Welcome to a course in Life Cycle Assessment Centre for Environmental Strategies Research Anna Björklund and Göran Finnveden • What’s the environmental impact of a PET bottle? • Which is better; PET bottles,glass bottles, or aluminium cans? Energy & material Emissions Raw material acquisition Manufacture Use Waste management • LCA covers the entire life cycle, from ”cradle-to-grave” • LCA calculates energy and resource use, emissions, environment and health impacts The life cycle model Raw material acquisition Process Resources (e.g. raw materials, energy,land) Transport Manufacture Use Waste management Emissions to air, water, ground Definition of LCA LCA is a technique for assessing environmental aspects and potential impacts of a product, by: -compiling an inventory of relevant inputs and outputs of a product system; -evaluating potential environmental impacts associated with those inputs and outputs; -interpreting the results. (ISO 14040) Why LCA? • System focus, avoids sub-optimization and problem shifting. • Structured, quantitative method to analyse complex systems. Short LCA history • Waste debate and oil crisis strong incentives. • 1969: First LCA? Resource and Environmental Profile Analysis (REPA) of beverage packaging, commissioned by Coca Cola. (Similar contemporary studies in UK, Germany, Sweden) • 1980’s: Growing use of LCA, applied to packaging. Mostly know to researchers. • 1991: The term ”LCA” was defined. • 1996: First scientific LCA journal. • 1997: First ISO standard. • Today: LCA finds it way to public policy, design, decision making, education. Applications of LCA • • • • • • • Product/process design, development, improvement. Strategic planning (e.g. in companies, municipalities) Public policy Learning Eco-labelling Environmental produc declaration Marketing Some applications • Environmental Systems Analysis of Pig Production - The Impact of Feed Choice • Life Cycle Assessments for Waste • Life Cycle Assessment of a Personal Computer and its Effective Recycling Rate • Life Cycle Assessment of the District Heat Distribution System • Life Cycle Assessment of the Mobile Communication System UMTS: Towards Eco-efficient Systems • LCA of Multicrystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Systems • Life Cycle Assessment of Kerosene Used in Aviation • Life Cycle Assessment of Wood Floor Coverings LCA methodology in brief Life cycle assessment framework Goal and scope definition Inventory analysis Interpretation Impact assessment Source: ISO 14040 ISO 14000 Environmental management • ISO 14040: LCA - Principles and framework • ISO 14041: LCA - Goal and scope definition and inventory analysis • ISO 14042: LCA - Life cycle impact assessment • ISO 14043: LCA - Life cycle interpretation • ISO 14047: LCA - Examples of application of ISO 14042 • ISO 14048: LCA - Data documentation format • ISO 14049: LCA - Examples of application of ISO 14041 Goal and scope definition • Goal: – purpose – intended application – intended audience • Scope (specification of model): – – – – studied product (or service) system boundaries: processes to include, time, place types of impacts data requirements Goal of Danish packaging LCA • Purpose: Update LCA comparing potential environmental impact of packaging systems. • Application: Basis for decisions on packaging systems in Denmark. • Audience: General publication (external). Scope of Danish packaging study • Functional unit: Packaging and distribution of 1000 litres beer or softdrink. • System boundaries: – Bottles or cans that are filled and sold in Denmark, – secondary packaging (boxes, pallets, etc.), – all processes contributing significantly to the life cycle impacts Inventory • Draw flow chart of product system. • Collect data of resource use and emissions of all processes • Data sources: LCA databases, reports, scientific papers, on-site investigation, expert knowledge, qualified guesses • Build system model (computerised in e.g. generic LCA tool, Excel, other) • Calculate resource use and emissions of studied product. • Present results in charts and tables. • Iterative procedure! Inventories in Danish packaging study • Inventories of: – – – – – – refillable glass bottles disposable glass bottles aluminium cans steel cans refillable PET bottles disposable PET bottles Process tree glass bottle Retail Filling w. soda Manufacture glass bottle Prod. soda Prod. lime Prod. sand Raw material extract. Raw material extract. Raw material extract. Use Waste management Recycling Landfill Impact assessment • Classification: Sorts inventory parameters according to type of environemtal impact. • Characterisation: Translates inventory results (emissions, resource use) to potential environmental impact. • Example: Global warming potential (according to EDIP) 1 CH4 = 25 CO2 equivalents 1 N2O = 320 CO2 equivalents 1 CO = 2 CO2 equivalents Impact assessment in Danish packaging study • EDIP (Danish method) – – – – – – – – – – Global warming Ozone depletion Acidification Eutrophication Photochemical smog Ecotoxicity: water chronic/acute, soil Human toxicity: air, water, soil Waste: bulk, hazardous, radioactive Slags/ashes Resources Optional steps • Normalisation: Relates each impact of the product system to impacts of society as a whole. Gives perspective of relative importance. • Weighting: Relates different impacts to each other, based on subjective values.