The Environmental Bill of Material and Technology Routing: evaluating components and process impacts on the Environmental Strategy Map through an integrated LCA approach

Luca De Benedetto, Jiří Klemeš

EC Marie Curie Chair (EXC) “INEMAGLOW”,

Research Institute of Chemical Technology and Process Engineering, FIT, University of Pannonia

Egyetem utca 10, Veszprém, H -8200, Hungary

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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool for analyzing environmental impacts on a wide perspective and with a reference to a product system and economic activity. The need for a novel approach that complements environmental and financial considerations has been addressed by the authors in a previous study with the Environmental Performance Strategy Map. This particular graphical map allowed the combination of the main environmental indicators (footprints) with the additional dimension of cost. The Environmental Performance Strategy Map is the basis for the definition of the Sustainable Environmental Performance Indicator as a single measure for sustainability of a given option. This paper refines the process on how this map is built with the introduction of two new elements: the Environmental Bill of Material (ENV-BOM) and the Technology Routing. The basic idea presented is that each component of a specific product or service has a certain environmental burden, and therefore contributes to the environmental footprints. Such contributions will be identified as Environmental Performance Points (PP). When an item is “routed” through different technology processes to build the final product or service, it keeps contributing to the overall environmental burden. Again, these contributions will be identified as Performance Points. The sum of all PPs, categorized by footprint, will provide the basis to build the characteristic Environmental Strategy Map. This new approach allows wide flexibility: the impact of changing a component, a material or a production process will be reflected immediately on the Map. This allows the practitioner to speed the decision support process and possibly adapt most efficiently the process or product components to meet the desired environmental goals.

PRES' 09,  Rome, Italy, 2009

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