The article focuses on the quantitative assessment of the benefits and/or burdens of extending the lifetime of products. Longer lasting products can be less efficient than newer one, implying higher energy consumption, environmental impacts and costs. The article illustrates a set of indicators, named “Pro-EnDurAncE” (Environmental and Economic Assessment of Durability of Products), developed for the assessment of products durability from both environmental and economic perspectives. Pro-EnDurAncE indicators have been structured to capture various relevant aspects, as the impacts and costs of the studied product and of potentially replacing products, the maintenance and repair, the lifetime extension and the use of energy and auxiliary materials during the operation. The proposed indicators were illustrated upon a case-study vacuum cleaner. It resulted that extending the lifetime of this product produce environmental and economic benefits in the large majority of scenarios considered. For example, when the impacts of repair are negligible, the extension of the lifetime by 250 h (i.e. 5 years) avoids around 4.2% of Global Warming Potential impact compared to the replacement of the vacuum cleaner with a new one 15% more energy efficient. Analogously, despite the occurring repair costs, the economic benefits for extending the lifetime by 250 h are equal to 40€ (i.e. about 8.6% of the life cycle costs) compared to the replacement with a new product 15% more energy efficient. The article concludes that the Pro- EnDurAncE indicators are applicable to investigate the durability of products in several different scenarios and they are robust and flexible since the assessment can based on a large number of parameters and different scenarios. These indicators can be used to assess product at the design stage or to support policy measures to promote more durable products.
|Titolo:||Environmental and economic assessment of durability of energy-using products: Method and application to a case-study vacuum cleaner|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.07.093|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|