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Life Cycle Approach in the procurement process: The case of defence materiel
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies (moved 20130630).
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies (moved 20130630).
2006 (English)In: The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, ISSN 0948-3349, E-ISSN 1614-7502, Vol. 11, no 3, 200-208 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Goal, Scope and Background. Procurement in public and non-public organisations has the potential to influence product development towards more environmentally friendly products. This article focuses on public procurement with procurement in Swedish defence as a special case. In 2003, public procurement in Sweden was 28% of the GDP. In the Swedish defence sector the amount was 2% of the GDP. The total emissions from the sector were of the same order of magnitude as from waste treatment (2% of Sweden's emissions). According to an appropriation letter from the Ministry of Defence in 1998, the Swedish Armed Forces (SAF) and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) are required to take environmental issues into consideration during the entire process of acquiring defence materiel. Environmental aspects are considered today, but without a life-cycle perspective. The aims of this article are to recommend suitable tools for taking environmental concerns into account, considering a product's life-cycle, in the procurement process for defence materiel in Sweden; to make suggestions for how these tools could be used in the acquisition process; and to evaluate these suggestions through interviews with actors in the acquisition process. The procurement process does not include aspects specific to Swedish defence, and it is therefore likely to be comparable to processes in other countries. Methods. The method involved a study of current literature and interviews with various actors in the acquisition process. The life cycle methods considered were quantitative Life Cycle Assessments, a simplified LCA-method called the MECO method and Life Cycle Costing (LCC). Results and Discussion. Methodology recommendations for quantitative LCA and simplified LCA are presented in the article, as well as suggestions on how to integrate LCA methods in the acquisition process. We identified four areas for use for LCA in the acquisition process: to learn about environmental aspects of the product; to fulfil requirements from customers; to set environmental requirements and to choose between alternatives. Therefore, tools such as LCAs are useful in several steps in the acquisition process. Conclusion. From the interviews, it became clear that the actors in the acquisition process think that environmental aspects should be included early in the process. The actors are interested in using LCA methods, but there is a need for an initiative from one or several of them if the method is to be used regularly in the process. Environmental and acquisition issues are handled with very little interaction in the controlling and ordering organisation. An integration of environmental and acquisition parts in these organisations is probably needed in order to integrate environmental aspects in general and life-cycle thinking in particular. Other difficulties identified are costs and time constraints. Recommendation and Perspective. In order to include the most significant aspects when procuring materiel, it is important to consider the whole life-cycle of the products. Our major recommendation is that the defence sector should work systematically through different product groups. For each product group, quantitative, traditional LCAs or simplified LCAs (in this case modified MECOs) should be performed for reference products within each product group. The results should be an identification of critical aspects in the life-cycles of the products. The studies will also form a database that can be used when making new LCAs. This knowledge should then be used when writing specifications of what to procure and setting criteria for procurement. The reports should be publicly available to allow reviews and discussions of results. To make the work more cost-effective, international co-operation should be sought. In addition, LCAs can also be performed as an integrated part of the acquisition process in specific cases.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 11, no 3, 200-208 p.
Keyword [en]
Acquisition, Defence materiel, Integrated product policy, Life cycle costing (LCC), Life cycle management (LCM), MECO-method (simplified LCA-method), Public procurement
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8253ISI: 000237768000007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-33744929127OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-8253DiVA: diva2:13526
Note

QC 20100921

Available from: 2008-04-23 Created: 2008-04-23 Last updated: 2017-04-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Life Cycle Thinking in Environmentally Preferable Procurement
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life Cycle Thinking in Environmentally Preferable Procurement
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Products generate environmental impacts during their life cycle by consuming raw materials and energy, releasing emissions and producing waste. A procurement organisation can be a considerable driving force for more environmentally friendly products e.g. by requiring that products meet certain environmental criteria. The scope for environmental consideration when procuring materiel can be limited by lack of reliable information about the environmental characteristics of the product or service. Different types of tools (e.g. eco-labels, guidelines, checklists and tools for environmental assessment) can contribute some knowledge and help identify environmentally preferable products.

This thesis focuses on use of tools for environmental consideration in Swedish defence acquisition but the results are also relevant for other organisations, since the procurement process analysed is rather general and the legal requirements are similar for other public organisations in Europe. A Swedish government decision in 1998 requires the Swedish Armed Forces (SAF) and Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) to take environmental consideration in all phases of the acquisition process. The importance of a life cycle perspective is stressed in several SAF and FMV environmental documents. The starting point of this thesis was that environmental consideration should be taken in the Swedish acquisition of defence materiel, considering the whole life cycle of products, with the aim of formulating proposals on environmentally friendly procurement. Some Ecodesign tools were reviewed and evaluated, two methods for simplified Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) were compared, tools and methodology were recommended, and used to study military materiel, and environmental Life Cycle Costing (LCC) was examined.

In environmental work lacking a life cycle perspective, the most significant aspects risk being overlooked. Use of quantitative and/or simplified LCAs and inclusion of environmental costs in LCC are therefore recommended. LCA proved an appropriate tool for involving environmental consideration in the acquisition process, since it focuses on products and their life cycle. The MECO method proved best for simplified LCA. These suggested methods were evaluated by interviews with actors in the acquisition process. Four areas for LCA use in acquisition were identified: learning about environmental aspects of products; fulfilling customer requirements; setting environmental requirements; and choosing between alternatives.

The interviewees were interested in using LCA, but there is a need for an initiative by one or several actors if the method is to be used regularly and the results must be communicated within the organisations involved in procurement. Environmental consideration should be taken early in the acquisition process and environmental matters integrated into other activities of the organisations involved. Environmental costs are not explicitly considered in the LCCs used by the interviewees today, but internal environmental costs should be included. Costs likely to be internal can also be included.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2008
Series
Trita-SOM , ISSN 1653-6126 ; 2008-05
Keyword
Life Cycle Thinking, Life Cycle Assessment, Environmental Procurement, Life Cycle Costing
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4705 (URN)978-91-7178-910-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-05-09, M3, Brinellvägen 64, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100616Available from: 2008-04-23 Created: 2008-04-22 Last updated: 2012-01-18Bibliographically approved
2. Assessment of tools for environmentally preferable procurement with a life cycle perspective: the case of acquisition in Swedish defence
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessment of tools for environmentally preferable procurement with a life cycle perspective: the case of acquisition in Swedish defence
2004 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Procurement in public and non-public organisations has the potential to influence product development towards more environmentally preferable products. In 2003, public procurement in Sweden was 28% of GDP. Different types of approaches can contribute some knowledge and thereby facilitate the choice of environmentally preferable products. The thesis focuses on procurement in Swedish Defence. According to a decision by the Swedish government in 1998, the Swedish Armed Forces (SAF) and Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) are required to take environmental consideration in all phases of the acquisition process. The importance of a life cycle perspective is stressed in several SAF and FMV environmental documents. The starting point of this thesis was that environmental consideration should be taken in the Swedish acquisition of defence materiel, considering the whole life cycle of products. The aim was to produce suggestions for how this can be done.

In order to make this suggestion some Ecodesign tools were reviewed and evaluated and two methods for simplified Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) were compared. Suggestions of tools and methodology recommendations for environmentally preferable procurement in the Swedish defence are presented. For this purpose qualitative and/or simplified LCAs were suggested. The suggestions have been evaluated through interviews with actors in the process. When a simplified LCA is needed, the MECO assessment is recommended. Methodology recommendations for use of the MECO method in the Swedish Defence are presented. LCA is an appropriate tool for taking environmental consideration into the acquisition process, since it focuses on a product and includes its life cycle. If the environmental work lacks a life cycle perspective, there is a risk that the most significant aspects will not be considered. Four areas for use of LCA in the acquisition process were identified: Learning about environmental aspects of the product; fulfilling requirements from customers; setting environmental requirements; and choosing between alternatives.

The actors interviewed were interested in using LCA methods, but there is a need for an initiative by one or several actors if the method is to be used regularly in the process. It is important that the results are communicated within the organisations involved in the procurement process. Environmental consideration should preferably be taken early in the acquisition process and environmental questions should be integrated into other activities of the organisations involved in the procurement process. Such work would be facilitated if there were greater cooperation between the procuring and environmental units, in this case at FMV, SAF and the Swedish Ministry of Defence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2004. 37 p.
Series
Trita-KET-IM, ISSN 1402-7615 ; 2004:20
Keyword
Chemical engineering, Acquisition, Ecodesign tools, Life Cycle Assessment, LCA, MECO, Public procurement, Simplified, Kemiteknik
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-331 (URN)
Presentation
2005-07-25, 15:00
Note
QC 20100616Available from: 2005-07-27 Created: 2005-07-27 Last updated: 2010-06-16Bibliographically approved

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