Assessment of the environmental and cost improvements from extending the use phase of passive durable products
Conference poster, 2019
In a world governed by an intensive product usage habits, shifting to a circular economy becomes a necessity to achieve sustainable production and consumption. Extending the use phase of products by altering the business model, such as leasing products and offering refurbishment services, is one method to accomplish that. To assess the viability of such a method, environmental and economic implications should be assessed at the same time. The present study uses Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC) to quantify the environmental and economic benefits of extending the use of five durable and passive products (event tent, beach flag, recycling bin, lockers and waste inlet). A suggested method to perform LCA and LCC at the same time, in a circular economy context, and present results in comparable way is presented. Raw material extraction and the production of the durable components in the products caused the highest cost and the greatest environmental impact of the selected products. Thus, extending the life of these components through repair or refurbishment reduced the environmental impact of most products (measured as Global Warming Potential) by 45%-72%, and the cost from a manufacturer’s perspective by 8%-37%. Another objective of the study is to discuss the degree and level of complementarity and competition between LCA and the manufacturer’s LCC. Although the two tools complement each other in most activities, there exist some exceptions where they compete. This occurs mostly when LCC describes labour costs, while labour is not accounted for in LCA.
life cycle costing
Life cycle assessment