Life Cycle Assessment of Alternative Business Models for Volvo Trucks

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Title: Life Cycle Assessment of Alternative Business Models for Volvo Trucks
Authors: Chen, Zhengrong
Lu, Zheng
Abstract: Product-service systems (PSS),as a sustainable business model, is of increasing interest for Volvo Trucks. This study, as part of Mistra REES project, explores whether PSS is an environmentally advantageous business model or not, compared with traditional sales, that is prevailing in the current business. A life cycle assessment (LCA) is applied to assess PSSs’ environmental potential, from a fleet perspective. A focus of this study is placed on the two most likely changes connected to the move towards PSS, namely maintenance and remanufacturing. Three scenarios (traditional sales, PSS with a focus on the change of maintenance services and PSS with changes in both maintenance and remanufacturing of engines) are set up to assess the environmental performance of the two business models. Four environmental impact categories for characterization (global warming potential, acidification potential, abiotic resource depletion potential and human toxicity potential) and one weighting method, EPS, are chosen for the impact assessment. The results show that, without considering fuel consumption, maintenance may result in an improvement of the environmental impacts by nearly 55% compared with traditional sales, and engine remanufacturing would contribute to a further improvement by 1.5%. It is notable that maintenance would have a large contribution to the lower environmental impacts of PSS, if the designed truck lifetime could be realized through better maintenance provision for trucks from a long-term sustainability perspective, the PSS model combining with maintenance and/or remanufacturing would thus highly probably be more environmentally benign than traditional sales. However, from a short-term sustainability perspective, it remains uncertain as to whether PSS is more environmentally advantageous than traditional sales since fuel consumption is still a non-negligible problem facing the truck industry nowadays when fuel technology improvement is considered. Notably, if fuel efficiency improvements are considered, engine remanufacturing may lead the PSS business to a worse environmental performance due to the delayed introduction of more fuel-efficient technologies.
Keywords: Annan naturvetenskap;Other Natural Sciences
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för energi och miljö
Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Energy and Environment
Series/Report no.: Report - Division of Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology : 2017:1
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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