Measuring Eco-efficiency by a LCC/LCA Ratio: An Evaluation of its Applicability. A case study at ABB
Examensarbete för masterexamen
The current situation with growing pollutions and industrial production put high demand on organisations environmental responsibility. Striving towards a sustainable development is an important assignment for the corporate world. In 1991 the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) established the concept eco-efficiency in order to sum up the business part of sustainable development. Ecoefficiency can be described as a continuous process of change in order to decrease environmental impacts with an enhanced value for products and services. This master thesis is carried out with the purpose of measuring eco-efficiency and evaluating its applicability. A case study at ABB was executed with the aim of putting the eco-efficiency interpretation made by Steen (2004) into practice. The interpretation combines the two life cycle approaches LCC and LCA in a standardised index, LCC 1− EDC and is presented as a percentage value in order to increase the understandability. In the case study, two scenarios including the HXR500 electric motor and the ACS800 frequency converter are used. The first scenario is conducted in order to determine the eco-efficiency for the HXR500 motor’s life cycle and in the second scenario, an eco-efficiency calculation is made for the HXR500 motor’s life cycle operated by the ACS800 frequency converter. The product combination enhances the economic value and decreases the environmental impact and the aim with performing these scenarios is to evaluate how and if it is possible to make reasonable ecoefficiency comparisons. Results from the study indicate that the standardised eco-efficiency index can serve as a valuable tool in order to evaluate eco-efficiency and can be used e.g. for monitoring progress, benchmarking and in purchase decisions. Nevertheless, it is difficult to evaluate if the index increases the understandability without obtaining great knowledge of the eco-efficiency concept. Important to notice is that evaluating ecoefficiency is still in an early phase and the method used in this study have not been put into practice to a great extent. Executing future studies in this area is therefore an important issue. Additionally the study gave evidence to an obstacle when deciding the relevant value for the products using LCC. When making comparisons, an added value can be identified and it is important to take this into account in order to get an appropriate eco-efficiency value of the products compared.
Miljöteknik , Environmental engineering