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  • 1. André, H.
    et al.
    Söderman, M. L.
    Tillman, A. -M
    Circular economy as a means to efficient use of scarce metals?2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 2.
    André, Hampus
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Sustainability Assessment and Management.
    “If less is more, how you keeping score?” Outlines of a life cycle assessment method to assess sufficiency2024In: Frontiers in Sustainability, ISSN 2673-4524, Vol. 5Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is increasingly clear that reaching environmental sustainability requires not only efficiency (reduced environmental impact per functionality) but also sufficiency measures (reduced environmental impact through reduced or changed functionality). Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a widely used tool to study environmental impacts related to consumption. However, because of the LCA convention of only comparing alternative products with equal functionality, it is currently inept as a method for assessing the environmental impacts of sufficiency measures. Against this background, this short paper aims to stimulate a discussion on how sufficiency measures can be assessed with LCA methodology. By analyzing the very few LCAs of explicit sufficiency measures in terms of the components of a functional unit (what function is provided, how much, for how long, and how well) features of a potential new branch of LCA methodology are outlined, called Sufficiency LCA. In Sufficiency LCA, product alternatives need to be similar enough so that the what component of the functional unit can be equal, while the other components, how much, how long, and how well, are allowed to be non-equal. Thus, a key feature of Sufficiency LCA concerns functional non-equivalence of compared product alternatives, which is not allowed or neglected in conventional LCA, but which could be allowed, acknowledged and quantified in Sufficiency LCA. Developing Sufficiency LCA could be critical considering that sufficiency measures are expected to be required, and that LCA is expected to be serviceable as decision-making support, in the transition toward environmental sustainability.

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  • 3.
    André, Hampus
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Sustainability Assessment and Management.
    Opening the black box of the use phase in circular economy life cycle assessments: Environmental performance of shell jacket reuse2024In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, ISSN 1088-1980, E-ISSN 1530-9290, Vol. 28, no 3, p. 542-555Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Life cycle assessment (LCA) is highly needed and widely used to assess the environmental performance of circular economy (CE) measures such as reusing and sharing. However, the results of such LCAs are hampered by limited knowledge about the use phase of consumer products and oversimplification of important use phase aspects such as product functionality, user behavior, displacement, and rebound effects. This paper aims to validate the usefulness of a framework designed to assist practitioners in the generation and utilization of such knowledge in LCAs of circular measures. To validate the framework, a case study is used: reuse of shell jackets enabled by “premium secondhand” stores for outdoor equipment and clothing. The paper demonstrates that conclusions about the environmental performance of reuse can easily be altered depending on the functional unit definition, whether real user behavior data are used, and whether imperfect displacement and rebound effects are considered. For instance, shell jacket life cycles that include reuse and thus may be labeled “circular” have significantly higher environmental impact per use occasion than “linear” ones (used by one principal user the entire lifespan), since “circular” shell jackets are used less frequently, in particular during their first use span. Through facilitating the generation and utilization of environmentally relevant use phase data, which are otherwise often overlooked, the framework seems capable of supporting a better understanding of the environmental performance of CE measures.

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  • 4.
    André, Hampus
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering.
    Björklund, Anna
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering.
    A framework to open the black box of the use phase in circular economy life cycle assessments: The case of shell jacket reuse2023In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, ISSN 1088-1980, E-ISSN 1530-9290Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Life cycle assessments of circular economy measures (CE LCA) of consumer products have been criticized for oversimplifying important aspects of the use phase such as user behavior and rebound effects, limiting our understanding of the environmental performance of circular economy measures. This study tests the usefulness of a framework designed to facilitate accounting for such aspects, by applying the framework to a case study of reuse of shell jackets enabled by “premium secondhand” outdoor stores. Methods for collecting use phase data were user surveys and interviews with store managers. Using the framework on this case study generated several novel insights which are interesting in themselves and as inputs to CE LCA. For instance, secondhand shell jackets have a significantly lower frequency of use during their first use span compared to the second and to shell jackets in the linear reference scenario. This implies that reuse in this case does not function as a mere use extension of otherwise similar use phases as is commonly assumed. The generation of such insights, which hitherto have been lacking in CE LCAs, points to the usefulness of the framework as a tool for opening the “black box” of the use phase in CE LCAs to improve understanding of the environmental performance of circular economy measures.

  • 5.
    André, Hampus
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Sustainability Assessment and Management.
    Björklund, Anna
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Sustainability Assessment and Management.
    Towards a Conceptual Framework for Analyzing Circular Product-User Life Cycles: Learnings from the Sport and Outdoor Sector2022In: Procedia CIRP, Elsevier BV , 2022, Vol. 105, p. 225-230Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Life cycle assessment (LCA) research on the performance of circular economy (CE) measures such as reuse, repair and remanufacturing has been criticized for inadequate consideration of functional equivalency of circular compared to new products, allocation between use phases, displacement rates, rebound effects, product use and user behavior. For such reasons, it has been argued that our understanding of the environmental performance of CE is poor and over-optimistic. Motivated by these criticisms, this paper presents an outline of a conceptual framework developed to improve CE LCA research. The framework was developed through literature review, workshops and ongoing CE LCAs in the sport and outdoor sector. The paper overviews challenges related to mentioned criticisms and possible approaches to addressing them, presents a model for how aspects influential to CE LCA results interrelate, and, proposes a structure for describing product-user life cycles more accurately. The outlined conceptual framework could be an important step towards improving CE LCAs and, ultimately, our understanding of environmental outcomes of CE. 

  • 6. André, Hampus
    et al.
    Ljunggren, M.
    Towards comprehensive assessment of mineral resource availability?: Complementary roles of life cycle, life cycle sustainability and criticality assessments2021In: Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ISSN 0921-3449, E-ISSN 1879-0658, Vol. 167, article id 105396Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 7.
    André, Hampus
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Sustainability Assessment and Management. Division of Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology, Vera Sandbergs Allé 8, 412 96, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Ljunggren, Maria
    Short and long-term mineral resource scarcity impacts for a car manufacturer: The case of electric traction motors2022In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, p. 132140-132140, article id 132140Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The importance of metals for modern society and future trends puts pressure on companies to handle issues concerning potential mineral resource scarcity (i.e. deficiency in quantity compared with demand). Companies see the need to handle such potential scarcity both in the short-term (is the availability constrained for our current products?) and the long-term (is our current use affecting the availability for future generations?). This study aims to examine the use of complementary methods for short and long-term scarcity in a company context, through a case study on permanent magnet electric traction motors, to provide both empirical and methodological insights. To mitigate long-term scarcity impacts, the results point to copper, neodymium and to some extent dysprosium as priority. These metals contribute to a large share of such impacts both due to themselves and their companion metals. In the short-term, neodymium and dysprosium, which are often regarded as critical (i.e. high supply disruption probability and high vulnerability to supply disruption), were found to be substitutable in the electric motor, reducing their criticality. Instead, the electric motor was most vulnerable to a potential supply disruption of iron and silicon because of no or low substitutability in electrical steel. Methodologically, these perhaps unexpected results, demonstrate that criticality requires a more context-specific assessment than often applied, especially regarding substitutability. By using complementary methods, decision-making about potential mineral resource scarcity impacts in company contexts could become more comprehensive and distinctly address both short and long-term scarcity impacts.

  • 8.
    André, Hampus
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Sustainability Assessment and Management.
    Nilsson, Louisa
    bMid Sweden University, Campus Kunskapens väg 8, 831 25 Östersund, Sweden, Akademigatan 1.
    Are second-hand shell jackets better than users think? A comparison of perceived, assessed and measured functionality throughout lifespans2024In: Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ISSN 0921-3449, E-ISSN 1879-0658, Vol. 204, p. 107470-, article id 107470Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Using the case of outdoor shell jackets, this research studies obsolescence and potential lifespan extension by re-examining how product functionality, objectively and subjectively, develops over the course of product lifespans. In particular, the study focuses on second-hand stores for outdoor products. Functionality is indicated by user perceptions, visual assessments, laboratory measurements and price data, collected at first use, second-hand resale and end-of-life. Perceived functionality and price decline more rapidly (5–6 % per year) than assessed and measured functionality (around 3 % per year). This could be explained by properties related to appearance, which are not assessed nor measured but influence user perceptions and price. Discontentment regarding such properties appears more relevant for obsolescence than inadequate performance, suggesting the potential for design for attachment and timeless design. The relative stability of measured functionality over time suggests that a barrier for second-hand sales, concern about performance, could be ameliorated by a potential functionality-label.

  • 9. André, Hampus
    et al.
    Soderman, Maria Ljunggren
    Nordelof, Anders
    Resource and environmental impacts of using second-hand laptop computers: A case study of commercial reuse2019In: Waste Management, ISSN 0956-053X, E-ISSN 1879-2456, Vol. 88, p. 268-279Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 10.
    André, Hampus
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Sustainability Assessment and Management.
    Swenne, Louisa
    Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden.
    Secondhand shell jackets are better than users think: A comparison of perceived, assessed and measured functionality throughout lifespans2023In: Product lifetimes and the environment (PLATE): Proceedings / [ed] Kirsi Niinimäki and Kirsti Cura, Espoo, Finland: Aalto University , 2023Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Knowledge about obsolescence and its possible causes is instrumental to extend product lifespans. Product obsolescence may be caused by both subjective perceptions as well as objective and measurable deterioration of functionality. In order to extend lifetimes by avoiding and reversing obsolescence, this study addresses the current knowledge gap on how functionality of products develops over time, using a case study on shell jackets for outdoor recreational activities. Functionality over time is compared in terms of user perceptions, ocular assessments, laboratory measurements and, in addition, price. Data were collected at beginning of use, secondhand resale and end-of-life. In addition to ocular assessments and laboratory measurements, a survey was used to collect data from users on e.g. perceived functionality, price and duration of use span. Linear representations of perceived functionality and price decline more rapidly (5-6% per year) than assessed and measured functionality (both around 3% per year). This could be explained by properties such as appearance, which are included and seemingly important to user perceptions and price, but which are not assessed nor measured. The perception of such properties as low seems to be a more relevant cause of obsolescence than inadequate performance. This points to, for instance, timeless design to avoid obsolescence. The finding that measured functionality remains relatively high over time is important since concern about performance is a key barrier to secondhand sales. Information policy, such as performance-labelling, could thus contribute to reversing obsolescence. Future research could test the robustness of these findings as well as their generalizability to other products.

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  • 11. Arvidsson, Rickard
    et al.
    Soderman, Maria Ljunggren
    Sanden, Bjorn A.
    Nordelof, Anders
    André, Hampus
    Tillman, Anne-Marie
    A crustal scarcity indicator for long-term global elemental resource assessment in LCA2020In: The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, ISSN 0948-3349, E-ISSN 1614-7502, Vol. 25, no 9, p. 1805-1817Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 12. Bockin, Daniel
    et al.
    Willskytt, Siri
    André, Hampus
    Tillman, Anne-Marie
    Soderman, Maria Ljunggren
    How product characteristics can guide measures for resource efficiency - A synthesis of assessment studies2020In: Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ISSN 0921-3449, E-ISSN 1879-0658, Vol. 154, article id 104582Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 13. Soderman, Maria Ljunggren
    et al.
    André, Hampus
    Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Effects of circular measures on scarce metals in complex products - Case studies of electrical and electronic equipment2019In: Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ISSN 0921-3449, E-ISSN 1879-0658, Vol. 151, article id 104464Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Circular measures such as long-life designs, reuse, repair and recycling have been suggested for prolonging scarce metal life cycles and reducing the dependence on primary resources. This paper explores to what extent circular measures could mitigate metals scarcity when adopted to complex products. Based on three real cases, the effect of extending the use of laptops, smartphones and LED systems before recycling are assessed for between 7 and 15 scarce metals using material flow analysis. As expected, benefits can be gained from such extensions, but, importantly, differ substantially between metals since they occur in various components with various service lifetimes and functional recycling rates vary. Notably, risks of flipping the ranking in favor of short use before recycling are identified: if service lifetimes are short, designs are metal-intensive or if metal contents differ between products. Furthermore, regardless of measure, sizable and varying losses of each metal from functional use occur since all products are not collected for recycling and all metals are not functionally recycled. Thus, neither use extension measures nor recycling can alone nor in combination radically mitigate metals scarcity and criticality currently. Overall, it is a challenge to target the multitude of scarce and critical metals applied in complex products through circular measures. Careful analysis beyond simplified guidelines such as öR frameworks” are recommended. As the importance of scarce metals availability and the attention to the circular economy are expected to continue, these insights may be used for avoiding efforts with unclear or minor benefits or even drawbacks.

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