Unit_B_Intro_life_cycle

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Slide 1:

Understanding a life-cycle approach Learning unit B: exploring eco-efficiency DEDICATED TO MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Did you know…:

Did you know… Producing one ton of recycled steel saves the energy equivalent of 3.6 barrels of oil and 1.5 tons of iron ore, compared to the production of new steel? Producing paper using a chlorine-free process uses between 20 and 25 percent less water than conventional chlorine-based paper production processes?

Learning objectives:

Learning objectives Recognize where products come from and where they go after use – life-cycle Think about a product’s impacts on the environment and economy throughout Qualify impacts Quantify impacts

Structure:

Choosing boundaries and shifting issues A life-cycle approach Life-cycle assessment – one tool Life-cycle – what is it? Segue to life-cycle exercise Structure

Slide 5:

Worldwatch Institute, Worldwatch Paper 166: Purchasing Power: Harnessing Institutional Procurement for People and the Planet, July 2003, www.worldwatch.org

Life-cycle stages:

Life-cycle stages Products can be evaluated through each stage of their life-cycle: Extraction or acquisition of raw materials Manufacturing and processing Distribution and transportation Use and reuse Recycling Disposal For each stage, identify inputs of materials and energy received; outputs of useful product and waste emissions Find optimal points for improvement – eco-efficiency

A life-cycle approach:

A life-cycle approach Ensures companies identify the multiple environmental and resource issues across the entire life-cycle of the product Knowledge of these issues informs business activities: planning, procurement, design, marketing & sales Rather than just looking at the amount of waste that ends up in a landfill or an incinerator, a life-cycle approach identifies energy use, material inputs and waste generated from the time raw materials are obtained to the final disposal of the product * * Product Life-Cycle Analysis: Environmental activities for the classroom, Waste Management and Research Center, Champaign, IL, 1999

Identifying issues at each life-cycle stage:

Estimated amount of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides it takes to produce the cotton for a conventional pair of jeans. Source: “The Organic Cotton Site: Ten good reasons” Identifying issues at each life-cycle stage

Slide 9:

Worldwatch Institute, Worldwatch Paper 166: Purchasing Power: Harnessing Institutional Procurement for People and the Planet, July 2003, www.worldwatch.org Pesticides Finishing chemicals

Life-cycle – identify the boundaries:

Life-cycle – identify the boundaries

Life-cycle – helps avoid shifting the issues:

Life-cycle – helps avoid shifting the issues Looking at the entire life-cycle helps ensure reducing waste at one point does not simply create more waste at another point in the life-cycle Issues may be shifted – intentionally or inadvertently – among: Processes or manufacturing sites Geographic locale Different budgets and planning cycles (first cost) Environmental media – air, water, soil (MTBE) Sustainability dimension: economic, social, environmental burdens Depends on “boundaries” Be conscious of what is shifted and to where! For example, MTBE…

Methyl tertiary butyl ether - MTBE:

Methyl tertiary butyl ether - MTBE

Methyl tertiary butyl ether - MTBE:

Methyl tertiary butyl ether - MTBE

Slide 14:

US Geological Survey, http://www.nwrc.usgs.gov/world/content/water1.html

Different products have impacts at different life-cycle stages:

Different products have impacts at different life-cycle stages

Life-cycle – identify issues and costs:

Life-cycle – identify issues and costs Purchase Price Refrigerator A appears cheaper Price + Life-Cycle Costs Refrigerator B costs less overall Refrigerator A Refrigerator B Refrigerator A Refrigerator B $ $ Disposal & Post-Disposal Use Acquisition Acquisition

A life-cycle approach:

A life-cycle approach With a life-cycle approach, companies employ the tools they need to: Reduce impacts across the life-cycle Capitalize on opportunities for their business Tools range from simple mapping of life-cycle stages to comprehensive quantitative assessments

Life-cycle assessment:

Life-cycle assessment LCA is a tool to systematically measure the environmental impacts associated with each stage of a product’s life-cycle

Life-cycle assessment:

Life-cycle assessment Assessment of relative impacts across life-cycle – 3 issues are included

Life-cycle assessment:

Life-cycle assessment Two attributes make LCA distinct and useful as an analytical tool: whole system consideration of the total product life-cycle presentation of tradeoffs among multiple environmental issues LCA is quantitative

How to do LCA:

How to do LCA Determine scope and system boundaries functional unit life-cycle stages define “unit processes” Data collection Analysis of inputs and outputs Assessment of numerous environmental issues Interpretation LCA principles and framework are standardized by the Organization for International Standardization’s 14040 series of standards (ISO14040)

Conclusions – why take a life-cycle approach?:

Conclusions – why take a life-cycle approach? Systems perspective Integrates environment into core business issues Efficiency Innovation Better return on investment – identify point of “biggest bang for the buck” * Engage stakeholders – investors, customers, employees Environment is not a cost center for the company, but a business opportunity * www.ciwmb.ca.gov/EPP/LifeCycle/default.htm

Conclusions – why take a life-cycle approach?:

Conclusions – why take a life-cycle approach? Systems perspective Integrates environment into core business issues Efficiency Innovation Better return on investment Engage stakeholders Environment is not a cost center for the company, but a business opportunity Look beyond the company’s gate Expose trade-offs and and opportunities Expand analysis of products, projects, policies and programs – what is the function, what are the boundaries, what are the impacts, where are the opportunities?

Hamburger exercise – life-cycle stages, inputs, outputs and issues …:

Hamburger exercise – life-cycle stages, inputs, outputs and issues …

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