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Life Cycle Thinking in Environmentally Preferable Procurement
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies. KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
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 [en]
Life Cycle Thinking, Life Cycle Assessment, Environmental Procurement, Life Cycle Costing
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4705ISBN: 978-91-7178-910-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-4705DiVA: diva2:13528
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
List of papers
1. Handling trade-offs in Ecodesign tools for sustainable product development and procurement
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Handling trade-offs in Ecodesign tools for sustainable product development and procurement
2006 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, Vol. 14, no 15-16, 1420-1430 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Trade-off situations often occur in the product development and procurement processes when alternative solutions emphasize different aspects that have to be balanced against each other. Ecodesign tools can be used in both product development and purchasing, for example to prescribe design alternatives, assess environmental impacts or to compare environmental improvement alternatives. However, it is not always clear what should be chosen in trade-off situations. In this study, 15 different Ecodesign tools were analyzed to ascertain whether a valuation is included in the tools, in what way the tools give support in different types of trade-off situations and whether the tools provide support from a sustainability perspective.

Nine of the 15 tools analyzed included a valuation and were able to provide support in a trade-off situation, but the support was not sufficient. The valuation should include a life cycle perspective and a framework for sustainability. Otherwise, it can lead to strategically incorrect decisions from a sustainability perspective with concomitant risks of sub-optimized investment paths and blind alleys. However, all the analyzed tools can be complemented with other tools and methods based on strategic planning towards sustainability in order to include a framework for sustainability.

Keyword
ecodesign tools, trade-off, product development, purchasing, procurement, sustainability, sustainable development
National Category
Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8250 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2005.03.024 (DOI)000240298500014 ()
Note
QC 20100616Available from: 2008-04-23 Created: 2008-04-23 Last updated: 2012-02-24Bibliographically approved
2. Evaluation of two simplified Life Cycle Assessment methods
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evaluation of two simplified Life Cycle Assessment methods
2003 (English)In: The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, ISSN 0948-3349, E-ISSN 1614-7502, Vol. 8, no 3, 119-128 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Goal, Scope and Background. Two methods of simplified LCA were evaluated and compared to the results of a quantitative LCA. These are the Environmentally responsible product assessment matrix developed by Graedel and Allenby and the MECO-method developed in Denmark. Methods. We used these in a case study and compared the results with the results from a quantitative LCA. The evaluation also included other criteria, such as the field of application and the level of arbitrariness. Results and Discussion. The MECO-method has some positive qualities compared to the Environmentally responsible product assessment matrix. Examples of this are that it generates information complementary to the quantitative LCA and provides the possibility to consider quantitative information when such is available. Some of the drawbacks with the Environmentally responsible product assessment matrix are that it does not include the whole lifecycle and that it allows some arbitrariness. Conclusions. Our study shows that a simplified and semi-quantitative LCA (such as the MECO-method) can provide information that is complementary to a quantitative LCA. In this case the method generates more information on toxic substances and other impacts, than the quantitative LCA. We suggest that a simplified LCA can be used both as a pre-study to a quantitative LCA and as a parallel assessment, which is used together with the quantitative LCA in the interpretation. Recommendations and Outlook. A general problem with qualitative analyses is how to compare different aspects. Life cycle assessments are comparative. The lack of a quantitative dimension hinders the comparison and can thereby hinder the usefulness of the qualitative method. There are different approaches suggested to semiquantify simplified methods in order to make quantitative comparisons possible. We think that the use of fabricated scoring systems should be avoided. If quantitative information is needed, one should consider performing a simplified quantitative LCA instead.

Keyword
Electric cars, ERPA-matrix (ERPA: Environmentally Responsible Product Assessment), Life cycle assessment (LCA), MECO-method (MECO: Materials, Energy, Chemicals and Others), Semi-quantitative LCA, Simplified LCA, Streamlined LCA
National Category
Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8251 (URN)10.1065/lca2003.04.114 (DOI)000183349200002 ()
Note
QC 20100616 Available from: 2008-04-23 Created: 2008-04-23 Last updated: 2012-01-18Bibliographically approved
3. Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of a pre- fragmented high explosive grenade
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of a pre- fragmented high explosive grenade
Show others...
2006 (English)In: Journal of chemical technology and biotechnology (1986), ISSN 0268-2575, E-ISSN 1097-4660, Vol. 81, no 3, 461-475 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Organisations today face increasing environmental constraints, e.g. in the form of legal and customer requirements; the defence sector is no exception. There is a need to evaluate and limit environmental effects of defence activities and materiel. In this study we used quantitative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and a method for simplified LCA (the Material, Energy, Chemicals and Others (MECO) method) to assess the environmental impacts of a grenade. The aims of the study are to identify aspects in the grenade's life-cycle that have the largest environmental impact, suggest improvement possibilities, make a comparison between different approaches for waste management of munitions, and to perform a demonstrative case for the application of LCA to munitions. Significant environmental aspects of the grenade's life-cycle include use of metals, use of fossil fuels, and detonation outdoors. The study shows that an LCA can be used to analyse environmental impacts from munitions. The simplified LCA gave information that is complementary to the quantitative LCA.

Keyword
Defence materiel, Life cycle assessment (LCA), MECO, Munition, Simplified life cycle assessment
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8252 (URN)10.1002/jctb.1446 (DOI)000235898100031 ()2-s2.0-33644780121 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20100616 QC 20111003. Conference: 6th International Conference on Ecobalance. Tsukuba, JAPAN. OCT 25-27, 2004

Available from: 2008-04-23 Created: 2008-04-23 Last updated: 2013-12-09Bibliographically approved
4. Life Cycle Approach in the procurement process: The case of defence materiel
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life Cycle Approach in the procurement process: The case of defence materiel
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.

Keyword
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:nbn:se:kth:diva-8253 (URN)000237768000007 ()2-s2.0-33744929127 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20100921

Available from: 2008-04-23 Created: 2008-04-23 Last updated: 2017-04-28Bibliographically approved
5. Environmental costs in Life Cycle Costing: A survey
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental costs in Life Cycle Costing: A survey
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8254 (URN)
Note
QC 20100616Available from: 2008-04-23 Created: 2008-04-23 Last updated: 2010-06-16Bibliographically approved

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  • Other locale
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Output format
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