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Sustainable Engineering

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Luis Castanheira

on 23 January 2017

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Transcript of Sustainable Engineering

Eco-Efficiency and Life Cycle Analysis
The eco-efficiency concept describes a vision for the production of economically valuable goods and services while reducing the ecological impacts of production. In other words eco-efficiency means producing more with less.

According to the WBCSD, critical aspects of eco-efficiency are:

A reduction in the material intensity of goods or services;
A reduction in the energy intensity of goods or services;
Reduced dispersion of toxic materials;
Improved recyclability;
Maximum use of renewable resources;
Greater durability of products;
Increased service intensity of goods and services.

The reduction in ecological impacts translates into an increase in resource productivity, which in turn can create a competitive advantage.
Sustainability Indicators
Beyond GDP
What is our story?
The term 'sustainable development' was used by the Brundtland Commission which coined what has become the most often-quoted definition of sustainable development: "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
the process of designing or operating systems such that they use energy and resources sustainably
Sustainable Engineering
ecological footprint
is a measure of human demand on the Earth's ecosystems. It is a standardized measure of demand for natural capital that may be contrasted with the planet's ecological capacity to regenerate. It represents the amount of biologically productive land and sea area necessary to supply the resources a human population consumes, and to assimilate associated waste. Using this assessment, it is possible to estimate how much of the Earth (or how many planet Earths) it would take to support humanity if everybody followed a given lifestyle.

Redefining Progress
Different products have impacts at different life-cycle stages
Methyl tertiary butyl ether - MTBE
Products can be evaluated through each stage of their life-cycle:
Extraction or acquisition of raw materials
Manufacturing and processing
Distribution and transportation
Use and reuse
For each stage, identify inputs of materials and energy received; outputs of useful product and waste emissions
Find optimal points for improvement –
Life-cycle stages

Recognize where products come from and where they go after use – life-cycle

Think about a product’s impacts on the environment and economy throughout
Qualify impacts
Quantify impacts
Learning objectives
Hamburger exercise – life-cycle stages, inputs, outputs and issues …
Systems perspective
Integrates environment into core business issues
Better return on investment
Engage stakeholders
Environment is not a cost center for the company, but a business opportunity
Look beyond the company’s gate
Expose trade-offs and and opportunities
Expand analysis of products, projects, policies and programs – what is the function, what are the boundaries, what are the impacts, where are the opportunities?
Conclusions – why take a life-cycle approach?
* www.ciwmb.ca.gov/EPP/LifeCycle/default.htm
Systems perspective
Integrates environment into core business issues
Better return on investment – identify point of “biggest bang for the buck” *
Engage stakeholders – investors, customers, employees
Environment is not a cost center for the company, but a business opportunity
Conclusions – why take a life-cycle approach?
Determine scope and system boundaries
functional unit
life-cycle stages
define “unit processes”
Data collection
Analysis of inputs and outputs
Assessment of numerous environmental issues
LCA principles and framework are standardized by the Organization for International Standardization’s 14040 series of standards (ISO14040)
How to do LCA
Two attributes make LCA distinct and useful as an analytical tool:
whole system consideration of the total product
presentation of tradeoffs among multiple environmental issues

LCA is quantitative
Life-cycle assessment
LCA is a tool to systematically measure the environmental impacts associated with each stage of a product’s life-cycle
Life-cycle assessment
With a life-cycle approach, companies employ the tools they need to:
Reduce impacts across the life-cycle
Capitalize on opportunities for their business

Tools range from simple mapping of life-cycle stages to comprehensive quantitative assessments
A life-cycle approach
US Geological Survey, http://www.nwrc.usgs.gov/world/content/water1.html
Methyl tertiary butyl ether - MTBE
Looking at the entire life-cycle helps ensure reducing waste at one point does not simply create more waste at another point in the life-cycle
Issues may be shifted – intentionally or inadvertently – among:
Processes or manufacturing sites
Geographic locale
Different budgets and planning cycles (first cost)
Environmental media – air, water, soil (MTBE)
Sustainability dimension: economic, social, environmental burdens
Depends on “boundaries”
Be conscious of what is shifted and to where!
For example, MTBE…
Life-cycle – helps avoid shifting the issues
Identifying issues at each life-cycle stage
Estimated amount of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides it takes to produce the cotton for a conventional pair of jeans.
Source: “The Organic Cotton Site: Ten good reasons”
* Product Life-Cycle Analysis: Environmental activities for the classroom, Waste Management and Research Center, Champaign, IL, 1999
Ensures companies identify the multiple environmental and resource issues across the entire life-cycle of the product

Knowledge of these issues informs business activities:
planning, procurement, design, marketing & sales

Rather than just looking at the amount of waste that ends up in a landfill or an incinerator, a life-cycle approach identifies energy use, material inputs and waste generated from the time raw materials are obtained to the final disposal of the product *
A life-cycle approach
Worldwatch Institute, Worldwatch Paper 166: Purchasing Power: Harnessing Institutional Procurement for People and the Planet, July 2003, www.worldwatch.org
Assessment of relative impacts across life-cycle – 3 issues are included
Life-cycle assessment
Life-cycle – identify the boundaries
Finishing chemicals
Worldwatch Institute, Worldwatch Paper 166: Purchasing Power: Harnessing Institutional Procurement for People and the Planet, July 2003, www.worldwatch.org
Producing paper using a chlorine-free process uses between 20 and 25 percent less water than conventional chlorine-based paper production processes?
Producing one ton of recycled steel saves the energy equivalent of 3.6 barrels of oil and 1.5 tons of iron ore, compared to the production of new steel?
Did you know…
Understanding a life-cycle approach
Learning unit B: exploring eco-efficiency
Segue to life-cycle exercise
Life-cycle – what is it?
Life-cycle assessment – one tool
A life-cycle approach
Choosing boundaries and shifting issues
Disposal & Post-Disposal
Refrigerator B
Refrigerator A
Refrigerator B
Refrigerator A
Price + Life-Cycle Costs
Refrigerator B costs less overall
Purchase Price
Refrigerator A appears cheaper
Life-cycle – identify issues and costs
Sustainability Reporting
A sustainability report is an organizational report that gives information about economic, environmental, social and governance performance.
Sustainability and Sustainable Development
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The challenge it to integrate in a systemic way the Sustainability-Innovation-Entrepreneurship triangle, based on knowledge, into people behavioural DNA, across all their activities.
From SuperFreakonomics
Sustainopreneurship is a concept that has emerged from earlier conceptual development social entrepreneurship and ecopreneurship, via sustainability entrepreneurship. The concept means to use creative business organizing to solve problems related to the sustainability agenda to create social and environmental sustainability as a strategic objective and purpose, at the same time respecting the boundaries set in order to maintain the life support systems in the process. In other words, it is a “business with a cause” - where the world problems are turned into business opportunities by deployment of sustainability innovations. In short - entrepreneurship and innovation for sustainability.
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