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Ecodesign for Sustainable Development - Volume 4 Product Development

Authors:
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
VOLUME 4
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
Editor: Wolfgang WIMMER
Vienna University of Technology, AUSTRIA
2007
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
ii
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
iii
Foreword
In Europe, in the last ten years, the responsible persons are concerned more and more about
sustainable development and ecodesign, as a path towards it, imposing the applying of a new
European legislation in this field. Due to it, there will be an increasing demand of engineers
educated in the field of ecodesign in the future, to allow industries to meet the standards required
by this new legislation.
Considering the labour market needs for engineers and designers with a wide eco-perspective, in
the close future, in Transilvania University of Brasov, Romania, in 2005, was made the decision to
start the enrichment of the engineering courses curricula with a module of ecodesign. The
ecodesign module was developed in an European partnership consisting by Technical University of
Vienna-Austria, Technical University of Tallinn-Estonia, Technological Educational Institution of
Athens-Greece, University of Brighton-United Kingdom and three Romanian Institutions: „Petru
Maior” University of Targu Mures, University of Bacau and Transilvania University of Brasov as
coordinator, with the financial support of the European Commission in the frame of the curricula
development project “ECODESIGN: an innovative path towards sustainable development”, with the
number 51388-IC-1-2005-1-RO-ERASMUS-MODUC-04.
The ECODESIGN Module consists in four subjects, for which the teaching aids (manuals and CD-
roms) were prepared:
Ecodesign Fundamentals;
Product Life Cycle Assessment;
Product Recycling Technologies;
Embedding Ecodesign in Product Development.
„Product Development”, the fourth volume of the book “Ecodesign for Sustainable Development”
represents, for the students, a guide for how to analyze a product, considering its environmental
impact and how to improve its design in order to be less harmful for the nature. This subject can be
included to all Industrial Design engineering courses as an advanced subject, after the study of the
other three subjects of the Ecodesign module.
The book is structured in 14 lessons, corresponding to the 14 weeks of an academic semester, from
the Romanian universities. At the beginning of each lesson, the lesson objectives are presented and
at the end of the lesson, some home exercises and additional lectures are suggested.
During the semester, the students will develop a project, supported by the information from
“Embedding Ecodesign in Product Development” volume, with the aim to improve a product,
considering the environmental constrains.
I would like to thank all those who have supported the project “Ecodesign: an innovative path
towards sustainable development”, especially to Prof.Dr.Eng. Ion VIŞA, Rector of the “Transilvania”
University of Braşov and Prof.Dr.Eng. Anca DUŢĂ, coordinator of the Department of “Management
of the research and educational projects”. I also want to express my deep gratitude to all the
colleagues and friends from the partnership team for the commitment and their inspired
contribution in preparation and development of the teaching aids of the Ecodesign Module.
Anca Barsan
Ecodesign Project Coordinator
Brasov, August 2007
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
iv
Ecodesign for Sustainable Development
Volume 1
FUNDAMENTALS
Volume
2
PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE
ASSESSMENT
Volume
3
PRODUCT RECYCLING
TECHNOLOGIES
Volume
4
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
v
Book Contents
Volume 1: Fundamentals
Why Ecodesign?
Environment in product life cycle
Eco-alternatives in product life cycle
Designing Eco-products
Eco-product management
Volume 2: Product Life Cycle Assessment
Introduction
Material production, use of raw materials
Product manufacture
Transport
Product use
Product’s end of life
Life Cycle Assessments (LCA)
Environmental assessment tools
Volume 3: Product Recycling Technologies
General Aspects
Legislations and Regulations
Collection, Sorting, Disassembling
Recycling Technology
Recycling Different Materials and Products
Product Design for Recycling
Volume 4: Product Development
Introduction into Ecodesign
Modelling the Life Cycle of a Product
Evaluating the Environmental Performance of Products. Part I: Using MET-Matrix
and Energy Values
Evaluating the Environmental Performance of Products. Part II: Using the
ECODESIGN PILOT´s Assistant
Identifying of mandatory environmental requirements from EU directives
Identifying voluntary environmental requirements from eco-labelling programs
Finding improvement strategies
Improvement of raw material intensive products
Improving a manufacture intensive product
Improving of transport intensive products
Improving use intensive products
Improving disposal intensive products
Integrating Ecodesign into the product development process
Enhancing the idea of Ecodesign to Product Service Systems
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS VOLUME 4
DI Hesamedin Ostad-Ahmad-Ghorabi
Lessons 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Vienna University of Technology
DI Maria Huber
Lessons 5 and 6
Vienna University of Technology
DI Rainer Pamminger
Lesson 14
Vienna University of Technology
DI Mircea Neagoe
Layout editor
University “Transilvania” of Braşov,
Romania
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
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CONTENTS
LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION INTO ECODESIGN 1
Ecodesign – What is that? 2
Ecodesign - Why? 3
Raw Materials 4
Manufacture 6
Transport 7
Use 7
End of Life 8
Summary 8
Home Exercises 9
References 9
LESSON 2: MODELLING THE LIFE CYCLE OF A PRODUCT 11
Life Cycle Thinking 12
Product Description 12
Examples 14
Summary 21
Home Exercises 22
References 23
Additional reading material (available on CD) 23
LESSON 3: EVALUATING THE ENVIRONMENTAL
PERFORMANCE OF PRODUCTS. PART I: USING
MET-MATRIX AND ENERGY VALUES 25
Evaluation with the help of the MET-matrix 26
Example 1: Juice Extractor 27
Example 2: Office Chair 32
Summary 37
Home Exercises 38
References 39
Additional links and suggested reading materials 39
LESSON 4: EVALUATING THE ENVIRONMENTAL
PERFORMANCE OF PRODUCTS. PART II: USING
THE ECODESIGN PILOT´S ASSISTANT 41
Form 1 – General Data 42
Form 2 – Raw Material Data 43
Form 3 – Manufacture Data 46
Form 4 – Transport Data 48
Form 5 – Product Use Data 48
Form 6 – End of life data 49
Results form 50
Summary 52
Home Exercises 52
References 53
Additional links and suggested reading materials 53
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
viii
LESSON 5: IDENTIFYING MANDATORY ENVIRONMENTAL
REQUIREMENTS FROM EU DIRECTIVES 55
WEEE Directive 56
RoHS Directive 60
EEG PILOT 62
EuP Directive 64
ELV Directive 67
Summary 69
Home Exercises 70
References 71
Additional reading material (available on CD) 71
LESSON 6: IDENTIFYING VOLUNTARY ENVIRONMENTAL
REQUIREMENTS FROM ECO-LABELING
PROGRAMS 73
Different Types of Eco-Labels 74
Product specific requirements of the Nordic Swan – example
Juice Extractor 79
Product specific requirements of the EU Flower – example
Washing Machine 82
Product specific requirements of the NF Environment –
example Office Chair 83
Summary 86
Home Exercises 86
References 87
Additional reading material (available on CD) 87
LESSON 7: FINDING IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES 89
ECODESIGN PILOT 90
Example 94
Quality Function Deployment 96
Summary 101
Home Exercises 102
References 103
Additional reading material (available on CD) 103
LESSON 8: IMPROVING RAW MATERIAL INTENSIVE
PRODUCTS 105
Case Study: Office Chair 106
Improvement strategies for the office chair 107
Summary 112
Student’s Presentation 112
References 113
LESSON 9: IMPROVING A MANUFACTURE INTENSIVE
PRODUCT 115
Case study: Table made of wood 116
Additional note: 118
Social aspects 120
Summary 122
Student’s Presentation 122
References 123
LESSON 10: IMPROVING TRANSPORT INTENSIVE PRODUCTS 125
Case study: Flower Pot 126
Additional note: 128
Summary 129
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
ix
Student’s Presentation 129
References 129
LESSON 11: IMPROVING USE INTENSIVE PRODUCTS 131
Case Study: Electrical Toothbrush 132
Additional notes: 135
Summary 137
Student’s Presentation 137
References 137
LESSON 12: IMPROVING DISPOSAL INTENSIVE PRODUCTS 139
Repair 140
Recycling 140
Reverse manufacturing 142
Upgrading 142
Summary 146
Student’s Presentation 146
References 147
Additional reading material (available on CD) 147
LESSON 13: INTEGRATING ECODESIGN INTO THE PRODUCT
DEVELOPMENT PROCESS 149
Product Specification 150
Developing the functional structure 151
Performing creativity sessions 151
Brainstorming 152
Brainwriting (Method 635) 153
Synectics 154
Checklists 155
Product concepts 155
Embodiment design 157
Ecodesign Decision Boxes 158
Summary 163
Home Exercises 164
References 165
Additional reading material (available on CD) 165
LESSON 14: ENHANCING THE IDEA OF ECODESIGN TO
PRODUCT SERVICE SYSTEMS 167
Example: Office Chair 170
Product examples 174
Car-Sharing 174
Leasing of copiers 175
City Bike 175
Leasing of clothing for work, textiles 176
Single-use camera 176
Laundry service 177
Energy contracting 177
Outlook 178
Summary 181
Home Exercises 181
References 182
Appendix 1: List of Figures 183
Appendix 2: List of Tables 185
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
x
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
1
LESSON 1
Introduction into Ecodesign
KEYWORDS: ECODESIGN, LIFE CYCLE STAGES, RECYCLING, REPAIR, REVERSE
MANUFACTURING
Lesson objectives
Lesson 1 will focus on some considerations how and why products cause harm to the
environment through their life cycle. The different life cycle stages of products will be
described more detailed. The focus will be turned on the interaction between the different
processes in the individual life cycle stages and the environment. You will find out that
any process in any of the life cycle stages will have an effect on the environmental
impact.
It will be pointed out why it is necessary to consider environmental aspects of products
and why it is important to integrate environmental aspects into the product development
process.
Further you will get comfort with the idea of Ecodesign. This lesson will give a definition
of Ecodesign and will describe its concept more detailed.
At the end of this lesson you will know what Ecodesign means and why it is
necessary to implement Ecodesign into the product development process.
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
2
Raw
Materials
Manufacture Transport
Use
End of
Life
ECODESIGN WHAT IS THAT?
Ecodesign is the design of products with respect to their ecological effects.
It considers the contribution of the product to environmental impact
through all of its life cycle stages. The five life cycle stages of a product
are shown in Fig.1.1.
By applying Ecodesign resources are used intelligently and therefore
benefit for all involved actors along the value creation chain is increased
and, at the same time, environmental impacts are reduced. This should
be achieved under social fair conditions.
The motivation for implementing Ecodesign can be divided into three
main groups:
Ecological reasons: to secure an intact environment for future
generations, consumptions of non-renewable resources and impacts to
the environment must be reduced now. Ecodesign is an effective
approach to translate this aim into reality.
Economical reasons: implementing Ecodesign in companies can lead to
innovative products with improved quality and optimized functionality.
This can open new consumer segments. Ecodesign also helps to build
up confidence and credibility in stakeholders and achieve better
ratings of the company. Reduced use of materials and energy helps to
save costs.
Social reasons: socially compatible conditions and quality of life as well
as job creation, which are all factors for economical and political
steadiness, can be provided by the implementation of Ecodesign.
Nowadays the idea of Ecodesign is widely spread over the different
technical disciplines such as architecture, civil engineering, mechanical
engineering or industrial design. The different disciplines use the term
‘Ecodesign’ in different ways. The approach of Ecodesign given above is
based on the approach which is used for product development. It is more
based on ecological than on economical aspects.
Innovative companies show interest in implementing Ecodesign. This is
not only because laws and directives forces them to do so. They have
realized that Ecodesign is part of future oriented technology; Ecodesign is
Fig.1.1: The five life
cycle stages of a
product
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
3
considered as an investment in a technology which allows, beneath other
advantages, saving a lot of internal costs.
Since engineers in product development are not necessarily
environmental experts, implementation of Ecodesign still is a challenging
task. Industrial projects often show that Life Cycle Thinking (LCT), this is,
according to (Wimmer, Züst, Lee, 2004) the holistic consideration of
environmental impacts of a product caused throughout its life cycle
stages, is still not well established among engineers in product
development. The influence of the design of a product to its
environmental performance, viz the caused impacts to the environment
by the product, is still unclear to most engineers in product development.
Therefore it will be shown in the next lessons how Ecodesign can be
embedded effectively into product design.
ECODESIGN - WHY?
When thinking about the quality of a product, what considerations do
you take into account? What qualities of a product do you evaluate before
you buy a product? What properties of a product give direction to your
decision?
By holding two products in our hands sometimes we think the heavier
product is the better one. How comes that? Is it because we think the
heavier product contains somehow ‘better’ materials by using for example
metals instead of plastics? Is it because we think the product might have
a longer lifetime then? Is it because plastics are considered as cheap’ or
somehow ‘weak’? Beneath the materials used in the product its
performance, its design and its appearance are important parameters
which are considered when buying a product. Sometimes we are ready to
spend a lot of money just for a design which appeals to us. The sales
price is another important parameter to consider when intending to buy a
product.
But have you ever thought of evaluating a product from an environmental
view? Have you ever thought about the impacts a product is causing to
the environment? Have you ever considered how much impact a product
will cause until its end of life? Have you ever thought of considering the
environmental performance of a product as a quality criterion?
Imagine you want to buy an office chair: can you imagine that this
product could have caused some toxic waste (without containing any
toxic substances of course)? Have you ever considered that by using the
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
4
air conditioner of your car you contribute to global warming? Did you
know that usual jeans trousers travel about 50000 km around the world
before you can buy them in a store? Can you imagine that for the
production of a personal computer more than 14000 kg of materials and
additional 30000 litres of water are needed?
Maybe you were not familiar with such ideas? This is because you
probably have only considered the use stage of the product where you are
directly confronted with the product and where you interact with it. But
the product has passed through different stages before you can buy it in
a store and will pass different stages after you dispose it. All these stages
cause some impact to the environment. In the following these stages are
introduced and briefly explained.
RAW MATERIALS
To be able to produce any kind of products different materials are needed.
Imagine some household appliances such as a washing machine. In a
washing machine different materials such as metals (e.g. steel plates),
glass or plastics are used amongst others.
Environmental considerations must start from the point where for
example iron ore is extracted to produce steel or crude oil is extracted to
produce plastics. Raw materials are processed to materials which can be
used in products. If we want to go more into detail we should also take all
energies needed for the extraction and the further processes of the raw
materials into account. By going a level deeper into detail we should also
consider for example the land transformation which occurs by extracting
raw materials.
It was stated that the energies needed should be considered. Which kind
of energies are there and how are they obtained? Let us consider electric
energy: electric energy can be supplied by hydroelectric power plants,
solar power plants or windmills; so called “renewable sources of energy”.
But today most of the electric energy is supplied by power plants which
require fossil fuels such as coal or gas or by nuclear power plants. By
incinerating fossil fuels a lot of other co-products such as carbon black,
carbon dioxide (CO
2
) or methane (CH
4
) occur. CO
2
and CH
4
are
greenhouse gases. The emission of a huge amount of these gases into the
atmosphere is causing the phenomenon called “global warming”.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
5
For any kind of processes energy is needed and for the production of
energy mostly fossil fuels are used. As researches predict again and again
the resources of fossil fuels are limited. With the rise of industrialisation
the need to fossil fuels and other resources rises too. Tab.1.1 shows the
annual energy consumption and CO
2
emission of some selected countries.
Country Oil Electricity
CO
2
emission
Unit
Barrel per day
and 1000 inhabitant
kWh
per person
Tons
per person
United States of America 70.2 12.331 19.7
Japan 42.0 7.628 9.1
Germany 32.5 5.963 32.5
Poland 10.9 2.511 8.1
Brazil 10.5 1.878 1.8
China (without Hong Kong) 4.2 0.827 2.3
Ethiopia 0.3 0.022 0.1
It was the German forester Hans Carl von Carlowitz who introduced the
term “sustainability” in the 17
th
century. The rising need for wood and the
intense felling of trees lead to the deforestation of the woods. He stated
that for being able to prevent wood destruction the felling of trees must
be in balance with the amount of trees which grow again. The need to
wood must be either adapted to this balance or if not possible, some
other resources must be found which can satisfy the needs…the concept
of sustainability was born!
Nowadays the term “sustainability” is also present in industry, especially
in product development. Integrating the idea of sustainability as well as
environmental considerations into the product development is the guiding
idea of Ecodesign. The European Environment Agency defines Ecodesign
as “the integration of environmental aspects into the product development
process, by balancing ecological and economic requirements. Ecodesign
considers environmental aspects at all stages of the product development
process, striving for products which make the lowest possible
environmental impact throughout the product life cycle.” (European
Environment Agency, 2006)
As already stated the main problem of using fossil fuels is that during
their incineration gases such as CO
2
which are key factors for global
warming occur. The effects of global warming are various: changes in
weather and ecosystems, glacier retreat or rising of sea levels are some
effects to be pointed out here.
Tab.1.1:
Energy
consumption
and CO2
emission of
some selected
countries
(Worldwatch
Institute,
2004)
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
6
It has also to be mentioned that nowadays economy is based on oil and
gas, hence fossil fuels. Each year new sources of these resources are
found but the annual need for these resources rises much faster than the
sources can supply. Since these resources are not renewable and
therefore limited, this ongoing trend means that we will be confronted
with a scarcity of these resources in future. If we want these resources to
be available for our future generations we must either reduce our
consumption which means a change in our life style or we must find
some other resources which can replace fossil fuels.
MANUFACTURE
Once materials are extracted they can be processed to parts and
components during manufacturing. The components can be assembled to
form the final product.
For manufacturing tools and machine equipment are necessary.
Machines again require energy to operate. Beneath that, process
materials such as chemical substances, coolants, glue or water are
necessary in many production steps.
If we want to go more into detail, all energies needed to lighten, warm or
cool the factory must be taken into account too. These additional energies
are called “overhead energies”. Experience shows that the overhead
energies can rise up to 200% of the energy needed for the actual
manufacturing processes.
But there is more: all energies needed to transport parts and components
of a product to manufacture sites must be considered as well.
Let us consider jeans trousers. A common pair of jeans travel more than
50000 km before a customer can buy them in Europe. What does this
“travel around the world” consists of? We have to consider that the cotton
needed for the jeans grows in Kazakhstan. The cotton is harvested and
sent to Turkey where it is yarned. In Taiwan the yarn is woven. The dye
needed to colour the textile comes from Poland, the textile itself is dyed in
Tunisia. In Bulgaria the textile is smoothened by different processes. In
China the knobs which were imported from Italy as well as the linings
which come from Switzerland were sewed on the jeans. In France the
surface of the jeans textile is processed with pumice which is imported
from Turkey. The trousers are sent to Portugal then, were a label ‘Made in
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
7
Portugal” is sewed. From Portugal the trousers are distributed all over
Europe for sale
1
.
Just imagine the huge amount of energy needed for the transport among
the different factories for the manufacture of the product and try to
imagine the amount of generated emissions! Note: the combustion of 1 kg
fuel produces approximately 3 kg of CO
2
(Wimmer, Züst, Lee, 2004)!
TRANSPORT
The final product needs to be packaged and delivered to the consumer or
retailer. Depending on the mode of transport, e.g. airplane, ship, train or
truck, energy is used and emissions are generated.
USE
In the use stage the product is operated. In order to provide the functions
properly, the product may require energy or secondary materials, e.g.
lubricants, water or coolants.
A product has to fulfil its functionality in the use stage. The lifetime of a
product is the time the product can fulfil its functionality properly. Most
consumers are directly confronted with the product in this stage. Some
impacts to the environment in the use stage may also cause stress for the
user: imagine products, e.g. household products, which cause high level
of noise or vibrations during use. Also imagine for example products
which need batteries to function: beneath the high environmental
impacts caused by the batteries when they are treated after reaching their
end of life, the user of such products has to spend a lot of money for the
purchase of batteries. In case of battery operated products one can see
that by reducing the need for batteries not only the environmental impact
of the product can be reduced but also the operating costs for the product
decrease.
Occurring environmental impacts as well as emerging costs also depend
on the user’s behaviour, viz how the product is used. Imagine a washing
machine which is only filled up half with laundry: The amount of water,
and electrical energy needed may be the same as it is the case when fully
filled. But the output, that is washed clothes, is just half. This means
that the costs per washing cycle and the relative environmental impact
(related to the output) are twice as high. Designers have no influence on
1
Example taken from (Praxis Umweltbildung 2006)
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
8
the way the product is used. All they can do is to provide a design which
avoids an inappropriate use of the product. In the case of a washing
machine for example the device could be provided with different programs
which optimize the amount of water used in dependence to the amount of
laundry filled in.
In the use stage of a product, the interaction between the user and
product is most important. Usually this interaction ends when the
product is not able to operate properly anymore and is disposed by the
user. The product enters another stage called the ‘end of life’ stage.
END OF LIFE
When a product is defect or is not able to provide its function anymore, it
has reached its end of life stage. There are several and different ways to
treat the product and its part in the end of life (EoL) stage. The product
can be for example disassembled. The components and the parts can be
used again or the materials used in the product can be entered into a
recycling cycle. A detailed description of this life cycle stage is given in
lesson 12.
SUMMARY
The reasons for implementing Ecodesign into the product development
process are various: occurring scarcity of raw materials in the near future,
raising consumption of energy, occurring environmental impacts through
product development processes, social as well as economic reasons.
To be able to apply Ecodesign to products it is important to take all five
life cycle stages into consideration and to keep in mind that the life cycle
stages often contain complex loops and cycles.
The next lesson further deals with the product's life cycle in the context of
Life Cycle Thinking in product development process as well as
introducing qualitative description approaches for a product by using
environmental parameters.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
9
HOME EXERCISES
Assignment of products for improvement to the students.
Presentation of the results in lesson 8-12.
1. Have a look at your product:
a. What function does it have to fulfil?
b. Is your product design able to fulfil its function properly? What are
the weak points of the design? Could there be any harm or danger
in case of malfunction or abuse?
c. Give a brief description of your product, e.g. estimated purchase
price, used materials, estimated and guaranteed life time etc. You
can use the information on the packaging or the manual.
2. Environmental issues of your product:
a. Give a general qualitative description of the different life cycle
stages of your product.
b. How do you believe is your product manufactured? Which
technologies are used?
c. How do you think is your product distributed? What is the
transport distance?
d. How should this product be used? What are the environmental
impacts in the use stage?
e. How is the product disposed and how is the product treated when
it reaches its end of life? Is recycling possible? Can parts and
components be reused?
3. How do you believe could Ecodesign be applied to your product?
REFERENCES
European Environment Agency: http://www.eea.europa.eu, accessed 08.2006
Praxis Umweltbildung: http://www.praxis-umweltbildung.de, accessed 08.2006
The Worldwatch Institute 2004. State of the World 2004. W.W. Norton & Company, New York,
USA.
Wimmer, W, Züst, R., 2002. Ecodesign Pilot - Product-Investigation-, Learning- and
Optimization- Tool for Sustainable Product Development. Kluwer Academic Publishers,
Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
Wimmer, W., Züst, R., Lee, K.M., 2004. ECODESIGN Implementation - A Systematic
Guidance on Integrating Environmental Considerations into Product Development. Springer,
Dordrecht, Netherlands.
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
10
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
11
LESSON 2
Modelling the Life Cycle of a Product
KEYWORDS: LIFE CYCLE THINKING (LCT), LIFE CYCLE THINKING DIAGRAM,
QUALITATIVE DESCRIPTION, QUANTITATIVE MODELLING
Lesson objectives
This lesson aims at introducing different ways of modelling the life cycles of a product.
Two different approaches can be pursued: one is a qualitative and one is a quantitative
description of a product. Therefore two types of data can be differed, namely qualitative
data and quantitative data. Qualitative data can be expressed e.g. as ratings.
Considering just parts of the life cycle stages of a product (e.g. only the use stage from
the view of the consumer) is a common and wide spread mistake. In the sense of
Ecodesign, all life cycle stages, starting from raw materials, manufacture, transport over
use and the end of life stage, have to be taken into account when a product is analyzed.
To achieve an overall view of the product, the concept of Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) is
introduced in this lesson.
At the end of this lesson you will be able to:
Include Life Cycle Thinking in your considerations when analyzing your product
Give a qualitative description of your product using environmental parameters
Quantifying environmental parameters of your product
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
12
In this lesson three examples are discussed:
1. Juice extractor
In this example special attention is given to where system boundaries
have to be set and which influence the definition of system boundaries
have on the environmental profile of a product.
2. Washing machine
In the example of the washing machine different use scenarios are
investigated. The different use scenarios lead to different relative
environmental impacts in the life cycle stages. The engineer in product
development can optimize a product in view of the different use
scenarios.
3. Office chair
An office chair is introduced as an example for a product which has its
most environmental impact in the first life cycle stage, namely raw
materials.
LIFE CYCLE THINKING
Commonly, producers and users focus only on one part of the product life
cycle. The former may pay attention to the optimization of manufacture
processes whereas the latter have interest in the product use stage and
end of life stage. Life Cycle Thinking is a key for an overall attention to all
five life cycle stages of a product.
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
Generally, data for product description can be divided into quantitative
data and qualitative data.
A quantitative product description is based on quantifiable data, where
quantified input and output factors are considered, e.g. amount of kg
material used. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) according to ISO 14040
requires quantifiable data.
Qualitative data may be expressed as scale ratings, e.g. 1 representing
‘best’ and 5 representing ‘worst’, or as relative rating terms such as ‘better
than’ or ‘worse than’. Qualitative data can be used in matrix LCAs,
compare module 2.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
13
A qualitative description of a product gives a first overview of the product.
This can be achieved by using general data such as, e.g.:
Name of the product
Name of components
Parts and components which has to be purchased from other
manufacturers
Use scenarios
Functionality
Functional unit
Qualitative product description may also include textual descriptions of
products.
For the evaluation of environmental aspects of a product by qualitative
data, so-called ‘environmental parameters’ should be addressed.
Environmental parameters related to the product life cycle are listed in
Tab.2.1.
Life cycle stage Environmental parameter
Raw materials
Materials used
Problematic materials
Manufacture
Production technology
Production waste
Transport
Packaging
Transportation
Use
Usability
Energy consumption
Waste, generated
Noise and vibrations
Emissions
Maintenance
Reparability
End of life
Fasteners and joints
Time for disassembly
Rate of reusability
Rate of recyclability
Tab.2.1:
Environmental
parameters related to
product life cycle
stages
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
14
EXAMPLES
In the following a juice extractor will be considered. A description results
in the following data:
General environmental parameter (qualitative and quantitative)
Name of the product Juice extractor
Weight of Product 705 g
Weight of product
incl. packaging
1.055 kg
Measures Height: 192 mm
Highest diameter (housing): 82 mm
Volumetric capacity 750 ml
Components Motor (85 g)
Press cone (135 g)
Housing (170 g)
Juice-container (190 g)
Cable (65 g)
Packaging (345 g)
External parts Cable, motor, packaging
Use scenario Use scenario: 1 time per day, 50 weeks a year over 5
years
Lifetime 5 years
Functionality The extracted juice drops directly into a container via
a sieve.
The juice extractor is switched on via a contact
during pressing the fruit against a cone and runs as
long as a contact force exists.
Considerations about the life cycle and specific environmental parameters
according to Tab.2.1 are summed up in the Tab. 2.3.
Before you go on, try to consider following questions:
Do you believe that the juice extractor is fully described by Tab.2.2 and Tab.2.3?
If not, what remains open?
What does the juice extractor need to be able to fulfil its function?
Where should system boundaries be set? What influence may different system
boundaries have on the environmental profile of a product?
Since a juice extractor needs fruits (e.g. oranges) for fulfilling its function
the fruits needed for the extraction should be also taken into
considerations.
This can be explained as follows:
To provide juice the juice extractor needs fruits. An ideal juice extractor
would extract all juice content included in the fruit and would not waste
any juice at all. Therefore it may be useful to find out how these fruits can
be quantified and what the maximum amount of juice in an orange is.
Fig.2.1: Juice
Extractor
[www.philips.at]
Tab.2.2: General
environmental
parameter of the
juice extractor
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
15
Specific environmental
parameter
Explanation (qualitative)
Use of raw materials
Materials used:
ABS, PMMA, PP, PS
Motor contains metal parts
Cable contains copper
Manufacture
Production technology:
Production waste:
Mainly injection moulding
Packaging of external parts, sprue bushes of
injection moulding
Transport
Packaging:
Transport:
Cardboard
Truck
Product use
Usability:
Energy consumption:
Generated waste:
Noise and vibrations:
Maintenance:
Reparability:
Extracting juice, collecting juice, cleaning
15 Watt
Fruit pulps (biological waste), orange peels
Gearbox is not damped, may cause noises during
operation
Washing after using, dishwashing detergent
needed
Extractor is completely exchanged in case of
damages
End of life
Fasteners and joints:
Time for disassembly:
Rate of reusability:
Rate of recyclability:
Connectors
Disassembly in less than 2 minutes possible,
motor itself is not disassembled
Motor can be reused after inspection
Approximately 40%
In the following a quantification of oranges is described briefly:
Oranges are needed for the life cycle stage ‘use’.
Explanation
Origin :
Brazil (From July to September)
Spain (Rest of the year)
Transport:
From Spain: via lorry over 3000 km
From Brazil: via ship over 10000 km
Additional 2000 km via lorry for transport
Irrigation:
1 kg of oranges need 1000 litres of water
Mix of oranges:
A mix of 75% of Spanish oranges and 25% of
Brazilian oranges is assumed
Juice:
For the extraction of 750ml orange juice 11
oranges (this is an empirical number) mixed of
oranges from Spain and Brazil are needed
Average weight of orange
150 g
Content of juice
105 g (100% of juice)
Tab.2.3: Description
of specific
environmental
parameters for the
juice extractor
Tab.2.4: Quantitative
description of
oranges
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
16
Testing of the juice extractor shows that approximately 45% (43 g) of the
juice content of an orange can be extracted. 55% are wasted.
To be able to achieve a precise environmental profile of a product it is
important to define precise system boundaries. An appropriate functional
unit must be defined at the beginning of the considerations. A functional
unit quantifies the function of a product, see lesson 4. The functional
unit of a juice extractor can be defined as: “extracting 750 ml of juice”.
By Life Cycle Thinking weak points of the product can be found. Since
the ‘oranges’ have a serious influence on the environmental profile of the
juice extractor, especially on the life cycle stage ‘use’, the optimization
criteria for the juice extractor may be its capability of extracting as much
as possible juice from the fruits. An evaluation of the juice extractor and
the fruits shows that approximately one third of the environmental
impact during the use stage can be assigned to the oranges. Therefore an
optimization of the extraction process of the juice extractor seems to be
most relevant. This optimization would minimize the contribution of the
oranges to the overall environmental impact in the use stage.
Defining proper system boundaries remains an important task. In order
to define system boundaries, the different processes, activities or
materials through the entire life cycle of a product must be evaluated.
Significant processes should be included within the system boundary;
less significant ones can be neglected.
Different decision rules for the evaluation of the significance of processes
and activities can be used. According to (Wimmer, Züst, Lee, 2004) a
decision rule for mass inclusion can be considered. Unit processes are
excluded if their fractional weight to the product is less than a certain
percentage. Unit processes are elements of the so called ‘product system’,
where all components, parts and materials as well as all development
activities are considered. Decision rules based on energy flows are also
possible.
System boundaries may also be chosen in a way that a compromise
between the accuracy of the product description and evaluation (e.g. LCA,
see module 2) and the time needed for description and evaluation as well
as the associated cost is achieved.
Another example explained here is a washing machine, as explained in
(Wimmer, st, 2002). Life Cycle Thinking leads to interesting results in
this example.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
17
Consider two different types of washing machines, one costs 500€, the
other one costs 2000€. Let’s assume that a washing machine for a
household with 50 washing cycles a year and a washing machine for a
dormitory with 2 washing cycles a day has to be purchased. Well, if the
purchasing price is the only considered parameter, the first machine is
the one to chose.
But Life Cycle Thinking leads to extended considerations. Obviously the
consumer is confronted with different use scenarios. An Input-Output
analysis where all input needed to wash clothes (energy, process
materials, etc…) as well as the output from the washing process (clean
clothes, heat, etc…) are drawn in a flow chart. This helps to describe the
use stage of the washing machine more precisely. Fig. 2.3 shows such an
Input-Output chart.
A detailed quantitative description of the use stage of a washing machine
is given in Tab. 2.5.
Machine A
Machine B
Purchasing price 500€ 2000
Energy consumption per washing cycle
1,2kWh 1 kWh
Detergent per washing cycle 50g 50g
Water consumption per washing cycle 70l 50l
Washing cycles per year 50 600
Service life 20 years 16 years
Total washing cycles 1000 9600
Servicing per year 20€ 60€
Heat Vibration
Input
Process
Output
Washing
clothes
Sewage
Clean
clothes
Electric
energy
Water
Washing
powder
Laundry
Fig. 2.2: Typical
washing machine
[www.sem.or.at]
Fig.2.3:
Input-Output
analysis for a
washing machine
Tab.2.5: Co
st
analysis of two
different washing
machine models
(Wimmer, Züst,
2002)
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
18
Portion purchase price 0,50€ 0,21€
Portion servicing 0,40€ 0,10€
Costs of water 0,21€ 0,15€
Costs of electricity 0,18€ 0,15€
Costs of detergent 0,13€ 0,13€
Costs per washing cycle 1,42€ 0,74€
Unit prices:
Costs per m
3
water 3,0€
Costs per kWh electricity 0,15€
Costs for detergent (50g) 2,50€
The results of Tab. 2.5 show that although washing machine B is four
times more expensive than machine A, the different use scenarios
implement that washing machine B is half expensive in each washing-
cycle.
0
50
100
Raw material Manufacture Transport Use Eol
Relative environmental impact[%]
Life Cycle Thinking
and the consideration
of the different use
scenarios also lead to
different relative
environmental impact
in the life cycle
stages.
In the proposed use scenarios, washing machine B is used more
intensive than washing machine A. Since washing machine B is used up
to twice a day, its life cycle stage ‘use’ contributes most to the overall
environmental impact of the product. Fig. 2.4 shows a Life Cycle Thinking
diagram (LCT diagram) of the washing machine where the environmental
impact of each life cycle stage of the washing machine is drawn.
This view of the environmental impact of the different life cycle stages can
be obtained by Life Cycle Thinking, a way to consider environmental
aspects of all life cycle stages of the product.
Fig.2.4: Percentage
of environmental
impact in each life
cycle stage of
machine B
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
19
Fig.2.5: Percentage
of environmental
impact in each life
cycle stage of
machine A
In case of a less intensive use, the first life cycle stage, namely raw
materials, becomes significant too, see LCT diagram in Fig. 2.5.
Different scenarios can be matter of investigation in other life cycle stages
too. Imagine your product is going to be sold and used in different
countries or continents and reaches its end of life stage there. Since each
country has different waste management systems, different disposal
scenarios have to be taken into account. For example recycling rates
differ in Europe where 13% of the disposed waste is recycled, in North
America where recycling rates are not so high since most of the municipal
waste is disposed in a landfill compared to Japan where recycling rates
are very high.
The last example introduced in this lesson is an office chair, see
Fig. 2.6, which is further discussed in lesson 6 and 8.
A common office chair can be described as consisting of five main
parts, namely:
1. Base
2. Mechanism
3. Seat
4. Arm rest
5. Back
General information of the office chair is given below:
General environmental parameter
Name of the product Office chair
Weight of product 24kg
Weight of product incl. packaging 28 kg
Main components Base, mechanism, seat, arm rest, back
Lifetime 15 years
Use scenario An average person, using the chair for
eight hours a day, five days a week
over a period of 15 years
0
50
100
Raw material Manufacture Transport Use Eol
Relative environmental impact [%]
In case of washing
machine A, which is
not used as intensive
as washing machine
B, the relative
environmental impact
of its life cycle stage
‘use’ is not as high as
washing machine B.
3
4
5
2
1
Fig.2.6: Office chair
[www.steelcase.com]
Tab.2.6: General
environmental
parameter of an
office chair
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
20
Fig. 2.7:
Percentage of
environmental
impact in each life
cycle stage of a
office chair
Specific environmental
parameter
Explanation (qualitative)
Raw materials
Materials used:
Metals: Steel, Zamak alloy
Plastics: PA, PP, PS, PU, PVC, ABS, LDPE, HDPE
Others : Cardboard, textiles, glue
Manufacture
Production
technology:
Injection moulding, welding, painting, anodising,
polishing
Transport
Packaging:
Transport:
Cardboard
Ship, over-sea
Lorry, highway
Lorry, urban
Use
Usability:
Provision of comfortable office seating
End of life
Disposal:
60% landfill, 27% incineration, 13% recycling
A
ccordingly the office chair could be seen as a “raw-material and
manufacture intensiveproduct.
Further improvement strategies for the office chair should focus on this
life cycle stages. The relative environmental impact of the raw material
stage is highest. In lesson 8 it will be discussed how this life cycle stage
can be improved.
Fig. 2.7 also shows that in the ‘use’ stage of the office chair no
environmental impact occurs at all.
-50
0
50
100
Raw materials Manufacture Transport Use Eol
Relative environmental impact [%]
By applying Life Cycle
Thinking and evalua-
ting the product, the
life cycle stages raw
materials and
manufacture” of the
office chair seem to
contribute most to the
overall environmental
impact, see LCT
diagram in Fig. 2.7.
Tab.2.7: Specific
environmental
parameters of an
office chair
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
21
SUMMARY
Life Cycle Thinking is a key issue for obtaining insight into the
environmental impacts occurring along product life and is therefore a
basic requirement for implementing Ecodesign. The examples above have
shown that taking all life cycle stages into account and considering
different possible scenarios for the life cycles, the environmental profile of
a product can bring sometimes unexpected results.
Setting the right system boundaries, as shown in the juice extractor
example, is also an important factor which has to be considered. Setting
large system boundaries, too much and detailed information may be
needed to obtain an environmental profile of a product. In many cases not
all information can be gathered since either no information is available or
facts are unknown. Too small system boundaries may lead to a wrong
and insufficient description of the environmental profile of a product. In
both cases the real weak points of the product may be overlooked. This
can lead to wrong or ineffective improvement strategies of the product.
Sketching the relative environmental impact over the life cycle stages, as
done in Fig. 2.4, 2.5 and 2.7, gives a good overview of the environmental
profile of a product. Such a diagram clearly shows which life stages are
the most relevant ones and where the focus of environmental
improvement activities should lie on.
The next lesson will discuss how the environmental performance can be
evaluated.
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
22
HOME EXERCISES
1. Describe your product by using environmental parameters:
d. Give general environmental parameters of your product by
following Tab. 2.2.
e. How can the function and the functionality of your product be
described? (Note: Testing may be useful)
f. Which components and materials does your product contain? (Note:
Disassembling may be required)
g. Quantify this information (e.g. by weighting, measuring, etc…)
Caution: In case of disassembling your product for analyzing, DO NOT
use the product again after re-assembling! Danger of malfunction and
serious injuries!
Perform any testing BEFORE you disassemble your product!
2. Give qualitative explanation of the environmental parameters:
f. Find information about the life cycle stages of your product.
g. How can you define system boundaries? How much information is
necessary to consider?
h. Is there any product specific data to consider?
3. Give special attention to the use stage of your product
a. Which use scenarios are possible?
b. How do these different use scenarios influence the environmental
profile of your product?
4. Which life cycle stage of your product contributes most to the
environmental impact? Estimate the possible impacts and draw a first
draft of a LCT diagram.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
23
REFERENCES
Wimmer, W., Züst, R., 2002. Ecodesign Pilot - Product-Investigation-, Learning- and
Optimization- Tool for Sustainable Product Development. Kluwer Academic Publishers,
Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
Wimmer, W., Züst, R., Lee, K.M., 2004. ECODESIGN Implementation - A Systematic
Guidance on Integrating Environmental Considerations into Product Development. Springer,
Dordrecht, Netherlands.
ADDITIONAL READING MATERIAL (AVAILABLE ON CD)
Wimmer, W., Bey, N., The way to do ECODESIGN in companies installing a continuous
improvement process, Proceedings of the Design2004, D. Marjanovic, Faculty of Mechanical
Engineering and Naval Architecture, Zagreb, The Design Society, Glasgow, 2004, 1565-1570.
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
24
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
25
LESSON 3
Evaluating the Environmental
Performance of Products
Part I: Using MET-Matrix and Energy
Values
KEYWORDS: QUALITATIVE EVALUATION METHOD, MET-MATRIX, ENERGY VALUES
Lesson objectives
Once a product is described, the next step is the environmental evaluation of the product.
There are various evaluation methods, starting from qualitative, easy to apply evaluation
methods over very complex methods using quantitative data, e.g. EDIP-method used in
LCA, see module 2.
This lesson deals with methods which are easy to apply for product developers and
which give a reliable and good overview of the environmental performance of the product
to find appropriate Ecodesign improvement strategies.
The introduced Material-Energy-Toxicity-matrix (MET-matrix) allows a simple qualitative
as well as a quantitative evaluation of the product.
A MET-matrix contains data for the different life cycle stages of a product and gives a
first overview of the environmental situation of the product.
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
26
As introduced in module 2, energy values are applied in this lesson for a more detailed
analysis. By selecting pre-calculated values from a list one can obtain a quantitative
evaluation of a product in form of LCT diagrams. The application of the energy values is
simple since no deeper insight to complex life cycle assessment theories and methods is
necessary.
At the end of this lesson you will be able to:
Evaluate your product by using:
MET-matrix or modifications of the MET-matrix
Energy values for LCT diagrams
EVALUATION WITH THE HELP OF THE MET-MATRIX
Assume you should measure “environmental impact”. How would you
proceed? There is no single value that is able to fully express this.
Obviously a combination of different parameters can lead to an
appropriate description of environmental impact. One of these
parameters is certainly the energy consumption of the product. Another
one could be resource or material consumption. Special attention has to
be paid to small quantities with large environmental impacts, i.e. toxic
substances.
The simplest and easiest way to apply environmental evaluation is
therefore the Material-Energy-Toxicity-matrix (MET-matrix.). In the
columns of the matrix the five life cycle stages are listed and the rows
contain the three parameters: material, energy and toxicity; see Tab. 3.1.
Raw materials
Manufacture Transport
Use End of Life
Material Steel,
aluminium
Glue, lubricants Packaging
Detergent
Energy Oil Oil, electricity Fuel Electricity
Environment
Toxicity Alloy PVC
The different elements of the matrix collect qualitative data of the three
parameters material, energy and toxicity in the different life cycle stages.
In case of the parameter material, the used material in the product can
be written down in the life cycle stage raw materials. In the manufacture
stage the relevant process materials such as glue, lubricants are coolants
shall be considered. In the life cycle stage transport materials needed for
packaging and safe transporting shall be listed. If additional materials are
Tab.3.1: Example
for a MET-matrix
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
27
necessary in the use stage to ensure the fulfilment of the function of the
product, these materials shall be written down in the use stage
(e.g. detergents for washing process of washing machine). Process
materials needed for the end of life processes, e.g. for recycling, should be
mentioned in the last column of the matrix.
Same shall be done for the parameters energy and toxicity. In case of the
parameter ‘energy’ the processes needing energy as well as the kind of
energy needed in the different life cycle stages, e.g. electrical energy or
fossil energy, can be mentioned.
In case of toxicity, toxic materials and emissions which occur in the
different life cycle stages shall be addressed in the matrix elements.
In general it is possible to write down any known data into the MET-
matrix, also including quantitative data, e.g. amount of material used in
the life cycle stages, amount of energy needed or amount of emissions
generated.
A MET-matrix gives a first impression of how the environmental influence
of the different life cycle stages can be evaluated and which life cycle
stages are relevant. With the help of a MET-matrix first “hot spots” of the
most significant parameters can be determined. This is done in Tab. 3.1
by marking the important life cycle stages and parameters.
Modifications of the MET-matrix may contain for example characterized
impact values used in Life Cycle Assessments (LCA), e.g. global warming
potential expressed as CO
2
-equivalent or acidification expressed as SO
2
-
equivalent, see module 2. Known quantified or qualitative data can be
written down for these parameters throughout the entire life cycle, see
Tab.3.2.
Raw materials Manufacture Transport Use End of Life
CO
2
-equivalent
SO
2
-equivalent
EXAMPLE 1: JUICE EXTRACTOR
Let us consider the juice extractor introduced in lesson 2. As we have
already seen the juice extractor consists of different parts and different
materials.
Fig.3.1 shows the different materials in the different parts of the juice
extractor.
Tab.3.
2
:
Modified
MET-matrix
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
28
Tab. 3.3 lists the amount of materials used in the juice extractor as well
as the estimated end of life treatment of the materials.
Material Weight [g]
End of Life Treatment
Polypropylene (PP) 120
Steel + Copper 150
Recycling
Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)
250
Polyoxymethylen (POM) 50
Polyvinylchlorid (PVC) 30
Thermal recovery
Polyethylen (PE)
Polystyrol (PS)
Acrylnitril-Butadien-Styrol (ABS)
105 Landfill
2
Total 705
A first evaluation of the juice extractor can be obtained by establishing a
MET-matrix where qualitative data are written down, as shown in
Tab. 3.4.
Raw materials Manufacture Transport
Use End of life
Material
Metals (Cu, steel)
Plastics (e.g. PP,
PVC, ABS…)
Injection tools
Motor, Cable
Lubricants,
Coolants
Packaging
Fruits,
Water
Detergents
Process materials,
recycling of
materials
Energy
Energy for
refining or
granulating
Injection
moulding,
metal
processing
Fuel
(diesel)
Electric
energy
during
operation
Energy for recycling
Recovery of energy
Toxicity
Emissions during
extraction
Emissions Emissions - PVC, Electro-parts
Where do you believe are the “hot spots” of the MET-matrix in Tab. 3.4?
2
Remark: The materials listed here could also be recycled but in this example they are disposed to a landfill
PMMA
PP
Cu + PVC
PVC
Cu
Steel
POM
Fig.3.1: Materials of
the juice extractor
Tab.3.3: Amount of
materials used in a
juice extractor
Tab.3.4: MET
-
matrix for the
juice extractor
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
29
Additional remarks:
Some considerations about the compatibility of the different materials
could be taken into account as well. Since the end of life treatment of the
materials is different, the compatibility and mix of different materials
should also be taken into account in respect to ensure an unproblematic
separation and treatment. Tab. 3.5 shows a matrix where the
compatibilities of the materials are shown qualitatively by using
meaning ‘good compatibility’, ‘average compatibility’ and bad
compatibility’.
PMMA
PP POM
PVC
ABS
PE PS
PMMA
PP
POM
PVC
ABS
PE
PS
Although a qualitative MET-matrix provides some insight, it remains
difficult to evaluate which life cycle stage contributes most to the
environmental impact of the product. Therefore it is not really known
which life cycle stages need an improvement or even where to start to
improve the product.
A quantitative evaluation is needed. Quantifying the environmental
impacts allows identifying effective strategies and tasks for an
improvement of the environmental performance of the product.
To achieve quantified environmental impacts and in order to minimize the
effort needed to obtain these data, energy values, as introduced in
module 2, are used. Tab. 3.6 lists the energies needed to obtain the
materials used in a juice extractor.
In the following Tab. 3.7 to Tab. 3.10 energy values for the other life cycle
stages of the juice extractor are listed.
Injection moulding and metal forming are applied processes to
manufacture the juice extractor. The required energies for producing one
piece of a juice extractor are listed in Tab. 3.7.
T
ab.3.5:
Compatibility of
materials used
in the juice
extractor, bad
compatibilities
marked in grey
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
30
Material [MJ/kg] Weight [kg]
Result [MJ]
Polypropylene (PP) 78 0.120 9.36
Steel 32 0.085 2.72
Copper 65 0.065 4.23
Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) 95 0.250 23.75
Polyoxymethylen (POM) 105 0.050 5.25
Polyvinylchlorid (PVC) 70 0.030 2.1
Polyethylen (PE)
80
0.035
2.8
Polystyrol (PS)
96
0.035
3.36
Acrylnitril-Butadien-Styrol (ABS) 100
0.035
3.5
Total 0.705 57.07
Manufacture [MJ/kg] Weight [kg] Result [MJ/piece]
Injection moulding 78 0.555 43.29
Forming metals 32 0.15 4.8
Total 0.705 48.09
The juice extractor is transported over a distance of 3.000km from the
producer to the customer. Tab. 3.8 shows the energy amount needed for
the transport of one juice extractor.
Transport of juice
extractor
Distance [km]
[MJ/ton-km]
Result [MJ/piece]
Truck 3000 1.5 4.5
Tab. 3.9 lists the results of the electrical energy demand of the juice
extractor per extracting process of 750 ml juice.
Use [kWh] per use [kWh] during lifetime
Energy consumption
8.0610
-4
4.23
[MJ/kWh]-average [MJ] during lifetime
Energy consumption
10 42.3
The energy values for the treatment of materials in the end of life stage
are given in Tab. 3.10.
End of Life Weight [kg] [MJ/kg] Result [MJ]
Recycling/Re-melting of plastics
0.555 -20 -11.1
Tab.
3.6: Energy
values for the
materials used in a
juice extractor
Tab.3.7: Energy
values for the
manufacture stage
Tab.3.8: Energy
values for the
transport of the
juice extractor
Tab.3.9: Energy
values fort he use
stage of the juice
extractor
Tab.3.10: En
ergy
values for the end
of life stage of
plastics used in the
juice extractor
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
31
As stated in lesson 2, the juice extractor is able to extract 45% of the
juice content of an orange. 55% of the juice content is wasted due to
inefficiency of the device. Thinking in terms of an Input-Output analysis
the wasted amount of the juice must be considered in the use stage of the
juice extractor since the extractor uses oranges to provide its
functionality.
The irrigation of 1kg oranges requires 1000 litres of water. Therefore fresh
water must be provided by treating saltwater. In addition the fresh water
must be pumped for irrigating the orange fields. From the five life cycle
stages, the two stages manufacture and transport of oranges are the most
important ones. Tab. 3.11 shows the energy values for the processes
needed in these two stages.
Life cycle stage
Manufacture
[MJ/m
3
] [m
3
] Result [MJ]
Oranges (saltwater treatment)
13.0 1 13.0
Oranges (water pumping) 1.8 1 1.8
Transport
Distance [km]
[MJ/ton-km]
Result [MJ/kg]
Ship, from Brazil 10.000 0.11 1.1
Truck, from Spain 3.000 1.5 4.5
Truck to customer 2.000 1.5 3.0
Using data from Tab. 2.4 where a mix of oranges is introduced, the
fractional amount of energy used for the oranges per use can be
calculated, see Tab. 3.12. According to Tab. 2.4 for each use cycle 11
oranges (150 g each) are used to achieve 750 ml of juice.
Weight /
piece
Spain (75%)
Brazil (25%)
Transport
(truck
Total
Weight 0.150g 1.2375 kg 0.4125 kg 1.650 kg
Transport 5.57 MJ 0.45 MJ 4.95 MJ 10.97 MJ
Irrigation 24.42 MJ
Total 35.39 MJ
By now, all relevant data are known and all relevant energy values are
calculated. Let us make a last calculation using the tables above to see
which amount of energy is needed over the lifetime of the juice extractor.
According to Tab. 2.2 the juice extractor is used 1 time a day, 50 weeks
over a period of 5 years. This gives a total use of 1750 times. Tab. 3.13
sums up the results for the different life cycle stages of the juice extractor
Tab.3.11: Data for
manufacture and
transport stage of
oranges
Tab.3.12: Data for
mix of oranges
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
32
and the oranges. (Note: only the wasted amount of the oranges were
taken into account)
Raw Material
Manufacture Transport Use
EoL Total
Juice
extractor
Energy
[MJ]
57.07 48.09 4.5 42.3
-11.1
141
Oranges
Energy
[MJ]
-
1750x0.55x24.42=
23504.25
1750x0.55x10.97=
10558.625
- - 34063
Total
Energy
[MJ]
34204
When analyzing the juice extractor the wasted amount of oranges
(including their two most important life cycle stage manufacture and
transport) must be added to the use stage of the juice extractor since this
waste is generated in the use stage of the extractor, see Tab. 3.14.
Raw Material
Manufacture
Transport
Use EoL Total
Juice
extractor
Energy
[MJ]
57.07 48.09 4.5 42.3 + 34063
-11.1
34204
As it can be seen from the results in Tab.3.14 the wasted oranges
contribute most to the environmental impact of the juice extractor.
By now the environmental impacts of the juice extractor are calculated. How do
you think the juice extractor can be improved? How can the environmental impact
of the juice extractor be reduced?
EXAMPLE 2: OFFICE CHAIR
Now we want to evaluate the office chair
introduced in lesson 2 more precisely by
using again a MET-matrix, a modified
MET-matrix and energy values. Fig. 3.2
shows the materials used in the
components of the office chair.
To obtain a first evaluation of the office
chair, a MET-matrix as introduced in the
previous sections is established, see
Tab. 3.15.
Tab.3.13: Final
results of energy
amount needed for
the juice extractor
and oranges
Tab.3.14: Data for
the juice extractor
including oranges
ASt35, PP (Base)
ABS, ASt35, C45
(Mechanism)
PU, PP (Seat)
PP (Arm rest)
PU, Polyester (Back)
Fig. 3.2: Materials used in the
components of an office chair
[www.steelcase.com]
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
33
Raw materials Manufacture Transport
Use
End of life
Material
Steel, Aluminium,
Plastics
Glue, lubricants,
varnish
Packaging -
Recycling of
materials (steel,
aluminium)
Energy
Electric energy (e.g.
aluminium)
Fuel
Electric energy for
processing (e.g.
welding)
Fuel
(lorry)
-
Recovery of
energy
Toxicity
Toxic materials
needed for anodising
Emissions Emissions - Emissions
As already mentioned, a MET-matrix does not really indicate which life
cycle stage contributes most to environmental impact. Therefore it
remains difficult to choose adequate strategies for the improvement of the
environmental performance of the product. But the MET-matrix contains
all known and available data of the product and gives therefore a first
impression of the environmental performance of the product.
If quantified data are known, e.g. the weight and amount of materials
from a list of materials or list of parts or if the amount of energies needed
is known from e.g. measuring, the values can be registered in the MET-
matrix too.
To obtain quantified data for the evaluation of the environmental
performance of the product, we use energy values as done for the juice
extractor.
Tab.3.16 lists the materials and their amount used in the office chair as
well as the corresponding energy values.
Material [MJ/kg]
Weight [kg]
Result [MJ]
ABS 100 0.1 10
Cardboard (Packaging)
28 4 112
PA 115 2.3 264.5
Polyester 98 0.4 39.2
Polypropylene (PP) 78 1.2 93.6
PS 96 0.1 9.6
PU 115 1.4 161
Steel 32 14.5 464
Wood 22 2.1 46.2
Zinc alloy 90 1.5 135
Total 27.6 1335.1
Tab.3.15: MET
-
matrix for an
office chair
Tab.3.16: Energy
values for the
materials used in
an office chair
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
34
The tables 3.17– 3.19 give the energy values for the other life cycle stages
of the office chair.
Manufacturing [MJ/kg] Weight [kg] Result [MJ/piece]
Injection moulding 78 5.1 397.8
Pressure Die Casting
134 1.5 201
Forming metals 32 14.5 464
[MJ/m
2
]
Surface [m
2
]
Result [MJ/piece]
Anodising 39 0.33 12.87
[MJ/m] Surface [m] Result [MJ/piece]
Welding steel 2 0.5 1
Total 1076.67
Transport Distance [km] [MJ/ton-km] Result [MJ/kg]
Ship 20000 0.11 2.2
Truck 2000 1.5 3.0
Total 5.2
The office chair does not need any energy (or any process and auxiliary
materials) in its use stage and therefore no environmental impact occurs
in the use stage. The use stage is neglected further on.
End of Life [%] of total weight
Weight [kg]
[MJ/kg]
Result [MJ]
Landfill 61 16.836 0* 0
Incineration
(50% recovery of energy)
26.5 7.314 -115**
-420.5
(50%)
Recycling 12.5 3.45 -16*** -55.2
Total -475.8
* This value for landfill means that no energy is needed to put waste on a
landfill and no energy can be recovered. This does not mean that no
impact occurs at all. In case that the materials put on the landfill are not
inert the may start chemical reactions which can be toxic and cause
harm to the environment.
** Here the energy value for the material PA is taken, since PA is used
most amongst plastics in the office chair.
*** This is an averaged value for the recycling of metals and the recycling
of plastics.
Tab.3.17 Energy
values for the
relevant
manufacture
processes of an
office chair
Tab.3.18: Energy
values for the life
cycle stage
transport of the
office chair
Tab.3.19:
Energy values
for the end of
life stage of
the office chair
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
35
In case of recycling or recovery, energy is recovered again which means a
reduction of energy consumption and a benefit for the environment since
less energy must be produced later on. Therefore a negative value is given
for incineration and recycling in Tab. 3.19.
The final results in Tab. 3.20 indicate that the first and second life cycle
stage, namely raw materials and manufacture are most energy
consuming and therefore contribute most to the environment impact.
Fig. 3.3 shows an LCT diagram achieved by using the results of Tab. 3.20.
Raw Material Manufacture Transport Use End of Life Total
Energy [MJ] 1335.1 1076.67 5.2 - -475.8 1941.2
-50
0
50
100
Raw materials Manufacture Transport Use Eol
Relative environmental impact [%]
The negative value in the end of life stage indicates that in this stage
energy recovery is possible due to recycling processes (which can be
interpreted as a benefit for the environment).
If results of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) are available a modified MET-
matrix can be established showing the characterized environmental
impacts of each life cycle stage. There is no need to fill out each element
of the matrix but only the known data are registered. Tab. 3.21 shows
such a modified MET-matrix where quantified data of a full LCA
according to ISO 14040 are registered.
In case a LCA was performed for a similar product and quantified data
were generated these data can be used as a rough estimation and
evaluation for the considered product. Differences between the products
must be mapped carefully by using e.g. a conventional MET-matrix.
Tab.3.20: Final
results of energy
amount needed for
the office chair
Fig.3.3: LCT diagram
for the office chair
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
36
Category Unit Materials
Manufacture
Transport
Use
Disposal
Total
Global warming [g CO2-eq] 66100 14500 7390 - 3550 91540
Acidification [g SO
2
-eq] 545 45 66 - -11 645
Eutrophication [g NO
3
-eq] 543 43 110 - -1 695
Photochemical Smog
[g C
2
H
4
-eq] 60 10 7 - -1 76
Fig.3.4 shows a diagram where the environmental profile of the office
chair is drawn by using quantified data gained by LCA. The diagram
shows the global warming potential of each life cycle stage expressed in
gCO
2
-equivalent.
0
10000
20000
30000
40000
50000
60000
70000
Raw materials Manufacture Transport Use Eol
g CO2-equivalent
Note: Although energy can be recovered in the end of life stage, see
Fig. 3.3, the recycling processes may cause some emissions which can be
expressed as CO
2
-equivalents. Speaking in terms of emissions, the end of
life stage of the office chair has a (positive) contribution to the
environmental impact at this stage.
Question: Try to explain why the bars of the other life cycle stages in Fig. 3.3 and
Fig. 3.4 differ from each other.
Tab.3.21: Modified
MET-matrix using
quantified data
Fig.3.4:
Environmental
profile of the office
chair expressed in
CO
2
-equivalent
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
37
SUMMARY
After describing the product by applying Life Cycle Thinking and
considering the environmental parameters described in lesson 2, the
MET-matrix and its modifications introduced in this lesson provide a
quick evaluation of the product. The elements of the MET-matrix can
contain qualitative data as well as quantitative data or any known data of
the considered parameters during the different life cycle stages of the
product. The MET-matrix helps to identify “hot spots” of a product.
Quantitative data can be obtained easily by using energy values. For
practical use, energy values are already calculated for different materials,
processes, transportation modes, use and end of life scenarios and
available in a list.
The appropriate use of energy values indicates the most energy
consuming life cycle stages. High energy values are an indication for a
high environmental impact.
In case of toxic substances the dose of the substance determines whether
the substance is dangerous for environment or not. There are substances
which cause a high environmental impact even when used in small
quantities. These substances should be identified during the
environmental evaluation of a product and be seriously considered when
aiming at finding environmental improvement strategies for the product.
In lesson 4 the environmental performance of the washing machine is
evaluated by using the ECODESIGN PILOT’s Assistant.
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
38
HOME EXERCISES
Consider your product.
1. Try to evaluate your product:
h. Establish a MET-matrix
i. List all relevant materials, processes, transport-parameters as well
as use and end of life parameters. Note: you may get the necessary
information in the manual of your product, in the parts and
material list if available, at the webpage of the producer etc…
j. Identify “hot spots”
k. Generate quantitative data by using energy values
l. Draw a LCT diagram
2. Consider different scenarios for the different life cycle stages of your
product:
a. Establish MET-matrixes for different scenarios (e.g. different
materials and different manufacture processes, different transport
modes, different use scenarios or different end of life scenarios).
What are the differences in the results?
b. Consider the life cycle stage which contributes most to
environmental impact: compare the quantitative data obtained by
energy values of the different scenarios.
c. How does the relative amount of the energy values change in the
different scenarios?
d. What do these differences mean in case of an intended product
improvement?
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
39
REFERENCES
CES EduPAck 2006 (software), Granta Design Limited, Cambridge, UK. (used for generating
energy values)
SimaPro 7.0, 2006 (software), Pre Consultants, Netherlands. (used for generating energy
values)
ADDITIONAL LINKS AND SUGGESTED READING MATERIALS
Thrane, M., Schmidt, J., 2004. Life Cycle Assessment- Chapter 4A. Published in:
Environmental Planning and Management Tools for Sustainable Development. Red. rnov
L, H. Lund and A. Remmen, Department of Development and Planning, Aalborg University.
http://www.plan.aau.dk/~thrane/Publications/Personal%20publications.htm, accessed
01.2007
Wenzel, H., Hauschild, M., Alting, L., 1997. Environmental Assessment of Products, Vol.1:
Methodology, tools and case studies in product development. Chapman & Hall, London, UK.
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
40
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
41
LESSON 4
Evaluating the Environmental
Performance of Products
Part II: Using the ECODESIGN PILOT´s
Assistant
KEYWORDS: ENVIRONMENTAL PROFILE, ECODESIGN PILOT’S ASSISTANT
Lesson objectives
In this lesson the ECODESIGN PILOT’s Assistant, further just named as ‘Assistant’, is
introduced. The Assistant helps to identify the most relevant life cycle stage of a product
and to find appropriate Ecodesign strategies and improvement tasks.
Different from a formal Life Cycle Assessment or Life Cycle Thinking with energy values
where absolute numbers are derived, the Assistant only calculates relative
environmental impacts by comparing the occurring impacts of the different life cycle
stages of the product.
The Assistant contains a sequence of six forms where product data such as product
mass, energy consumption, transport distance, the kind of packaging or the waste
treatment can be entered. Based on these data, the Assistant gives detailed guidelines
how the product can be improved by proposing strategies which are directly linked to the
ECODESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
42
ECODESIGN PILOT, see lesson 7. The Assistant is a kind of expert system advising
appropriate improvement options for a certain product.
At the end of this lesson you will be able to identify the life cycle stage of a
product which contributes most to environmental impact by using the ECODESIGN
PILOT’s Assistant available on the Austrian Ecodesign Platform under:
www.ecodesign.at/assist.
The Assistant asks for product specific data with the help of six forms
which will be described more detailed in the following. The washing
machine will be analyzed with the help of the Assistant more detailed.
FORM 1 GENERAL DATA
In the first form general data of the product have to be entered. Starting
with the description of the product name and the quantification of the
product lifetime, the functional unit of the product can also be registered
in this form, see Fig. 4.1.
What is the difference between function and functional unit?
A function is what the product provides to the user. It is something
abstract and may depend on the viewpoint and the expectance of the
user. It is important to define a basic function for the product. Imagine
some different models of mobile phones. The basic function may be
providing the possibility to make phone calls. But there is more to it than
Fig.4.1: General
data form of the
Assistant (Austrian
Ecodesign
Platform, 2006)
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
43
that: some models of mobile phones include a photographing camera, a
radio or a MP3-player. Some provide an internet access or contain a high
tech organizer.
The question to answer is: what is the basic function? Is the product an
organizer with phoning possibilities or a mobile phone which also
provides a good organizer?
In case of multifunctional products, such as the mobile phone, the
complication of defining an exact function is obvious. But what about
other products which seem to have just one function?
Imagine an office chair which should provide ‘comfortable seating’. How can the
term ‘comfortable’ be defined? Which additional functions to the basic function
(seating) are needed to provide comfort?
The questions above show that functions are something abstract. The
functional unit quantifies the function. The main question is which
measurable metric to choose to quantify the function. Since the function
of the washing machine is providing the possibility to wash clothes, the
functional unit of the washing machine was chosen as ‘washing 5 kg of
clothes (per use), see Fig. 4.1. The lifetime of the washing machine is
assumed to be 20 years.
FORM 2 RAW MATERIAL DATA
Fig. 4.2 shows the second form, namely the raw material data form, of
the Assistant.
In the second form of the Assistant data about the product parts as well
as the packaging must be defined, see Fig. 4.2. It is important to identify
the most important parts and components. A first approach for
identifying the most relevant components is to take those with highest
mass into account. Beneath the definition of the mass and materials of
each part and component, the materials must be assigned to a class. The
materials are grouped into eight different classes: materials of class I
cause little environmental impact whereas materials of class VIII cause
high environmental impact with small quantities. Another approach to
identify the