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Abstract

Life Cycle Assessment is a tool to assess the environmental impacts and resources used throughout a product's life cycle, i.e., from raw material acquisition, via production and use phases, to waste management. The methodological development in LCA has been strong, and LCA is broadly applied in practice. The aim of this paper is to provide a review of recent developments of LCA methods. The focus is on some areas where there has been an intense methodological development during the last years. We also highlight some of the emerging issues. In relation to the Goal and Scope definition we especially discuss the distinction between attributional and consequential LCA. For the Inventory Analysis, this distinction is relevant when discussing system boundaries, data collection, and allocation. Also highlighted are developments concerning databases and Input-Output and hybrid LCA. In the sections on Life Cycle Impact Assessment we discuss the characteristics of the modelling as well as some recent developments for specific impact categories and weighting. In relation to the Interpretation the focus is on uncertainty analysis. Finally, we discuss recent developments in relation to some of the strengths and weaknesses of LCA.

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... The dockless bicycle-sharing is the new generation of bicycle sharing schemes, providing the new opportunities for the door-to-door trips, last mile trips and sustainable mobility (Brand et al. 2017;Shelat et al. 2018). Life cycle assessment (LCA), based on cradle-to-gate theory, is a powerful tool for evaluating environmental effects of specific transportation modes (Finnveden et al. 2009). A comparative LCA of station-based and dock-less bike sharing system in the United States was conduted by Luo et al. (2019), exposing the sustainability of both systems in the condition of well design and operation. ...
... The economic effects were estimated by calculating the correlation between leisure-time and economic growth (Qiu and He 2018). The evaluation of environmental and health effects was carried out by using LCA method, which is defined as "a tool to assess the potential environmental impacts and resources used throughout a product's life cycle, i.e. from raw material acquisition, via production and use stages, to waste management" (Finnveden et al. 2009). To identify the key drivers that influence the environmental performance brought about by different substituted Fig. 1 The methodological framework Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. ...
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The emergence of Bicycle-Sharing Systems (BSSs) has brought about changes in traffic systems and generated economic, environmental, and human health effects. This study took Beijing as the research object, and aimed to examine the economic, environmental, and human health effects of BSSs and the key drivers affecting the environmental performance of shared bicycles. Questionnaire surveys were carried out to provide an overview of BSSs in Beijing by referring to the original data in the impact assessment, and the identification of key drivers. Based on the relationship between leisure-time and economic growth, the economic effects resulted in a statistically significant increase of 79.3 US dollars (612.3 RMB) and 44.4 US dollars (342.7 RMB) per capita GDP per day in the baseline of the United States and Denmark, respectively. The environmental and human health effects were evaluated using the life cycle assessment method to study the substitution of different transport modes during the entire life cycle of bicycle-sharing. The results revealed that reduced adverse environmental effects were proved to be significant and positive on all impact categories and the reduction in human health damage were positive, approximately equal to 500,000 DALYs. The sensitivity analysis demonstrated that the increase of usage rate in sharing bicycle will bring more environment benefits and human health damage reduction. The identification of key drivers was determined by the binary logistic model, and included the following: gender, monthly income, the low cost of BSSs, the location of BSSs in relation to bus stations, metro stations, and residential areas; perceptions of a higher frequency of bicycle-sharing; damaged bicycles as a development barrier, and optimism about the future of BSSs. This study provides empirical evidence for BSS management and policy making by the administrative department.
... Project sustainability indicators can also be derived from the life-cycle-assessment method [97]. The life-cycle assessment is a standard tool for assessing the environmental impacts and resources consumed throughout a project's life cycle [98] and can thereby assist in selecting the most relevant indicators, especially for environmental performance [99]. The drawbacks of life-cycle assessments as a technique to find appropriate project sustainability indicators are the data intensity [98] and exclusive focus on the environmental perspective of sustainability [71]. ...
... The life-cycle assessment is a standard tool for assessing the environmental impacts and resources consumed throughout a project's life cycle [98] and can thereby assist in selecting the most relevant indicators, especially for environmental performance [99]. The drawbacks of life-cycle assessments as a technique to find appropriate project sustainability indicators are the data intensity [98] and exclusive focus on the environmental perspective of sustainability [71]. It might be too restricted perspective-wise and too elaborate, especially for smaller projects, to focus solely on this technique. ...
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An increasing number of investors is including sustainability considerations in their investment processes. This can improve both financial and corporate sustainability performance. The emergence of sustainable investing as an academic research field has been accompanied by considerable interest from the industry. Despite its importance, there is still no uniform understanding of what a socially responsible investment (SRI) comprises. There is a multitude of similar terms that are not clearly defined and delineated, accompanied by a lack of a uniform understanding of how sustainability should be measured in the investment context. The resulting confusion hinders conceptual clarity, a material barrier for both scholarly and practitioner endeavours in the field. We try to address these issues by conducting a structured literature review based on database searches and cross-reference snowballing. We aim to provide a synthesised and unified definition of SRI and ancillary terms and to draw attention to the exact sustainability measurements. We (1) outline the history of the concept, (2) concisely define SRI and related terms, (3) propose a trinomial sustainability indicator framework (the Cambridge SRI indicator framework) for conceptualisation, and (4) use this framework to provide a structured overview of sustainability indicators for SRIs.
... A functional unit (FU) represents a quantitative function description of the studied system [41]. It plays a significant role in LCA and can influence the comparative performance of assessed systems [42], as FU, under this assessment, serves as a benchmark for comparing assessed systems or technological variants. ...
... Since the impact categories of toxicological and ecotoxicological effects have been considered problematic for several scientific reasons [41], and therefore it is appropriate to focus on the remaining two impact categories (climate change and fossil fuel consumption), which are directly related to energy and nutrients supplies, as discussed above. Last but not least, it should be pointed out that even a simple microalgae cultivation system, such as the phototrophic cascade, has a chance to be interesting from the point of view of environmental impact assessment, taking into account the lower impacts (on average by 10%) in the most evaluated categories except depletion of abiotic elements and terrestrial ecotoxicity. ...
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In recent years, microalgal biomass cultivation has been growing in importance, not only related to the production of alternative foods and nutritional supplements but also for its usage for energy purposes or as a natural solution for wastewater treatment. Regarding these cases, the practical potential associated with the circular economy is evident. However, this is not an option for microalgal food and supplements due to strict hygiene requirements for microalgae cultivation used for these purposes. Currently, the most common cultivation options for microalgae include phototrophic cascades, photobioreactors, and heterotrophic fermenters. Generally, the higher requirements for the purity of the resulting biomass, the higher the consumption of energy and nutrients needed. These are the main operational parameters that significantly shape the total environmental and economic performance of microalgae cultivation processes. The comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of environmental aspects in the operational phases of three selected cultivation systems, located in the Czech Republic and used for pure microalgae biomass production, confirmed that the impacts of these systems in the assessed categories are fundamentally dependent on the amount of electricity needed and nutrient consumption, as well as their sources. For this reason, the heterotrophic fermenter was evaluated as being the most damaging in the comparison of the three cultivation systems, while the phototrophic cascade showed a lower total environmental impact by 15% and the flat photobioreactor was lower still, by 95%, mainly due to energy production from biomass. The major impact categories observed were climate change, depletion of fossil fuels, human toxicity, and freshwater and marine ecotoxicity. The environmental impacts of microalgae cultivation systems could be further reduced if cycling practices, such as process water recycling and reprocessing of generated sewage sludge, were addressed.
... The next step, Life Cycle Inventory (LCI), consists of the collection of information related to the life cycle of the product that passes through the boundaries of the system, in the form of incoming and outgoing streams of matter and energy [57]. This phase is considered the most complex in a LCA study, and is the one that requires the longest working time from the analyst [58]. To facilitate the construction of the LCI, databases were developed, such as GaBi professional, Probas, U.S. Life Cycle Inventory ...
... Usually, databases are integrated in the LCA software [58]. When comparing a random sample of 100 unit processes in software with different databases (SimaPro and Gabi), it was observed that most of LCA results were similar. ...
... Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) is a core step of LCA that turns LCI data into life cycle impact scores at the midpoint and endpoint levels (Finnveden et al., 2009). The environmental impacts of the three CPSW recycling processes were examined using the CML 2001 method (Aug. ...
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China generates about 20 million tons of solid waste for copper production each year, most of which comes from pyrometallurgy, leading to substantial environmental problems. Extracting valuable metal is a common way of recycling copper pyrometallurgical solid waste (CPSW). However, its environmental effects are still unclear. This paper adopts a cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment to assess the impacts of recycling three main types of CPSW (smelting slag, copper ash, and anode slime). Results show that the prominent contributor to the environmental impacts is electricity consumption. The sensitivity analysis demonstrates that reducing electricity consumption and optimizing the electricity grid mix can reduce the environmental impact. The comparative analysis was conducted to investigate the environmental advantages between CPSW recycling and primary metal production. The results indicate that the impacts of CPSW recycling are 86%, 52%, and 79% lower than that of copper concentrate production, primary copper hydrometallurgy, and primary gold production.
... The process of conducting an LCA includes the goal and scope definition, inventory analysis, impact assessment, and interpretation [16][17][18][19]. The type of LCA that is chosen depends on the goal of the study [20]. Material and energy balances can be used to calculate the emissions and energy use in the generation of electricity. ...
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Retrofitting thermal power plants is a valuable opportunity to guide Taiwan’s electricity generation towards sustainability. Using an existing power plant nearing decommissioning as a case study, we hypothesized about fuel source options for retrofitting the power plant and compared the resulting impact on lifecycle atmospheric emissions. Our use of the lifecycle assessment (LCA) methodology reflected Taiwan’s heavy reliance on the imports and shipping of primary energy sources. We found that after accounting for the contribution of liquefaction and regasification (17%), gas-fired electricity still has significantly lower lifecycle greenhouse gases (GHGs) than coal or fuel oil (FO). In addition, we found that if natural gas (NG) is selected to achieve the greenhouse gas reduction of thermal power, the co-benefit of air pollution reduction can also be achieved at the same time.
... To increase the reliability on the use of recycled materials and products further actions will be required. Within this context, it will be important to perform the LCA analyses, a tool that will provide information on the environmental impact of the materials and products throughout their life cycle [42][43][44][45][46]. An aspect of great significance is the evaluation of the potential release of harmful substances into the environment by the innovative solutions incorporating recycled waste. ...
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The activities conducted in the building and construction sector should be guided by circular economy principles, which will result in the implementation of greener practices fostering both the development of economy and protection of the environment. This work proposes and discusses an innovative approach based on a concerted strategy between stakeholders to accelerate the transition to a circular construction paradigm, which involves, as sustainable development, the definition of three dimensions to guide the process: (a) the assignment of key roles to the government and construction professionals; (b) the improvement of the industry to perform a proper management of construction and demolition waste; and (c) the development of sustainable practices at the construction site. In addition to the discussion about the different stakeholder partnerships that must exist, key ideas that should be adopted by industry to deliver recycled materials and products to the building and construction sector are proposed in this work. Moreover, measures to assist in the management of both the traditional and innovative materials and products incorporating recycled waste at the construction site are suggested targeting the implementation of more sustainable practices within this context. A broad use of the ideas proposed in this work in the building and construction sector may lead to encouraging outcomes in the next decade.
... The next step of any system analysis is to define the goal of the assessment (Finnveden et al., 2009). The goal is dependent on the motives of why the assessment should be conducted, and therefore it is also important to define if the application aims to be used for the choice of technology, guiding future research or technology development. ...
... Traditional land footprint method, energy value footprint method, input-output footprint method, net primary productivity (NPP), life cycle assessment, consumption-output account and other accounting methods have been continuously enriched Zhang et al., 2000;Finnveden et al., 2009;Fang et al., 2011;Chen Z et al., 2019). ...
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This paper focuses on the northwest region, which is related to China’s overall ecological security and ethnic stability. This paper selects the neighboring regions of Dingxi City, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture as the starting point, deeply and systematically analyzes the impact of different lifestyles on the environment. Using environmental economics, ecological economics, environmental sociology and other related theories, ecological footprint were used to investigate different lifestyles’ impact to environment. Neural network were also used to carry out multi-perspective environmental impact research from the spatial scale and time scale. The research finds that Dingxi, Gannan and Linxia’s different mode of production has led to different lifestyle, and results in different impact on environment. The governments of the three places should take actions to promote ecological civilization and encourage the establishment of an ecologically-friendly and environmentally-friendly way of life so as to reduce the impact on the ecological environment and realize regional sustainable development.
... Life cycle assessment (LCA) is an internationally standardised method (ISO 14040/44) for the evaluation of potential environmental impacts that occur in process chains. Although some areas of its methodology are debated (McManus et al. 2015), its solid methodological foundation coupled with its ability to compare processes, to identify environmental hotspot areas and to track burden shifts (Finnveden et al. 2009) allowed LCA to become one of the most accepted environmental performance tools today. This and its frequent application in the waste management field (Khandelwal et al. 2019) make LCA a suitable tool to evaluate treatment options for DFG. ...
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Purpose Derelict fishing gear (DFG) is one of the most abundant and harmful types of marine litter that gets increasingly retrieved from the ocean. However, for this novel waste stream recycling and recovery pathways are not yet commonly established. To identify the most suitable waste management system, this study assesses the potential environmental impacts of DFG waste treatment options in Europe. Methods This study applies an attributional life cycle assessment (LCA) to four DFG waste treatment scenarios, namely a mechanical recycling, syngas production, energy recovery and landfill disposal. The scope spans from the retrieval and transport processes to pre- and end-treatment steps until the outputs are sent to landfill or assumed to substitute products or energy. Primary data was collected from retrieval and waste treatment trials in Europe. Contribution, sensitivity and uncertainty analyses were conducted using the LCA software SimaPro and ReCiPe as the impact methodology. Results and discussion The results show that the mechanical recycling and energy recovery achieve the lowest potential environmental impacts. The syngas production and landfill disposal scenario are not environmentally competitive because they require too much electricity, or their avoided production credits were too small to offset their emissions. Unlike the pre-treatment and transport processes, the retrieval and end-treatment processes have a significant impact on the overall results. The transport distances, energy mix and market and technological assumptions are least sensitive, while changes to the waste composition significantly affect the results. Especially a reduced lead content benefits the human toxicity impact potential of the landfill disposal scenario. The uncertainty analysis showed that the results are very robust in nine of twelve impact categories. Conclusions This is the first LCA study that compares waste treatment options for marine litter. The results indicate that a disposal of DFG is hazardous and should be replaced with mechanical recycling or energy recovery. While this may be technologically possible and environmentally beneficial, economic and social factors should also be considered before a final decision is made. To further reduce environmental impacts, marine litter prevention should play a more important role. Graphical abstract
... € and the operating cost is approximately 0.1 €/kg [154]. However, the microwave could be convenient from an environmental and economical point of view, for small healthcare facilities [160]. ...
... Cette phase permet de caractériser le Interprétation des résultats. Cette phase essentielle permet de discuter les résultats, les incertitudes, d'identifier les contributions relatives des processus ou phases du cycle de vie.L'ACV attributionnelle, mobilisée dans cette thèse, décrit les flux de matière ou d'énergie lié au cycle de vie du système analysé, dans une situation de statu quo(Finnveden et al., 2009). Elle permet d'identifier les intrants, étapes du cycle de vie et impacts responsables d'une part importante des impacts totaux (hotspots), ciblant ainsi des leviers pour diminuer l'impact et servant d'étape préalable à la conception de nouveaux systèmes de production ...
Thesis
En France, le maraichage en agriculture biologique est un secteur dynamique, composé de fermesprésentant différents niveaux d’agroécologie laissant supposer une potentielle bifurcation entre desfermes biologiques « conventionnalisées » reposant sur l’utilisation d’intrants, et des fermes« agroécologiques » valorisant les ressources de l’écosystème. Cette hétérogénéité interroge sur ladiversité potentielle des impacts environnementaux associés. S’appuyant sur des donnéesessentiellement qualitatives collectées auprès de 165 fermes et sur un cadre d’analyse conceptuel, lathèse propose une caractérisation de la diversité des fermes et identifie quatre types : 1) lesmicrofermes diversifiées et utilisant peu d’intrants ; 2) les maraîchers diversifiés de taille moyenne ; 3)les producteurs spécialisés dans la culture sous abri ; et 4) les maraîchers spécialisés dans la culture deplein champ. Les caractéristiques des fermes et leur variabilité confirment l’existante de deux pôles« conventionnalisées » et « agroécologiques », tout en montrant qu’il s’agit d’une visionsimplificatrice, la majorité des fermes se trouvant entre ces deux pôles.Afin d’évaluer les performances environnementales de ces systèmes maraichers, l’analyse du cycle devie (ACV) a été mobilisée. Les fermes complexes, cultivant une grande diversité de légumes en lesassociant sur de petites surfaces dans une approche agroécologique systémique, posent des défis àcette méthode dans la prise en compte de leurs impacts sur la biodiversité et les interactions spatialeset temporelles sur lesquelles elles reposent. En adaptant le système expert SALCA-BD, j’ai comparédes fermes par rapport à leur impact sur la biodiversité, et mis en évidence l’importance des habitatssemi-naturels pour la biodiversité. SALCA-BD permet une évaluation détaillée de l’impact sur labiodiversité qui peut servir de base pour développer des méthodes d’évaluation combinant impactsglobaux et locaux dans un cadre d’ACV.Une approche système de l’ACV a été employée. Cette approche aborde la ferme comme un toutproduisant différents produits et où tous les intrants, opérations, et émissions sont rapportés à laproduction annuelle totale. Cette optique correspond à la logique de l'agroécologie, où beaucoupd’intrants sont raisonnés à l’échelle de la ferme et non à la culture, et où les cultures sontcomplémentaires les unes des autres. Préférée à une ACV par culture, l’approche système prend encompte les interactions au sein du système, et permet de comparer les systèmes entre eux. D’un pointde vue pratique, elle est adaptée au format des données souvent disponibles dans les fermesdiversifiées et évite des allocations.ivL’application de cette approche de l’ACV à trois fermes contrastées a permis l’analyse des forces etfaiblesses de ces fermes vis-à-vis de l’environnement, faisant apparaître de grandes différences entreles systèmes dans leurs principaux postes d’impact. Avec l’utilisation de plusieurs catégories d’impactet unités fonctionnelles, aucune ferme ne ressort clairement meilleure qu’une autre pourl’environnement. Exprimé par unité de surface, la ferme de plein champ, plus extensive, a le moinsd’impact et la ferme spécialisée sous tunnel a le plus d’impact, quelle que soit la catégorie d’impact.En revanche, quand les impacts sont exprimés par kg de produit ou par la valeur des produits (en Euro)les différences entre les trois fermes sont plus faibles. La comparaison des systèmes doit se faire engardant à l’esprit que les fermes ont des productions différentes et complémentaires. Les interactionset complémentarités entre ces modèles méritent d’être étudiées.Enfin, l’application de l’ACV système a permis d’identifier des perspectives de développementméthodologiques pour mieux estimer les émissions de nitrate, pour harmoniser l’évaluation desimpacts environnementaux des fertilisants organiques et pour intégrer la question de la pollution parles (micro)plastiques.
... En dicho reporte se discute el inventario del ciclo de vida de Kalkfabric Nestal, la única planta de producción de cal en Suiza. El ACV se utiliza tradicionalmente para evaluar los impactos ambientales de productos, servicios y procesos a través del ciclo de vida en un enfoque "de la cuna a la tumba" (Finnveden et al., 2009). También puede analizarse el ciclo de vida de diferentes etapas entre la cuna y la tumba: "de la cuna a la puerta, "de la puerta a la puerta" y de "la puerta a la tumba" (Neil, 2010). ...
... Adiyaman University, Turkey duties in the construction of a more livable and healthy natural environment. It is seen that many studies have been carried out in the literature on environmental sustainability (Önce at al., 2015;Solomon and Marun, 2012;Surty at al., 2018;Ebner at al., 2006;Finnveden at al., 2009;Gatimbu at al., 2018). ...
Chapter
Today, climate change due to global warming, extraordinary deterioration in the natural environment, and the melting of glaciers seriously threaten human health and existence. Cases such as forest fires and flood disasters, which have been seen frequently in the summer months, and the COVID-19 pandemic due to the melting of glaciers, seriously threaten humanity. Within the scope of this study, the measures taken by the enterprises for the relationship between environmental responsibility and environmental sustainability were examined. In this direction, the 2020 environmental sustainability reports of 15 companies operating in different sectors in Turkey and listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange were examined. The absence of a similar study in the literature increases the originality of the study. It is expected that the studies planned for the future will contribute positively to the literature by deepening it further (for example, in different countries, comparisons in different cultures, practical studies).
... However, although a comprehensive impact estimation of the entire life cycle of an IoT system is essential to avoid impact transfers not only between different impacts but also between different life cycles [79], Wagner, E. et al. [26] warn that the exhaustive application of a LCA analysis in the early design of sensor systems could become inefficient, because designers are faced additionally with further decisions and challenges in different contexts (e.g., choosing the suitable antenna and the optimal protocol for specific communication tasks or solve radio frequency interference problems and high energy consumption). ...
Thesis
The accelerated adoption of the Internet of Things by our modern societies has increased significantly the production of connected devices and data in recent years. In the face of the potential impacts of this tendency, researchers put more efforts on measuring the environmental impact of IoT systems, proposing tools to reduce this impact and offering innovative solutions. However, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) literature focused on IoT systems shows that few authors cover the full architecture. On the other hand, the eco design tools found in literature suffer from shortcomings and some of the most innovating solutions are projected promising, but also can cause collateral damage. Besides of all this, the research on impact estimation struggles with the absence of LCA data, and practice of eco design is hampered by the impracticability of applying exhaustive LCA modeling, within the typical design workflow of devices. It is in this context that this thesis aims to build a practical design methodology oriented to estimate the environmental impact of full IoT systems, and minimize this impact from the early steps of the development of new prototypes. To achieve this goal, this work starts from the idea that substantial information for an IoT application can be obtained from the efficient collection and organization of sufficient, yet meaningful raw data. In this manner, this thesis is developed on the basis of two points of reflection. The first one establishes two inexorable and indissociable concepts “function-capacity” that facilitate the definition of reference flows. Based on that, a framework for impact estimation is built. The second one promotes the approach of “right-provisioned-devices” that guides the selection of suitable components under three interdependent criteria (physical, technical and circular), considering a preliminary design step of data and information flow. Based on that, another framework for eco design is built. Both frameworks complement each other and compose a unique methodology for the eco innovation of IoT systems, applicable from basic information available to designers. In this work, this methodology has been implemented and illustrated in two parts. Firstly, the framework for impact estimation was implemented by a bottom-up, transversal life cycle model, which aims to illustrate the theoretical and empirical estimation of the reference flow and long-term impact of an IoT system oriented to smart metering. Secondly, the framework for eco design was implemented and illustrated by a preliminary design step of data and information flow of a prototype of a self-powered EH sensor system developed at the System Division of CEA-Leti; and by a LCA-based evaluation step, that involves two of its versions. This work concludes with 22 guidelines that must be adopted with a critical and global approach. That is, they should be challenged, refined or complemented in the context of other case studies; and by using the proposed methodology in a continuous, coherent and automated manner, particularly with the adaptation of Information Systems.
... Life cycle assessments offer a strategy for evaluating which devices are good candidates for MDR. Life cycle assessments capture inputs of materials and emissions throughout a device's life cycle (including extraction of raw materials, manufacturing, transportation, use/reuse, and waste disposal management), and quantify GHG emissions in units of carbon dioxide equivalents [7,12,22,23]. Thus, vendors providing health systems with life cycle impact assessments of various medical device alternatives approved for MDR could aid program adoption [24]. ...
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Background The United States health care sector is one of the largest polluting industries, which has significant adverse effects on human health. Medical device reprocessing (MDR) is a sustainability solution that has the potential to decrease hospital waste, cut carbon emissions, reduce spending, and improve supply chain resiliency; however, only a small proportion of FDA-approved devices are actually reprocessed. Thus, we conducted a qualitative study to understand barriers and facilitators of scaling up MDR. Methods and findings We conducted in-depth interviews with 17 stakeholders (exceeding thematic saturation) at a large academic health system in New England and national MDR organizations. We also collected observations through site visits at the health system. We recruited participants from June 2021 to April 2022 through purposive sampling. Using an analytic approach guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, we applied inductive and deductive codes related to key implementation constructs. We then conducted a thematic analysis and identified five overarching themes related to barriers and facilitators of MDR. First, respondents explained that regulatory bodies and original equipment manufacturers determine which devices can be reprocessed. For example, some respondents described that original equipment manufacturers use tactics of forced obsolescence that prevent their devices from being reprocessed. Second, respondents explained that MDR has variable compatibility with hospital priorities; for example, the potential cost savings of MDR is compatible with their priorities, while the perception of decreased functionality of reprocessed medical devices is incompatible. Third, respondents described that physician preferences influence which reprocessed devices get ordered. Fourth, respondents explained that variable staff knowledge and beliefs about MDR influence their motivations to select and collect reprocessable devices. Lastly, respondents emphasized that there was a lack of infrastructure for evaluating and maintaining MDR programs within their health system. Conclusions Based on our findings, we have outlined a number of recommendations that target these barriers and facilitators so that the environmental and financial benefits of MDR can be realized at this health system and nationally. For example, implementing federal policies that prevent original equipment manufacturers from using tactics of forced obsolescence can facilitate the scale-up of MDR nationally. Additionally, providing life cycle assessments that compare the environmental effects of single-use disposable, reprocessable disposable, and reusable devices could facilitate health systems’ purchasing decisions. Creating and disseminating audit and feedback reports to hospital staff might also facilitate their continued engagement in the program. Lastly, hiring a full-time program manager that leads MDR programs within health systems could improve program sustainability.
... Software GaBi 10.6 ts by Sphera was used (GaBi 10.6 ts by Sphera, 2022), following the ISO 14040 standards consisting of four steps: definition of goal and scope, life cycle inventory (LCI), life cycle impact assessment (LCIA), and improvement and interpretation (International Organization for Standardization, 2006). Detailed material regarding LCA methodology can be found in the literature (Finnveden et al., 2009;Guinee, 2002;Klöpffer, 1997;Reap et al., 2008) and has been omitted in this text; we have elaborated the relevant information to this study. Energetic and exergetic analyses were conducted to evaluate the efficiency of the biorefinery. ...
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Biofuels present a strong potential to support the rapid decarbonization of the mobility sector and substitution for fossil fuels. In the aviation sector, sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) are currently produced from various feedstocks and conversion pathways to achieve sustainability targets. A new SAF production pathway has been recently developed, which is based on enzymatic hydrolysis of softwood residues (saw dust), fermentation of wood sugars into isobutene, and subsequent conversion to SAF isoparaffins by oligomerization and hydrogenation. This pathway is currently under consideration for inclusion as an additional annex to ASTM standard D7566. In this study, several biorefinery set-up scenarios including various process energy provisions and co products valorization were considered in order to assess the environmental impact of SAF production. First, a life cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted to estimate the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the conversion pathway. Second, the GHG reduction potential was evaluated according to the frameworks of EU RED 2018/2001/EC and CORSIA. Third, energetic and exergetic analyses were performed to evaluate the efficiency of the biorefinery. Inefficiencies of upstream processes, such as for electricity provision, were not considered. Depending on the plant layout, the GHG emissions vary between 18.7 and 56 gCO2eq/MJ. Thus, compared to the fossil reference, GHG emission reductions of up to 80.1% and 79% can be achieved for both frameworks, respectively. Plant set-up comparisons revealed that the highest reduction in GHG emissions can be achieved when using the by-product lignin for thermal energy provision and renewable energy sources (RES) to cover electricity demand. The energetic and exergetic efficiency analyses of SAF as a single product were 11.7%–14.9% and 11%–13.8%, respectively. A lignin-CHP plant set-up revealed the highest efficiencies and has the additional benefit of covering up to 82.3% of the total primary energy demand (PED) via RES. Taking all by-products into account, the energetic system efficiency ranged from 39.4%–50.1% and the exergetic system efficiency from 40.4%–56.9%, respectively. The highest efficiencies were achieved with the natural gas boiler set-up and electricity consumption from the public grid. The analysis revealed the importance of utilizing all biorefinery products (main and by-products) to increase the system efficiency of the biorefinery.
... LCA is one of the most popular environment assessment methodologies as it encompasses several impact attributes related to eco-cost, human intervention and consequences on eco-system and resources (Hellweg and Canals, 2014). LCA assists in producing impact figure, however one cannot completely rely on the relevancy and meaningfulness of these figures (Finnveden et al., 2009). LCA requires a huge amount of data for obtaining accurate results thus limiting its scope of application. ...
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The development of a Circular Economy is essential to the attainment of sustainable development goals. The adoption of circular strategies is either at system level or product level. However, the exploration of circularity of material flow in case of developing economies is still limited in the existing literature. Therefore, the study aims to identify the circularity potential of non-ferrous materials like Aluminium extracted from the products. A case of the Indian Aluminium industry is considered for the study. In proposed study, the Markov Chain method is used as a stochastic modeling technique to explore the degree of circularity in the material flow analysis of aluminium through its various lifecycle stages. The novelty of this paper is twofold: (1) it gives an insight about the material movement in the circular supply chain depending upon its current state and the time during which it remains in the respective state, and (2) it also gives a brief idea about the circularity of metal flow at different stages such as recycling of Aluminium Circular Supply Chain. From the results of Markov Chain model as applied to Indian Aluminium industry, it is observed that irrespective of the material being in any of the state, most likely it goes to the landfill after completing its average useful life. Further, findings of the study reveal that very low percentage of raw material goes to the recycling stage. Lastly, the reducing trend in the circularity from production to consumption reflects lack of circular initiatives adopted in the downstream sectors of material flow. Markov chain method not only helps the decision maker to identify the preferred strategy but also provides important information about the material movement while adopting a particular circular strategy. This study guide the future studies to effectively measure circularity under all circumstances and across all sectors.
... Life cycle assessment LCA is a systematic approach to evaluating the potential environmental impacts associated with a product or service throughout its entire life cycle, i.e., from raw material extraction, processing, manufacturing, and use to final disposal. 35,56,57 In this section, we provide a detailed description of the goal and scope definition, inventory analysis, and impact assessment of our LCA following ISO guidelines. 35 Goal and scope definition The goal of this LCA study was to evaluate the environmental impacts of biomass-derived FG production from cradle to gate and to compare with life cycle results of the conventional graphene production technologies in China. ...
Article
Graphene is widely applied in many important technologies, with demand projected to grow exponentially. Conventional graphene production approaches that use natural/artificial graphite are expensive and energy and chemical intensive, resulting in a significant environmental footprint. The recent flash Joule heating (FJH) technology that can produce flash graphene (FG) from carbon-rich waste materials has been proposed as a cleaner production process, but the quality of FG made from biomass waste via FJH and the overall sustainability of the process remain unclear. Here we conduct lab-scale experiments to fill these knowledge gaps. We show that biomass waste-derived FG shows excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, and the FJH process results in a more than 10-fold decrease in life-cycle environmental impacts including carbon emissions and freshwater use relative to the conventional approaches. The FJH process is also cost effective, with the biomass waste-derived FG being much cheaper than graphite-based graphene. Our study identifies circular and sustainable opportunities for future graphene production.
... Life cycle assessment (LCA) is not only an effective tool to assess the potential environmental impact of products and materials, but also a tool to provide decision support for the sustainable development of the ecological environment [9,10]. Based on the LCA method, many scholars have analyzed the impact of the metal production process on the environment. ...
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The copper demand and production in China are the largest in the world. In order to obtain the trends of the energy consumption and GHG emissions of copper production in China over a number of years, this paper uses a life cycle analysis method to calculate the above two indexes, in the years between 2004 and 2017. The life cycle energy consumption ranged between 101.78 and 31.72 GJ/t copper and the GHG emissions varied between 9.96 and 3.09 t CO2 eq/t copper due to the improvements in mining and smelting technologies. This study also analyses the influence of electricity sources, auxiliary materials consumption, and copper ore grade on the life cycle performance. Using wind or nuclear electricity instead of mixed electricity can reduce energy consumption by 63.67–76.27% or 64.23–76.94%, and GHG emissions by 64.42–77.84% or 65.08–78.63%, respectively. The GHG emissions and energy consumption of underground mining are approximately 2.97–7.03 times that of strip mining, while the influence of auxiliary materials on the above two indexes is less than 3.88%.
... Often, assessments of environmental impacts and resource use associated with buildings include a life-cycle assessment (LCA). LCA quantifies the exchanges with the environments from raw material extraction and production to operations and end of life, and allows for identifying the impacts and burdenshifting between stages of the life-cycle (Finnveden et al. 2009). LCA has its own international standards (ISO 14040 and 14044), and a more detailed consensus guideline in the ILCD Handbook (JRC-IEA 2010). ...
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Purpose The built environment has demonstrated the limited nature of applications of consequential LCA (LCA), whereas attributional LCA (ALCA) is applied in most situations. Therefore, this study aims to clarify the contexts in which CLCA might be applied and the state of CLCA on buildings by examining the following research questions: (i) How are the goal, scope and methodological aspects and associated gaps of CLCA of buildings addressed in the literature? (ii) How can these insights guide the applications of CLCA on buildings? Methods The study employed the Systematic Literature Review methodology, which yielded 37 relevant studies. The study examined the sample regarding intended applications, the contexts of micro or meso/macro decision-making support, and the consequential life-cycle inventory modelling (CLCI) of time horizons, market delimitations, market volume trends, affected suppliers, constrained supplies and substitution. Furthermore, the basis for choosing either an ALCA or a CLCA approach was evaluated based on the ILCD Handbook. Results and discussion Many studies include an empirical assessment, yet with half of those combining it with an evaluation of selected methodological aspects, thus CLCA on buildings seems to still be in the earlier exploration phase. In general, the empirical CLCAs emphasize the decision-making aspect in the stated application of the study. Furthermore, CLCA studies show an almost equal distribution of focus between the micro and meso/macro levels of decision support. This entails that CLCA on buildings currently applies to both material- and building-level assessments and policy situations. The inclusion of CLCI modelling elements varies: e.g., nine studies only include substitution as the single CLCI element. Additionally, modelling methods are described at various levels of detail, and with critical differences in the transparency of documentation. This, therefore, suggests that the consistency of included CLCI elements is inadequate, as is how they should be modelled. Conclusions and recommendations Building on the ILCD Handbook, this study presents a proposal for deciding when to select CLCA on buildings. This is a proposal for a simple and clear distinction threshold between the micro and meso/macro levels. Additionally, CLCA on buildings need a more harmonized approach to CLCI modelling to increase and improve, which the built environment community could achieve by settling on a standard for the inclusion of CLCI elements and associated modelling methods.
... Dry stacks are usua ported by truck or belt depending on the transport distance and terrain charac and auxiliary machinery is needed to assist in the maintenance of the dry discha ings pile during operation. LCA is an internationally standardized method for the analysis of the impacts associated with the entire cradle-to-grave life cycle of a product or service, from acquisition and processing of raw materials through manufacturing, production and packaging, transportation and sales, use and maintenance, recycling, and final disposal [26,27]. It is a standard method for quantifying and systematically evaluating the combined environmental impacts of products, processes, or services, with the aim of determining ways to reduce environmental impacts and developing measures for improvement [28,29]. ...
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Alternative tailings disposal technologies can be effective solutions to mining waste safety and environmental problems. The current decision-making processes for tailings disposal schemes lack consideration of environmental impacts. Based on a case study of an open-pit iron mine in northern China, this study adopted the life cycle assessment (LCA) method to compare the environmental impacts of three tailings disposal schemes of conventional slurry disposal technology (CSDT), dry stack disposal technology (DSDT) by belt conveyance and DSDT by truck transport. The results indicated that (1) the environmental impacts of the CSDT scheme were lowest under the premise that water consumption was ignored; (2) the environmental impacts of the DSDT scheme by belt conveyance mainly originated from its transport process, indicating that the tailings storage facilities (TSFs) site planning could be crucial in design decision making; (3) the environmental impacts of the DSDT scheme by truck transport mainly originated from the energy consumption of dry stacking equipment; and (4) the DSDT scheme by truck transport was eventually found to be preferable and implemented in the case study, after comprehensively considering the LCA results, TSF safety and remaining capacity, and social and policy uncertainties. It is therefore recommended to conduct LCA of environmental impacts in the decision-making process for the sustainable design of TSFs.
... In terms of environmental impact, life cycle assessment (LCA) is the standard method for gauging a product or process's impact over its lifetime. 85 Schwarz et al. used LCA to gauge the environmental performance of plastic recycling and determined that optimal performance can only be achieved with effective pretreatment, such as efficient sorting. 86 In support of this conclusion, Kusch et al. applied LCA to the results of pilot-scale data for a photoluminescent-based sorting approach of lightweight polyolefin packaging. ...
... Thus, a system can be determined through its intended function. The functional unit serves as the reference unit for the system in which inputs and outputs are determined [9]. The inputs and outputs for the model are calculated using the reference flow. ...
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The international energy scenario to date is heavily based on fossil energy sources such as coal, oil or natural gas. According to the international ecological goals of the UNFCCC formalized in the legally binding treaty called the Paris Agreement, the next global challenges will be the decommissioning, dismantling or reconversion of the current fossil energy system into a new, more sustainable system that makes more efficient use of renewable energy technologies. Worldwide, there are about 6500 offshore oil and gas facilities and about 130 of them are located in the Mediterranean basin, mainly in the Adriatic and Ionian Seas: more than 110 offshore gas platforms have been installed in these areas since 1960. In this paper, using Life Cycle Assessment, the environmental and economic impacts of the total removal operations of an existing offshore platform in the context of the Adriatic Sea are assessed based on existing and registered decommissioning projects. In addition, the avoided impacts of primary steel production due to its recovery and recycling from the removed platform are assessed using the system boundary expansion method.
... The standardization of the method ensures "the robustness and the validity of the results obtained" [1]. Nevertheless, LCA studies appear to be very sensitive [8,9]. ...
... LCA is a bottom-up process-based analysis method, which considers the greenhouse gas emissions from cradle to grave in the whole lifecycle process of the product or service obtained from raw materials, production, usage and disposal [19,20]. With the concept of carbon footprint, LCA has become the most important carbon footprint accounting method at the micro level, especially at product or process level. ...
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To achieve its carbon neutrality goal, China has invested broadly in energy infrastructure and the emerging integrated energy stations (IESs) projects will bring enormous opportunities. Accurate carbon emission accounting for IESs is challenging in view of the complexity of the manufacturing process and uncertainty in construction and operation processes. To overcome these challenges, this paper develops a novel quantitative carbon footprint analysis model for IESs from a lifecycle perspective, with production and materialization, construction, operation and maintenance, and disposal and recycling phases considered. The method is applied on a 110 kV wind power IES project in China, to analyze and calculate lifecycle carbon emissions, identify the key influence factors of carbon footprints and provide suggestions for carbon reduction. The findings can identify key influence factors and provide suggestions for carbon reduction for the development of IES projects.
... Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a comprehensive method that was developed in the mid-1980s to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of a product or a process from a life cycle perspective [9]. During the last 20 years, there has been a growing interest in the LCA of buildings [10]. ...
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Buildings account for a considerable proportion of carbon emissions throughout their lifecycle. Therefore, Green Building Rating Systems (GBRSs) have been developed globally to evaluate building environmental performance and mitigate their impacts on climate change. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as a science-based method has been recognised in the GBRSs to enhance the building environmental assessment. Regardless of the wide implementation of GBRSs, buildings carbon emissions have continued to rise by nearly 1% per year since 2010. Furthermore, no academic research has been conducted to compare GBRSs assessment criteria from the LCA perspective in respect of the recognition and weighting of (1) whole building LCA, (2) embodied carbon emissions and (3) operational carbon emissions. To this end, this research aims to evaluate the efficiency, validity and reliability of five international GBRSs (i.e., LEED, BREEAM, BEAM Plus, Green Star and Homestar) in terms of assessing and auditing the building total carbon emissions; embodied and operational emissions. Results show that conducting whole building LCA is an optional assessment criterion with negligible weighting. Moreover, the assessment of the operational carbon emissions make up the major portion of the total weighting in the existing GBRSs. By contrast, the assessment of building embodied carbon emissions is overlooked. Based on the results, shifting focus from operational carbon towards a full life cycle perspective is urgently needed to achieve the emissions reduction targets and so decarbonising the built environment.
... LCA is a systems analysis method that can be used to perform quantitative assessments of the environmental impacts of products or other systems, throughout the lifecycle of the system in question (Baumann & Tillman, 2004;Finnveden et al., 2009;ISO, 2006). Although LCA has been widely used to support the eco-design of products (for an example, see Muñoz et al. (2009)), it is not design-oriented and there are several issues that impede its effective use in eco-design (Ramani et al., 2010). ...
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The viticultural sector is facing a significant maturation phase, dealing with environmental challenges to reduce agrochemical application and energy consumption, while labor shortages are increasing throughout Europe and beyond. Autonomous collaborative robots are an emerging technology and an alternative to the scarcity of human labor in agriculture. Additionally, collaborative robots could provide sustainable solutions to the growing energy demand of the sector due to their skillful precision and continuous labor. This study presents an impact assessment regarding energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of collaborative robots in four Greek vineyards implementing a life cycle assessment approach. Eight scenarios were developed in order to assess the annual production of four Vitis vinifera L. cultivars, namely, Asyrtiko, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Tempranillo, integrating data from two wineries for 3 consecutive years. For each conventional cultivation scenario, an alternative was developed, substituting conventional viticultural practices with collaborative robots. The results showed that collaborative robots’ scenarios could achieve a positive environmental and energy impact compared with conventional strategies. The major reason for lower impacts is fossil fuel consumption and the efficiency of the selected robots, though there are limitations regarding their functionality, lifetime, and production. The alternative scenarios have varying energy demand and environmental impact, potentially impacting agrochemical usage and requiring new policy adjustments, leading to increased complexity and potential controversy in farm management. In this context, this study shows the benefits of collaborative robots intended to replace conventional practices in a number of viticultural operations in order to cope with climate change impacts and excessive energy consumption.
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The global impact of green chemistry and sustainability and the pivotal role of the E factor concept, over the last twenty five years, is reviewed.
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Twenty years on from the first edition of Pollution and the topic remains high in the public awareness. Environmental pollution is now a major area of research, consultancy and technological development and is a priority for the political agendas of both the developed and developing worlds. The fifth edition of this book is fully updated, and includes an entirely new chapter on Climate Change, presenting an authoritative view on this topic. Chapters in fast moving areas have been completely revised and several newcomers have joined the original set of authors. This popular book has proved invaluable as a teaching resource for two decades and is frequently used as a reference by practitioners in the field. Readers of earlier editions will benefit from updates on technologies such as nanoscience, and the legislative changes that have occurred since the fourth edition in 2001.
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The growing demands of satisfying human well-being call for a sustainable way of managing the landscape, which requires the introduction of tools for evaluating and assessing ecosystem services. The aim of the study is to evaluate regional differentiations in the values of regulating ecosystem services in relation to natural potential in four small pilot regions of the Slovak Republic with the application of the modified matrix approach. The results in the pilot regions of the Slovak Republic indicated that the spatial distribution of individual ecosystems in the country, in combination with a higher altitude and a larger area of forests and protected areas, can represent significant factors influencing the potential of the territory to provide benefits resulting from regulating ecosystem services. Mountain areas generally have a higher capacity to provide regulating ecosystem services, mainly due to their rich forest vegetation. Regulating ecosystem services, to the greatest extent, reflects the multifunctionality of the territory.
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This two-volume set, IFIP AICT 663 and 664, constitutes the thoroughly refereed proceedings of the International IFIP WG 5.7 Conference on Advances in Production Management Systems, APMS 2022, held in Gyeongju, South Korea in September 2022. The 139 full papers presented in these volumes were carefully reviewed and selected from a total of 153 submissions. The papers of APMS 2022 are organized into two parts. The topics of special interest in the first part included: AI & Data-driven Production Management; Smart Manufacturing & Industry 4.0; Simulation & Model-driven Production Management; Service Systems Design, Engineering & Management; Industrial Digital Transformation; Sustainable Production Management; and Digital Supply Networks. The second part included the following subjects: Development of Circular Business Solutions and Product-Service Systems through Digital Twins; “Farm-to-Fork” Production Management in Food Supply Chains; Urban Mobility and City Logistics; Digital Transformation Approaches in Production Management; Smart Supply Chain and Production in Society 5.0 Era; Service and Operations Management in the Context of Digitally-enabled Product-Service Systems; Sustainable and Digital Servitization; Manufacturing Models and Practices for Eco-Efficient, Circular and Regenerative Industrial Systems; Cognitive and Autonomous AI in Manufacturing and Supply Chains; Operators 4.0 and Human-Technology Integration in Smart Manufacturing and Logistics Environments; Cyber-Physical Systems for Smart Assembly and Logistics in Automotive Industry; and Trends, Challenges and Applications of Digital Lean Paradigm.
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A sample of 239 farm year observations of Swiss farms was assessed at the product group level for analyzing the relationship between environmental and economic performance and correlations between product groups (Milk, Cattle, Cereal, Beets, and Potatoes). The farms cover the production regions valley, hill and mountains and practice organic production or proof of ecological performance (PEP), the Swiss standard production. The environmental dimension was covered by nine impact categories calculated by the Swiss Agricultural Life Cycle Assessment method (SALCA). The impacts were aggregated using a data envelopment analysis (DEA). The economic dimension is assessed by the family workforce income per product group calculated from a full cost data set from the Swiss farm accountancy data network (FADN). Hereby, all indirect costs, which cannot be directly attributed to the product groups, were allocated using standard costs. We also included productivity as a third dimension in our analysis, quantified as output per area for crop products and output per animal livestock unit for the animal product groups. No trade-offs between the environmental efficiency and the economic performance were identified. On the contrary, for Cattle and Milk we found significant synergies (1.5 times more observations show synergies than no effect or trade-offs). Furthermore we found that productivity correlated positively with environmental efficiency for Milk (coefficient = 0.27), Cattle (coefficient = 0.38) and Cereals (coefficient = 0.30), but only for Cattle (coefficient = 0.17) and Potatoes (coefficient = 0.47) it correlated with economic performance. For all product groups except Cereals, the organic farming system had 5% to 10 higher environmental efficiency and 5%–26% higher economic performance than the PEP farms. Although the differences were not significant, a consistent decrease up to −20% in environmental performance and productivity was observed between the valley/hill and the mountain region. Our results show no indication that farmers maximize their productivity or economic performance at the cost of environmental efficiency. However, the large variability suggests that there is a) room for improvement in several dimension simultaneously, and b) that maximizing productivity does not seem to be a necessity for these improvements.
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Chapter
In view of the aggravated resource scarcity and the increasing environmental awareness, an extension of the life cycle of capital goods enables considerable ecological and economic potentials for the improvement of resource efficiency and productivity. In order to achieve these potentials, the innovative approach of adaptive remanufacturing is being developed. Adaptive Remanufacturing describes a proactive, intelligent maintenance strategy that, based on technical, ecological and economic aspects, decides about the optimum time and extent of maintenance and remanufacturing measures. Through Adaptive Remanufacturing, manufacturers can gain valuable data about their capital goods, which can be monetized at the same time by means of a suitable product-service system. This article describes a procedure by means of which the performance level of capital goods is maintained by means of Adaptive Remanufacturing, the life cycle is thus extended and, ultimately, new business models arise.
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Na maioria dos países desenvolvidos, dos quais fazem parte os países da União Europeia, verifica-se a existência de um excedente de edifícios, cuja maioria necessita de obras urgentes de reabilitação e reforço. No que diz respeito ao reforço sísmico, tais exigências são ainda mais prioritárias em países que se localizem em zonas de sismicidade elevada, como é o caso de Portugal. No entanto, a solução para este problema pode não passar obrigatoriamente por uma reabilitação. Uma demolição seguida de uma reconstrução também respeita tais exigências e também contribui para uma renovação do parque construído. Assim, através da teoria do ciclo de vida, este trabalho procura perceber se a reabilitação é mais sustentável ambiental e economicamente do que uma construção nova equivalente, edificada sob as mesmas condicionantes. Numa primeira abordagem, recorre-se a umacomparação teórica de vários estudos de avaliação do ciclo de vida realizados internacionalmente para edifícios reabilitados e para edifícios novos. Posteriormente, procede-se a uma avaliação do ciclo de vida de uma reabilitação real de um antigo palácio de Lisboa, que é comparada com uma demolição hipotética seguida de uma reconstrução integral em betão armado, obra que serealizaria no mesmo local sob as mesmas condicionantes. Como conclusões, verifica-se que ambientalmente a reabilitação aparenta ser mais benéfica do que a construção nova equivalente, embora no caso avaliado os ganhos não sejam tão positivos quanto seria expectável, devido à utilização massiva da estrutura metálica e do betão projectado na obra de reabilitação. Por fim, a avaliaçãoeconómica permitiu concluir que a reabilitação é mais cara do que a construção nova equivalente, o que reforça a necessidade de desenvolvimento de soluções mais viáveis economicamente, mecanismos financeiros e de um estudo económico e ambiental integrado, durante uma acção de tomada de decisão.
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When manufacturing products, it becomes increasingly important to consider ecological factors in addition to conventional key performance indicators such as manufacturing costs, time or quality. The greatest leverage for creating the most sustainable form of product manufacture is in the early stages of technology planning, because emissions can be avoided in the long term through the selection of sustainable technologies. However, there are methods that allow ecological factors to be taken into account during technology planning to supplement the usual key performance indicators, but the level of detail and the applicability are not yet sufficient. In order to support decision makers in the planning and evaluation of technology chains, this paper develops a methodology that supports technology chain selection. For this purpose, an economic-ecological key performance indicator was developed which combines manufacturing costs, material flow costs and environmental impacts determined through life cycle assessment to enable a holistic view.
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Environmental concerns, economic benefits, and government legislations are forcing industries to improve their environmental performance. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool to assess environmental impacts associated with a product, process, or service and is widely accepted in industry and academia. However, challenges to adopting LCA in the industry include complexity, expertise, efforts, and costs involved in Life cycle inventory (LCI) data collection. Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) find this even more challenging. In this study, we expanded and used a conceptual model for Smart Manufacturing Systems (SMS model) to address the challenges of data collection in a shoe-making factory. The model maps each element of the factory in detail, while LCA provides the guidelines about which pieces of data help perform LCA. The data collected was used to model the foreground system, while data from the ecoinvent 3.7 database was used to model the background systems. Then, LCA was performed on a packaged pair of shoes (functional unit) using the open LCA software for two scenarios: (1) foreground system modelling without SMS model; (2) foreground system modelling with SMS model. The results using the ReCiPe 2016 midpoint impact assessment method and uncertainty analysis using Monte Carlo simulations showed significant differences in environmental impacts in most categories that pointed to the usefulness of using the proposed modelling approach for LCI data collection.
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Life Cycle Assessment Methodologies - A methodological review
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Recycled material from the vehicle may replace a mix of virgin material, recycled material from other sources, and completely different types of material. The type of materials that are replaced depends on political constraints, the price elasticity etc. at the markets for recycled material. This paper presents a methodological approach to allocation in open-loop recycling, which takes the market aspects into account.
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1 Abstract The feasibility study was prepared in a multi-stage discussion process within the context of the Task Force "Integration of social aspects into LCA" of the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative. The methodology of environmental or biophysical LCA was taken and checked whether and how social aspects can be integrated or supplemented to conduct a Social LCA (SCLA). Furthermore core elements and requirements upon the integration of social aspects are formulated. In terms of methodology, there are evidently no fundamental problems calling the feasibility of SLCA into question. There are however certainly considerable hurdles to be overcome in practice, especially in characterisation modelling, because social impacts will require an entirely different type of modelling. Hurdles arise in the goal and scope definition (for example system boundaries and allocation/cut off criteria), in the categorization of indicator groups, in the classification of the associated individual indicators and in their characterization. It is quite probable that the very different appraisals of social aspects by different actors and in different countries, in combination with the process of interdisciplinary scientific discourse, will delay agreement for a longer time. To promote the development and practical use of Social LCA the next important steps are to conduct more case studies, to establish a generally accepted list of well defined social indicators, to establish databases and to collect module for the upstream chains and to compose an (extended) "code of practice" for Social LCA.
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This report first presents a systematic overview of the life cycle of meat and dairy products and their environmental impacts, covering the full food chain. It goes on to provide a comprehensive analysis of the improvement options that allow reducing the environmental impacts throughout the life cycle. Finally, the report assesses the different options regarding their feasibility as well as their potential environmental and socioeconomic benefits and costs. The report focuses on improvement options in three main areas: • Household improvements, mainly to reduce food losses (wastage) and to reduce car use for shopping; • Agricultural improvements, mainly to reduce water and air emissions (in particular nitrate, ammonia and methane) and land requirements; • Power savings in farming, food industry, retail, catering, and for household appliances. The study presents the consequences that the adoption of these options might have on a broad range of different environmental issues, including global warming, eutrophication, respiratory health impacts, etc. It shows that when all environmental improvement potentials are taken together, the aggregated environmental impacts (external costs) of meat and dairy products may be reduced by about 20 %. The study has also quantified the economic costs and benefits of implementing the different options.
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This report provides the background for the two guidelines “The product, functional unit, and reference flows in LCA” (Weidema et al. 2003a) and “Geographical, technological and temporal delimitation in LCA” (Weidema 2003). It provides further documentation of the examples provided in these guidelines, as well as additional examples, further explanatory text, scientific background and reference to earlier methodological guidelines. It also expands on specific issues, which were not found to be of sufficient general interest to merit inclusion in the guidelines. This report and the two guidelines that it supports, carry two key messages: 1. The fundamental rule to apply in all methodological choices in life cycle assessment is that the data used must reflect as far as possible the processes actually affected as a consequence of the decision that the specific life cycle assessment is intended to support. Thus, there is a close link between the goal or application area of the life cycle assessment and the methodological choices. This is elaborated in section 1.1. 2. Life cycle assessments, insofar as they deal with comparing potential choices between alternative products, rely heavily on market information, i.e. information on how the market affects the potential choices and how the markets will react to these choices. Whenever possible, the above understanding has been converted to practical, step-by-step procedures for including market information when: • defining the functional unit (chapter 3), • defining the geographical and technological scope (chapter 4), • handling co-products (chapter 5), • forecasting data for processes taking place in the future (chapter 6). For all these elements of the life cycle assessment methodology, the inclusion of market information leads to improvements, which also reduces the uncertainty of life cycle assessment results. While the methodological improvements are described in this report, the consequences for uncertainty are the topic of a separate report: "Reducing uncertainty in LCI. Developing a data collection strategy" (Weidema et al. 2003).
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The report is describing the general principles and default methodology of the EPS system. The system principles and methodology is based on earlier versions of the EPS system, in particular the version 1996. The present version has been given the number 2000. In comparison with the 1996 version the basic principles are the same, but the description is more detailed and the ISO standard language is adopted.
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This paper presents and verifies the computer tool LCA-LAND for estimation of emissions from specific waste products disposed in municipal solid waste landfills in European countries for use in the inventory analysis of LCA. Examples of input data (e.g. distribution of the waste product in different countries, composition of the product and physical/chemical/biological properties of waste product components) and output data (e.g. estimated emissions to atmosphere and water) are given for a fictive waste product made of representative types of components (toluene, cellulose, polyvinylchloride (PVC), copper and chloride). Since waste products from different processes in the product system may be disposed at different landfills where they are mixed with waste originating outside the product system, the estimated emissions from specific waste products cannot be compared with measured emissions from true landfills. Hence, the computer tool is verified in terms of mass balances and sensitivity analyses. The mass balances agree exactly and the sensitivity analyses show that different types of waste product components behave differently in different types of landfills. Emission of e.g. toluene is significantly reduced in the presence of landfill top-cover, landfill gas combustion units and leachate treatment units. Generally, the sensitivity analysis shows good agreement between the relative proportions of various types of emissions (based on properties of the waste and properties of landfills) and good agreement with emission levels that would be expected based on a general understanding of landfill processes.
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The new IMPACT 2002+ life cycle impact assessment methodology proposes a feasible implementation of a combined midpoint/ damage approach, linking all types of life cycle inventory results (elementary flows and other interventions) via 14 midpoint categories to four damage categories. For IMPACT 2002+, new concepts and methods have been developed, especially for the comparative assessment of human toxicity and ecotoxicity. Human Damage Factors are calculated for carcinogens and non-carcinogens, employing intake fractions, best estimates of dose-response slope factors, as well as severities. The transfer of contaminants into the human food is no more based on consumption surveys, but accounts for agricultural and livestock production levels. Indoor and outdoor air emissions can be compared and the intermittent character of rainfall is considered. Both human toxicity and ecotoxicity effect factors are based on mean responses rather than on conservative assumptions. Other midpoint categories are adapted from existing characterizing methods (Eco-indicator 99 and CML 2002). All midpoint scores are expressed in units of a reference substance and related to the four damage categories human health, ecosystem quality, climate change, and resources. Normalization can be performed either at midpoint or at damage level. The IMPACT 2002+ method presently provides characterization factors for almost 1500 different LCI-results, which can be downloaded at http://www.epfl.ch/impact
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As yet, the application of an uncertainty and variability analysis is not common practice in LCAs. A proper analysis will be facilitated when it is clear which types of uncertainties and variabilities exist in LCAs and which tools are available to deal with them. Therefore, a framework is developed to classify types of uncertainty and variability in LCAs. Uncertainty is divided in (1) parameter uncertainty, (2) model uncertainty, and (3) uncertainty due to choices, while variability covers (4) spatial variability, (5) temporal variability, and (6) variability between objects and sources. A tool to deal with parameter uncertainty and variability between objects and sources in both the inventory and the impact assessment is probabilistic simulation. Uncertainty due to choices can be dealt with in a scenario analysis or reduced by standardisation and peer review. The feasibility of dealing with temporal and spatial variability is limited, implying model uncertainty in LCAs. Other model uncertainties can be reduced partly by more sophisticated modelling, such as the use of non-linear inventory models in the inventory and multi media models in the characterisation phase.
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Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a new method for exploring the environmental implications of human action. Like all methods, it is analytically limited and consequently it must be used with caution. Recent papers have criticized LCA and caution against its use in all but a few narrow applications. Even while accepting many of these arguments, this article argues that LCAs, like other analytic frameworks used in the policy and planning domains, have important uses in shaping the processes by which both products and policies are designed.The arguments made against the use of LCAs omit comparisons to realistic appraisals of alternative and competing methods of environmental assessment.
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Goal, Scope and Background. The primary goal of this paper is to present a LCI modelling approach that allows the inclusion of all three types of impacts. The approach is based on consequential LCA (CLCA) rather than more common attributional LCA (ALCA). In CLCA, system boundaries are expanded in order to include all significantly affected activities. In addition we show how changing from an attributional to a consequential approach alters how the impacts are evaluated, and discuss the applicability of these two distinct approaches to brownfield rehabilitation decision support. The paper is restricted to urban and contaminated brownfields that are the result of industrial use and whose rehabilitation is aimed at allowing residential redevelopment. Main Features. The approach is based on an analogy between the open-loop recycling of material resources and brownfield rehabilitation. Brownfield rehabilitation is associated with two functions: (1) managing the legacy of past occupations on the site, analogous to a waste management function, and (2) providing redevelopable land, analogous to a commodity production function. The consequential system is expanded to cover the subsequent occupation life cycle of the brownfield and the effects on the occupation life cycles of other sites. The proposed model quantifies effects on sites competing to supply the same occupation function. Two approaches are proposed to determine the nature of the sites that are affected and to what extent they are affected: the first resembling a closed-loop approximation, and the second based on economic partial-equilibrium models. Results and Conclusions. The scope of the CLCA is far more complex than that of the ALCA. It requires additional data that are associated with important sources of uncertainty. It does allow, however, for the inclusion of tertiary impacts, making it suitable for the evaluation of the often cited environmental benefits of reintegrating the site in the economy. In addition, the ALCA methodology seems to be inappropriate to compare brownfield management options that result in different subsequent uses of the site. Since the effects of this fate are included within the scope of CLCA, however, virtually any brownfield management option available to a decision-maker can aptly be compared. The evaluation of primary and secondary impacts also differs when the consequential approach is used rather than the attributional approach. It is impossible to anticipate the effects of these methodological differences on the results based on the qualitative discussion presented in this paper. Perspectives. The complexity and uncertainty introduced by switching to a consequential approach is very high: it is therefore recommendable to evaluate the significance in the gain of environmental information in an actual case study to determine if system expansion is recommendable. Such a case study is presented in Part II to this paper. © 2007 ecomed publishers (Verlagsgruppe Hüthig Jehle Rehm GmbH).
Article
Preface. 1. Introduction. 2. The basic model for inventory analysis. 3. The refined model for inventory analysis. 4. Advanced topics in inventory analysis*. 5. Relation with input-output analysis*. 6. Perturbation theory. 7. Structural theory. 8. Beyond the inventory analysis. 9. Further extensions*. 10. Issues of implementation*. A. Matrix algebra. B. Main terms and symbols. C. Matlab code for most important algorithms. References. Index.
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Article
The tool for the reduction and assessment of chemical and other environmental impacts (TRACI) is described along with its history, the research and methodologies it incorporates, and the insights it provides within individual impact categories. TRACI; a stand-alone computer program developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, facilitates the characterization of environmental stressors that have potential effects, including ozone depletion, global warming, acidification, eutrophication, tropospheric ozone (smog) formation, ecotoxicity, human health criteria-related effects, human health cancer effects, human health noncancer effects, fossil fuel depletion, and land-use effects. TRACI was originally designed for use with life-cycle assessment (LCA), but it is expected to find wider application in the future. To develop TRACI, impact categories were selected, available methodologies were reviewed, and categories were prioritized for further research. Impact categories were characterized at the midpoint level for reasons including a higher level of societal consensus concerning the certainties of modeling at this point in the cause-effect chain. Research in the impact categories of acidification, smog formation, eutrophication, land use, human cancer, human noncancer, and human criteria pollutants was conducted to construct methodologies for representing potential effects in the United States. Probabilistic analyses allowed the determination of an appropriate level of sophistication and spatial resolution necessary for impact modeling for each category, yet the tool was designed to accommodate current variation in practice (e.g., site-specific information is often not available). The methodologies underlying TRACI reflect state-of-the-art developments and best-available practice for life-cycle impact assessment (LCIA) in the United States and are the focus of this article. TRACI's use and the impact of regionalization are illustrated with the example of concrete production in the northeastern United States.
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As a supplement to the site, substance and media specific environmental policies, Denmark has had, since 1998, a product-oriented environmental policy (at the European level known as “Integrated Product Policy”). The policy has been organized as prioritized activities in selected sectors and/or product areas. This prioritization was informed by the results from the project “Environmental prioritization of industrial products” (Hansen 1995). Other previous studies with similar objectives, i.e. to identify the most important product groups from an environmental perspective, include Dall et al. (2002) for Denmark, Finnveden et al. (2001) for Sweden, Nijdam and Wilting (2003) for the Netherlands, Nemry et al. (2002) for Belgium, and Labouze et al. (2003) for the EU. The Swedish and Dutch study use the same general methodology as our study, namely environmentally extended IO-analysis (Miller and Blair 1985), while the remaining studies use a bottom-up process based analysis. Due to the environmental indicators used (energy consumption and resource loss) the product groups that are ranked high by Hansen (1995) are those with either large energy consumption or which are destroyed or dissipated during use. This includes the main energy carriers, transport activities (represented by the vehicles including their use phases), fertilizers, animal feeds, meat and dairy products, building materials, detergents, newspaper, beer and furniture.
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Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a framework for comparing products according to their total estimated environmental impact, summed over all chemical emissions and activities associated with a product at all stages in its life cycle (from raw material acquisition, manufacturing, use, to final disposal). For each chemical involved, the exposure associated with the mass released into the environment, integrated over time and space, is multiplied by a toxicological measure to estimate the likelihood of effects and their potential consequences. In this article, we explore the use of quantitative methods drawn from conventional single–chemical regulatory risk assessments to create a procedure for the estimation of the cancer effect measure in the impact phase of LCA. The approach is based on the maximum likelihood estimate of the effect dose inducing a 10% response over background, ED10, and default linear low–dose extrapolation using the slope ED10 (0.1/ED10). The calculated effects may correspond to residual risks below current regulatory compliance requirements that occur over multiple generations and at multiple locations; but at the very least they represent a “using up” of some portion of the human population’s ability to accommodate emissions. Preliminary comparisons are performed with existing measures, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA’s) slope factor measure q1*. By analyzing bioassay data for 44 chemicals drawn from the EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database, we explore estimating ED10 from more readily available information such as the median tumor dose rate TD50 and the median single lethal dose LD50. Based on the TD50, we then estimate the ED10 for more than 600 chemicals. Differences in potential consequences, or severity, are addressed by combining ED10 with the measure disability adjusted life years per affected person, DALYp. Most of the variation among chemicals for cancer effects is found to be due to differences in the slope factors (ED10) ranging from 10-4 up to 104 (risk of cancer/mg/kg–day).
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In this article an overview is given of present applications of life cycle assessment (LCA) as an instrument for the support of decision-making. Attention is given to original expectations, present drawbacks and future perspectives. The following dimensions are chosen for this overview: the main users, with a distinction between governments, companies and non-governmental organizations; the level of sophistication, distinguishing between LCA as a concept, qualitative LCA and quantitative LCA, with varying degrees of detail within the latter; a distinction between applications at an operational and at a strategic level; a distinction between internal and external applications; and finally the level of completeness of the study, i.e. which limitations are set a priori for a study. Three types of drawbacks are encountered: purely technical problems, methodological problems and communication problems. Possible ways to cope with these are discussed.
Article
Goal, Scope and Background. In industrialized countries such as the Netherlands, the concentration of pollutants originating from building materials in the indoor environment has shown an increasing trend during the last decades due to improved isolation and decreased ventilation of dwellings. These pollutants may give rise to negative impacts on human health, ranging from irritation to tumours. However, such negative impacts on health are not included in current life cycle assessments of dwellings. In this study, damages to the health of occupants caused by a number of organic compounds and by radioactivity emitted by building materials, including those due to indoor exposure, have been calculated for a number of categories of common building materials. The total damage to human health due to emissions occurring in the use phase of the Dutch reference dwelling is compared with the total damage to human health associated with the rest of the life cycle of the same dwelling. Methods. Human health damage scores per kilogram of building material for compartments of the Dutch reference dwelling have been calculated using the methodology described in part I of this research. This methodology includes the calculation of the fate, effect and damage factors, based on disability adjusted life years (DALYs), and has been applied assuming average concentrations of pollutants in building materials. Damage scores for health impacts of exposure to pollutants emitted during the production and the disposal phase of the same building materials were calculated using standard LCIA methodology. Results and Discussion. Human health damage scores due to emissions of pollutants occurring in the use phase of building materials applied at the first or second floor are up to 20 times lower or higher than the corresponding damage scores associated with the rest of the life cycle of the same building materials. The damage scores due to emissions occurring in the use
Article
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1065/lca2006.04.015 Goal, Scope and Background The weighting phase in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is and has always been a controversial issue, partly because this element requires the incorporation of social, political and ethical values. Despite the controversies, weighting is widely used in practise. In this paper we will present an approach for monetisation of environmental impacts which is based on the consistent use of ecotaxes and fees in Sweden as a basis for the economic values. The idea behind this approach is that taxes and fees are expressions of the values society places on resource uses and emissions. An underlying assumption for this is that the decisions taken by policy-makers are reflecting societal values thus reflecting a positive view of representative democracy. Methods In the method a number of different ecotaxes are used. In many cases they can directly be used as valuation weighting factors, an example is the CO2-tax that can be used as a valuation of CO2-emissions. In some cases, a calculation has to be made in order to derive a weighting factor. An example of this is the tax on nitrogen fertilisers which can be recalculated to an emission of nitrogen which can be used as a weighting factor for nitrogen emissions. The valuation weighting factors can be connected to characterisation methods in the normal LCA practise. We have often used the Ecotax method in parallel to other weighting methods such as the Ecoindicator and EPS methods and the results are compared. Results and Discussion A new set of weighting factors has been developed which has been used in case studies. It is interesting to note that the Ecotax method is able to identify different environmental problems as the most important ones in different case studies. In some cases, the Ecotax method has identified some interventions as the most important ones which lack weighting factors in other weighting methods. The midpoint-endpoint debate in the LCA literature has often centred on different types of uncertainties. Sometimes it is claimed that an advantage with having an endpoint approach is that the weighting would be easier and less uncertain. Here we are however suggesting a mid-point weighting method that we claim are no less uncertain than other often used weighting methods based on a damage assessment. This paper can therefore be seen as a discussion paper also in the midpoint-endpoint debate. Conclusion and Recommendation The Ecotax method is ready to use. It should be further updated and developed as taxes are changed and new characterisation methods are developed. The method is not only relevant for LCA but also for other environmental systems analysis. The Ecotax method has also been used as a valuation method for Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA), Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and within the context of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).
Article
Existing product life cycle assessment (LCA) studies on offset printed matter all point at paper as the overall dominating cause of environmental impacts. All studies focus on energy consumption and the dominating role of paper is primarily based on the energy-related impact categories: global warming, acidification and nutrient enrichment. Ecotoxicity and human toxicity, which are related to emissions of chemicals, etc., are only included to a limited degree or not at all. In this paper we include the impacts from chemicals emitted during the life cycle of sheet fed offset printed matter. This is done by making use of some of the newest knowledge about emissions from the production at the printing industry combined with knowledge about the composition of the printing materials used. In cases with available data also upstream emissions from the production of printing materials are included. The results show that inclusion of the chemical emission-related impacts makes the EDIP97 impact profile of sheet fed offset products much more varied, as well for the normalised profiles as for the profiles weighted by distance to political environmental targets. Especially the ecotoxicity impact potential related to the production stage may contribute significantly, and the use of paper no longer becomes the overall dominating factor driving the environmental impacts.
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Waste solvent incineration is an important issue in life cycle assessments (LCAs) dealing with chemical products and/or processes. Nearly all chemical products and processes involve organic solvents, and incineration is often the favoured solution to waste solvent treatment as it can deal with a large variety of solvent types and quantities. At present, there are no generic models for waste solvent incineration which allow integrating this technology as a unit process in LCA. As waste solvents as a rule are incinerated as a mixture of several solvents, an allocation problem occurs: measurements of the consumption of ancillaries and energy carriers, and of emission of pollutants and generation of co-products, always refer to the mixture of waste solvents. However, in LCAs usually waste specific data is needed. To solve this problem we developed a multi-input allocation model of the incineration process. A comprehensive case study on a waste solvent incineration plant from chemical industry provided the necessary data. The results from the multi-input allocation modelling are consumption and emission factors which facilitate the calculation of solvent specific life cycle inventory results.
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This paper presents a building environmental performance analysis system—BEPAS, which was developed based on the life cycle assessment (LCA) framework. In BEPAS, environmental impacts were investigated in three main aspects of a building that were closely related to environmental performance—building facilities, building materials and location. In addition, a set of environmental databases were developed, covering the environmental performance profiles of these environmental aspects. The BEPAS can be used to assess the environmental performance of a new or existing building. This paper also discusses a case project in order to illustrate the assessment procedures and test the effectiveness of the system in application.
Article
income. Uncertainties could justify both positive and negative discount rates. Since the relationship between uncertainties and the magnitude of damage is generally not exponential, we rec- ommend to model changes in the magnitude of damage in sce- nario analysis instead of considering it in discounting (which requires an exponential function of time in the case of a con- stant discount rate). We investigated the influence of discount- ing in a case study of heavy metal emissions from slag landfills. It could be shown that even small discount rates of less than 1% lead to a significant reduction of the impact score, whereas nega- tive discount rates inflate the results. Conclusions and Recommendations. Discounting is only appli- cable when temporally differentiated data is available. In some cases, such a temporal differentiation is necessary to take sound decisions, especially when long emission periods are involved. An example is the disposal of nuclear or heavy metal-contain- ing waste. In these cases, the results might completely depend on the discount rate. This paper helps to structure arguments and thus to support the decision about whether or not discount- ing should be applied in an LCA. Abstract Background. In Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA), decision makers are often faced with tradeoffs between current and future im- pacts. One typical example is waste incineration, where imme- diate emissions to the air from the incineration process have to be weighted against future emissions of slag landfills. Long-term impacts are either completely taken into account or they are entirely disregarded in case of a temporal cut-off. Temporal cut- offs are a special case of discounting. Objective. In this paper, discounting is defined as valuing dam- ages differently at different points of time using a positive or negative discount rate. Apart from temporal cut-offs, discount- ing has rarely been applied in LCA so far. It is the goal of this paper to discuss the concept of discounting and its applicability in the context of LCA. Methods. For this purpose, we first review the arguments for discounting and its principles in economic sciences. Discount- ing in economics can be motivated by pure time preference, pro- ductivity of capital, diminishing marginal utility of consump- tion, and uncertainties. The nominal discount rate additionally includes changes in the price level. These arguments and their justification are discussed in the context of environmental im- pacts harming future generations. Results and Discussion. It is concluded that discounting across generations because of pure time preference contradicts funda- mental ethical values and should therefore not be applied in LCA. However, it has to be acknowledged that in practice deci- sion makers often use positive discount rates because of pure time preference - either because they might profit from impos- ing environmental damage on others instead of themselves or because people in the far future are not of immediate concern to them. Discounting because of the productivity of capital assumes a relationship between monetary values and environmental im- pact. If such a relationship is accepted, discounting could be applied. However, future generations should be compensated for the environmental damage. It is likely that they would de- mand a higher compensation if the real per capita income in- creases. As both the compensation and the discount rate are related to economic growth, the overall discount rate might be close to zero. It is shown that the overall discount rate might even be negative considering that the required compensation could increase (even to infinite) if natural assets remain scarce, whereas the utility of consumption diminishes with increasing