By concentrating the infrastructure networks at heavy points, it creates conditions for efficient use of it, for exploiting public transport and managing pollution and noise control. The region except strong future development thus the sustainable spatial division will influence economic activities.
Thirdly a new type of sustainable cardboard house (self support, dismantled, done with recycled materials) which has a different life cycle than the traditional houses, creating a new mentality for exploiting and not harming the environment, creating a self-support touristic village.
To conclude, as a result of transition the rhythm of development has changed, un-coordination exists between the planning process and fast development. The need for fast economic growth at cost of resource exploitation has made a necessity the measures for a sustainable development. Through analyses of different life cycles platforms, a sustainable spatial configuration can anticipate future developments.
The concept of monitoring of LCM results based on refrigerators case study
Poznan University of Technology, Poland
The paper presents a new approach in measurement and evaluation of results in life cycle assessment of products as a result of implementing LCM methodology in companies, based on an exemplary product of a major household equipment producer in Poland. The new approach is established on a complex analysis of economical, environmental and social consequences of an objects’ life cycle. Evaluation is generated by an unification of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and Social Life Assessment (SLCA) methodology. Obtained results were registered into a matrix, enabling the identification between undertaken development operations and their results. This created a possibility to determine alterations on economical, environmental and social levels of a products’ indicators. Consecutively, the range of modifications allowed a comparison between the current “state of an art” solution and the one proposed by interested parties.
The concept is based on regularities identified during the implementation of LCM in the case of aforemontied refrigerators. Important improvement actions implicate essential changes in a range of products life cycles in means of their economical, environmental and social-based values. These connections were identified and compiled in a connection matrix, resulting in qualification of chosen alterations. This enabled a significant input for improvement of refrigetator design. The scientific point was proven as well, leading to application of elaborated methodology for different ranges of products. Research is still conducted on a wide array of industrial products.
The Cradle to Cradle concept - is it always sustainable?
1Technical University of Denmark, Denmark; 2FORCE Technology, Denmark
The Cradle to Cradle concept has gained wide interest among industries, authorities, media and consumers over the past few years. With a strong focus on closed loop recycling, the use of renewable energy resources and non-hazardous chemicals it claims to be able to “do good” instead of merely doing “less bad”. This claim is used to distinguish the Cradle to Cradle concept from the more established eco-efficiency concept, where the main goal is to reduce the amount of adverse environmental impact potential per unit of service. Life Cycle Assessment is the most established tool used to quantify the eco-efficiency of different products and systems from cradle to grave. When evaluating the sustainability of a product using LCA or the Cradle to Cradle concept, different conclusions could sometimes be reached. This is because several points of conflicts between the two approaches exist. These are identified and discussed in this paper. They include; that Cradle to Cradle disregards energy consumption, that the concept considers adding biological nutrients to the environment “good” and that it is presumable compatible with unlimited economic growth. The validity of each critical point is analyzed through a combination of comparative Life Cycle Assessments of three Cradle to Cradle case products and their eco-efficient alternatives, in addition to a literature study. The three case products are Method laundry detergent (Silver Certified), TerraSkin synthetic mineral paper (Silver Certified) and NatureWorks PLA (biobased and biodegradable polymers based on the Cradle to Cradle concept). The LCA results show that Cradle to Cradle products do not always perform better than the eco-efficient alternatives they claim to be superior to. Important parameters are choice of disposal option and source of energy. These are both dependent on the surrounding waste and energy infrastructure that presently is only partially compatible with the Cradle to Cradle concept. As recycling infrastructure may improve in the future and energy sources may shift from non-renewables to renewables Cradle to Cradle may gradually become a more sustainable design approach. Cradle to Cradle should be acknowledged for its ability to inspire designers to reevaluate their perception of sustainability and provide the basis for new sustainability designs. However, in the design process LCA should not be rejected, but serve as a continuous reality check to guarantee that the conceived product designs are really sustainable under the given circumstances.
Water Footprint and life cycle assessment of Populus SPP_ bioenergy systems: a case study in Southern Europe
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
With the objectives of climate change mitigation and energy independence, energy crops have been proposed as an alternative to fossil fuels. In recent years short rotation energy crops have been promoted because they provide biomass in short periods of time. However, the impacts of water consumption, in both the impact on the energy balance due to the consumption of irrigation as the impacts on existing water resources, have not been analyzed in depth. This study evaluates the relationship between water, energy and CO2 emissions of a plot of Populus spp. in Spain with the aim of evaluating the feasibility of its implementation as large-scale cultivation. For the energy and environmental assessment it has been used the life cycle analysis methodology. The results show positive energy balance and environmental improvement respect other energies such as natural gas. Consumption of water required to avoid a kg of CO2 is 4.6 m3 and per unit of energy obtained is 45 m3 GJ-1 considering a life cycle approach and in relation to the water availability of the basin could increase the pressure. Hence, in order to establish energy crops for climate change mitigation water footprint must be taken into account for future energy planning.
A comparison of two wastewater treatment plants: Stabilization ponds and activated sludge with a social perspective impacts
1Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico; 2Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico
In the big cities like Mexico City, sewage has become an inevitable issue, because the amounts are generated daily by population; the infrastructure that is considered for treatment, the environmental impacts of processes and social impacts which involves the management of these technologies.
In this study comparing two technologies of Wastewater Treatment: Stabilization Ponds and Activated Sludge, with the intention of assessing the environmental impacts incurred in each technologies evaluated and their threads; within the assessment considers the building construction, equipment manufacturing, operation and landfill. Similarly outweighs analyzed from the perspective of the social impacts at the LCA generated by the management of Water Treatment Plants (WWTP), considering as key stakeholders to: the society, the local community, the work class people, the value chain and the government who is, in this case, the manager of technology management. The two WWTPs evaluated are classified as small plants because they treat about 15 l/s, considering a lifetime of 20 years.
Using Life Cycle Assessment to evaluate the environmental impacts generated by each technology considering the method CML2000 and develops a methodology for assessing social impacts from the perspective of LCA.
The results obtained shows that the Activated Sludge Technology is the largest impact on the environment and it is assumed that the consumption of electricity used in this kind of WWTP, throughout this study can be seen each impacts of those technologies evaluated to determine a greater or lesser impact extended at the environment and their relationship to the social aspects evaluated.
This study is a Master level thesis, of the Program in Sustainable Development of the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, and their results support the development of the Research Project "Water and Sanitation: Reduction of GHG Emissions from Wastewater Treatment in Latin America Cities by Adopting more Sustainable Processes and Technologies”, executed by The Institute of Engineering of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
A simple method to better evaluate the freshwater use impact of irrigated crops. The case study of a Mediterranean basin
1University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain; 2IRTA, Spain; 3Universitat Rovira Virgili, Spain
The consideration of water in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies was very limited till now [1,2]. Its exclusion is justified by  on the basis that LCA was initially developed for industrial systems, less water-dependent that agricultural ones. In this sense, and not being the first remarking that, Roy et al.  identified agricultural production as the hotspot in the life cycle of food products. Agriculture is also the most water demanding activity worldwide, accounting for about 70% of the whole water withdrawn , and therefore water consumption and its related impacts should be included in LCA studies, in order to assist to identify more sustainable paths of performance.
This paper presents a simple method that incorporates information regarding the different sources of freshwater both at the inventory level and the environmental impact assessment level. Four different internal origins were identified (extracted water from surface and aquifers, regenerated wastewater, desalinated water and agricultural runoff reclamation) and, if applicable, an external one (water transferred from other basin), in order to build an "irrigation profile” of the basin where the irrigated crop of interest is located. This distribution of freshwater sources was also considered in the impact assessment stage, by calculating the impact on each type of source using the equation Eq1. This expression is built on the basis of the definition of the FEI (Freshwater Ecosystem Impact) indicator defined by :
FEI = Σ (xi * CFi) Eq1
Where: xi is the fraction of irrigated water that is covered by each identified origin (i), and CFi is the associated characterisation factor, stated as 0 for regenerated wastewater, desalinated water and agricultural runoff reclamation, in line with , and equal to the withdrawal-to-availability ratio (WTA) of the corresponding basin for extracted surface and ground water. This WTA takes into consideration the water availability from additional sources such as wastewater reclamation, agricultural runoff reclamation and seawater desalination, also in agreement with .
Due to its agricultural water scarcity, a Mediterranean basin was chosen as a case study to test the defined approach. Several scenarios for water irrigation sourcing were defined and evaluated according to this approach as well as the estimation of the associated Cumulative Energy Demand. By addressing water in this way, a clearer picture of the impacts associated to the provision of water for irrigation can be provided for sustainable water management.
Sustainability aspects of plastic pipe systems for building applications: The environmental pillar
Flemish Institute for Technological Research, Belgium
The presentation will describe the importance that the European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association (TEPPFA) attaches to sustainability aspects that are related to their business and products and focuses on a recently performed life cycle assessment and environmental product declarations project (LCA-EPD project). At the LCM2011 conference we will first present the incentives of the European TEPPFA association to apply the concept of life cycle thinking to modern business practice, with the aim to manage the total life cycle of their products and services towards a more "sustainable" construction and housing. Then we will focus on the results of the LCA-EPD project in which 4 plastic pipes systems are analyzed from the cradle-to-the-grave: polyethyelene (PE) pipe systems for water distribution (utilities), polyvinylchloride (PVC) sewer pipe systems for civil applications, crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) pipe systems for hot an cold water in the building and polypropylene (PP) pipe systems for soil and waste removal from the building. Sensitivity analyses show that efforts in technology, pushed from various players within the industry, can even reduce further the total environmental impact. Many companies and institutes have contributed to the work of this LCA-EPD study. They include PlasticsEurope, TNO, PVC4pipes, PEX Association, PE-100+ association, TEPPFA national association members and major plastic pipe makers and members of TEPPFA. The quality and stringent nature of the work was such that the study has been critically reviewed by Denkstatt. During the presentation we will highlight the importance of life cycle thinking and managing for the European plastics pipes and fittings sector, the sector approach, the procedures for data collection, the importance of stakeholder involvement, the results of the LCA-EPD project, and the next steps in the project.
A web-based tool for efficient carbon footprint calculations: Lux screen CO2
Public Research Centre Henri Tudor, Luxembourg
In April 2006, Luxembourg’s government established the first action plan for the reduction of CO2 emissions at national level. Different public actors were identified as responsible for the awareness raising, training of and giving advice to industries, SMEs and consultants in the field of environmental technologies, environmental assessment and renewable energies.
In October 2008, the Resource Centre for Environmental Technologies (CRTE) of the Public Research Centre Henri Tudor (CRPHT) launched with other partners the MyClimateLux project to inform companies and individuals about the CO2 emissions of their activities (e.g. mobility, energy consumption, food) and to provide the opportunity to compensate their greenhouse gas emissions (www.myclimatelux.lu). Two years of analysis of extended corporate environmental assessments within the framework of the project identified a high demand for a quick accounting tool for CO2 emissions that considers regional and geographical characteristics (e.g. emission data).
Several commercial software tools for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) are already available on the market and recently included ad-hoc extensions to calculate carbon footprints. Unfortunately, these software tools are often too complex and require too much specific expertise to be used by SMEs, consultants and others. For companies without any experience in the field of environmental assessment, the analysis of company related CO2 emissions within a regional context is often an impossible task. The presented easy-to-use CO2 screening tool, adapted to their needs, was designed to support these companies.
The CRPHT has developed a web-based CO2-tool, ‘Lux screen CO2’ that is able to assess and report site related direct or indirect greenhouse gas emissions, including the whole supply chain of the company and food related impacts of the company restaurant. The provision of a screening CO2 tool including specific environmental impact data for the region increased the interest of Luxembourgish companies to actually conduct a screening of their CO2 emissions. Hence, it contributes to raise awareness and to improve the knowledge of general environmental issues (e.g. air pollution, impacts assessment) and environmental protection and, thus, supports and strengthens Luxembourg’s efforts to achieve green and sustainable growth.
The paper and poster will present the structure of the CO2 tool and will elaborate on the impact of its implementation in the Luxembourg context.