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Assessment of tools for environmentally preferable procurement with a life cycle perspective: the case of acquisition in Swedish defence
KTH, Superseded Departments, Chemical Engineering and Technology.
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 [en]
Chemical engineering, Acquisition, Ecodesign tools, Life Cycle Assessment, LCA, MECO, Public procurement, Simplified
Keyword [sv]
Kemiteknik
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-331OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-331DiVA: diva2:9096
Presentation
2005-07-25, 15:00
Note
QC 20100616Available from: 2005-07-27 Created: 2005-07-27 Last updated: 2010-06-16Bibliographically 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. 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

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