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Product Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Efficiency Assessment
Yu-hua Cao 1,2,Guo-zhang Chen 3 ,Guo-ning Qi 1,Xin-jian Gu 1 ,Hong-guang Peng 2
2
1
Institute of Contemporary Manufacturing Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hang zhou , China
School of Economics and Management Zhejiang University of Science and Technology, Hang zhou, China
3 Jiang xi Vocational College of Mechanical Electrical Technology ,Nanchang, China
([email protected])
Abstract - With growing human demand for a variety of
economic, resources and environment exerting a profound
human impact on the environment, in order to deal with
economic, resource and environment relationship, life cycle
assessment (LCA) and environmental efficiency evaluation
are widely used. In order to more accurately conduct the
environmental assessment of the product, it is needed to
rationally utilize life cycle assessment and environmental
efficiency evaluation, put accurate environmental load data
into effective use of the evaluation of environmental
efficiency, in which environmental efficiency indicators and
the performance factor index correctly reflects the value of
the product enhancement and mitigation of environmental
load.
Keywords - LCA, environmental efficiency, performance
factor
I. INTRODUCTION
Project funding:
National Science and Technology Support Program(2011BAB02B01
)
Zhejiang Provincial Education Department 2010 annual research
projects(Y201018445)
Zhejiang Provincial Education Department 2010 annual research
projects (Y201119364)
Hangzhou Special Information Research Technology Development Plan
(Z0100434M07)
effect came out combining the economic benefits and the
environment benefits then the ecological efficiency
II. LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT (LCA)
The life cycle assessment first appeared in the US.
Though the development of a few years LCA has been the
main technique to evaluate the product’s environment
factors and potential impact, and also used in product
design, product development and improvement, pollution
perfection, strategic planning, evaluate and improve the
environmental laws, personal and organization’s
purchasing, environmental label, the strategy of market
development, environmental management system and so
on.
International organization for standardization (ISO)
gives the definition of LCA. Life Cycle Assessment
(LCA) is a method developed to evaluate the mass
balance of inputs and outputs of systems and to organize
and convert those inputs and outputs into environmental
themes or categories relative to resource use, human
health and ecological areas. LCA contain four parts: Goal
and scope definition, Inventory analysis, Impact
assessment, and Interpretation as illustrated in the figure 1.
Goal and Scope
Definition
Inventory
Analysis
Interpretation
With the international market issued by the WEEE
Directive, ROHS Directive and the EUP Directive, more
and more foreign enterprises take the initiative to provide
its product life cycle environmental information, such as
product carbon footprint, water footprint, product ecology
files. At present, all of the environmental engineering
research must support the report of the life cycle
assessment, according to framework program 7 in EU
Science Plan in order to ensure that it will not cause the
transfer of the environment problems when solving
environment problems.
Therefore, life cycle assessment has been the key of
research in the field of international sustainable
development and the protection of the environment, the
main is to research the relationship between the industry
activity and the environment impact.
Since the human being was in a complex economicenvironment-sociality system, in order to reflect more
clearly the relationship of the economic, resources and
environment, the new concept named environmental
appeared, showing not only the impact of the research
object but also evaluation the economic value. Then the
way of environment efficiency also become the key to
research.
At present, the countries and company all over the
world are trying their best to find the way of how to use
the life cycle assessment to know the product life cycle
caused environment carrying capacity in every moment,
try to use the data of environment carrying capacity to
evaluate the environment efficiency though the
environment efficiency index and the performance factor
to reflect the improvement of the product or service and
the efficiency of the devolution of environment carrying
capacity.
Impact Assessment
Fig.1 LCA framework
Applications:
-product
development
and
improvement
-Strategic
Planning
-marketing
-Public policy
formulation
At present, the way of inventory analysis is ripe. But
the impact assessments are on the stage of study and
exploration, and the way to research the interpretation are
seldom. So the key problems of life cycle assessment are
the definition of product; data changing with different
time and space in life cycle impact assessment, data’s
reliability problems, and the comprehensive evaluation
weights problem and so on.
In a word, the life cycle assessment can evaluate all
the part of the product life cycle, but it is hard to evaluate
the product value. Therefore, the ISO organization
promoting the standardization of environmental efficiency
and make it helpful to the economic-environment-society.
III. ENVIRONMENTAL EFFICIENCY
Environmental efficiency based on environment and
economic activities of the social system led or realize
enterprise management is one of the foundation, it is the
product of the environment load determination standards,
and is the flexible use of sales strategy management
index, it is to improve product or the value of services
upward and reduce the effectiveness of the environment
load index, meanwhile it is to promote the product or
service
environment
harmonious
performance
indispensable for communication tools.
WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable
Development) in Earth Summit in Rio held in 1992
proposed the definition of environmental efficiency,
which is the ratio of the value of the products or services
to the environment load, namely the value generating by
unit environment load. The production activities by the
environment load is small, the economic value created is
larger, and environmental efficiency is higher
Japanese industry management association gives the
framework of environmental efficiency, as shown in
figure 2. From figure 1 and figure 2 we can see the main
differences between the LCA and the environmental
efficiency that the LCA give the explanation in each stage
,but the environmental efficiency only give the
explanation to the result of the environment load and the
value evaluation.
Goal and scope definition
Environmental
load
Product
value
Calculation of eco-efficiency
results
Interpretation
Applications:
-product
development and
improvement
-strategic
planning
-budgeting
-investment
analysis
-pubic policy
making
-marketing
-green
purchasing
-awareness
raising
Fig.2 Phases of an eco-efficiency assessment
Domestic and overseas scholars have researched
widely from the different area such as country, region,
and enterprise, such as the foreigner Sturm and
Landmark’s research[1,2], regional ecological efficiency
research[3-5], the business enterprise research[6-9] and
industrial research[10-13], but there are a little research on
environmental efficiency assessment.
With the in-depth study of the environmental
efficiency evaluation method at home and abroad,
international developed countries has proposed more
detailed evaluation index for environmental efficiency.
Germany WUPPERTAL research institute suggested that
in order to realize the sustainable development of social
economy, developed countries should improve the
productivity of resources(the unit of the facility resources
products, services output) for 10 times in the next 50
years. In 1999 Japan announced the environment white
paper, which on building the sustainable development of
the economy and society about the direction of industrial
activity, introduced the “10 factors” and made a positive
activity requirements for the enterprise. From then on
many big research institutions and manufacture
enterprises, especially the electronic enterprise took part
in the discussion and technical development of
environmental efficiency and performance and employed
them for customers to easily compare conservation of
resources of new products with the old. Thought the
national development and reform commission jointly with
relevant departments drawn up《Evaluation index system
of circular economy》, but the system was made up from
the macroscopic level and industrial park respectively,
rather than the detailed evaluation index; It focused on
resources and energy output, consumption of resources,
comprehensive utilization and the waste in the emissions,
rather than the bad impact on the environment.
The implement of environmental impact assessment
from technical guideline in 2012 has some guiding index,
not including the detailed evaluation index.
IV. PRODUCT ENVIRONMENTAL EFFICIENCY
ASSESSMENT
In order to do the product eco-efficiency assessment
better, it is needed to prepare the accurate life cycle
assessment resources data and the environment impact
data, make full use of environmental efficiency evaluation
model analysis, determine product environmental
efficiency and performance factor.
Environmental efficiency index characterizes the
ratio of the value of the product or service improvement
to the reducing environmental impact. Therefore
environmental efficiency evaluation formula is as follows:
Eco efficiency=
functional value of the product
(1)
environmental impact of the product
Eco-efficiency=
(fundament function)(utility duration)
amount of greenhousegas emissions over
the life cycle of the product
(2)
Common factor=
eco - efficiency of the evaluated product
eco - efficiency of the same type
(3)
of product for the reference year
As the table showed, this article utilized the
resources consumption of oil-immersed transformer,
which was announced by Japanese manufacturing
enterprises. After conducting environmental efficiency
evaluation, we got table 2.
M
E
T
Table 1 Environment data
reference
product
2725
kg
(1)product weight
iron
1790
Kg
cuprum
2
kg
aluminum
207
kg
resin (regeneration)
0
Kg
resin(Non-renewable)
0
kg
other
726
kg
664
Kg
(2)weight of the
regeneration material
0
kg
(3)weight of recycled
components
664
kg
(4)weight of the 3R
material《(2)+(3)》
Kg
(5)resource consumption 2061
《(1)-(4)》
2665
kg
(6)Can 3R weight
60
kg
(7)Can not 3R weight《
(1)-(6)》
Consumption of electric
4.853
kwh
power
Chromium weight
74
g
evaluated
product
3808
kg
2256
Kg
965
kg
kg
0
Kg
0
kg
587
kg
905.4
Kg
0
kg
905.4
kg
2902.6
Kg
3733
75
kg
kg
2
kwh
0
g
B
A*B
M
E
T
1990year
1
1
1
RA-T
2006year
1.4
0.426
0
RA-TS
(1/ environmental load of evaluated
product)/(1/ environmental load of
reference product)
(evaluated Product value)/(
reference product value)
(evaluated Product value/
environmental load of evaluated
product)/( reference product value/
environmental load of reference
product)
Product environment load calculation method by the
Japanese company simplified the life cycle assessment
method. In order to accurately calculate more natural
resource consumption and global warming environment
load, the life cycle assessment by Japan Seizo Kato in
Sweden EPS method based on the development of NETS
method, the accurate numerical formula is as follows:
n
(5)
Ecl   ( Lf i * x i)
i 1
ALi
* Ri
(6)
Lf i 
pi
Ecl: is the environment load value or any industry
process of the whole life cycle caused by the environment
load value ; Lf i :the basic environment load factor;
:
i
the whole process of the first a processes input or output
the raw material and a number of pollutants;
p i :considering the bearing capacity of the earth capacity,
x
the output of the measurement, such as fossil fuel reserves
and CO2 emissions, etc; AL :the earth can load value;
i
R i :the weight factor.
V. CONCLUSION
Table 2 Eco-efficiency assessment
environmental load
reference
product
evaluated
product
A
environment load calculation is according to the formula
(4) to calculate.
2 2 2
Product environmental load= M  E T
(4)
Product
value
1.732
1
1.463
1.184
1.184
1
1.184
In table 2 the environment load is reflected
index. Among them Material (M): the
consumption; Energy(E):energy consumption;
(T) :hazard substances. Therefore, the
by MET
resource
Toxicity
product
Through the environmental efficiency evaluation of
transformer product manufactured by Japanese
enterprises, the transformers’ environmental efficiency
and performance factors are calculated to facilitate the
consumers understanding products’ performance, and to
promote the products or services’ environmental
coordination.
The research on the eco-efficiency pays attention to
the country, region and enterprise in our country, focusing
on environment impact, other than the product. In order to
operate the economic-environment-society system, we
need to draw lessons from Japan’s experience, make
suitable environmental efficiency index and performance
factor index fitting China’s national conditions.
Total life cycle assessment and environmental
efficiency evaluation should proceed from product design
stage. In order to make products consume the least
resources, impact the environment and achieve the highest
value in the whole life cycle, the products which can’t
meet the requirements should be renewed for the
environmental design.
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