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LCA for ecodesign: the Dutch experience

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3 Author(s)
Brezet, H. ; Dept. for Sustainability Prog., Delft Univ. of Technol., Netherlands ; Stevels, A. ; Rombouts, J.

Within the Delft University of Technology's DfS (design for sustainability) program, more than a hundred industrial ecodesign case studies have been executed during the period 1993-1998, both through graduate and PhD students as well as staff members of this program at the Subfaculty of Industrial Design Engineering. In the ecodesign approach of the Delft program several types of lifecycle thinking are advocated. This refers both to the selection of attention fields, to the creativity phase (finding green options) as well as to the environmental validation of the design improvement proposals. This approach is embodied both in manuals and in tools. The lifecycle thinking analysis methodology has a pivotal position in the ecodesign processes and tool applications as we operate them. Particularly in selection of attention fields and in the validation stage, LCA utilization is substantial. To a lesser extent this also holds for the creativity phase itself. In this paper, the Delft experiences with LCA in the practical ecodesign projects executed within industry are evaluated. This evaluation leads to the identification of both limitations and opportunities and directions for action and research efforts to enhance LCA. The paper discussee: LCA from the problem solving perspective; methodology issues; data issues; LCA from the business perspective; LCA as tool for communication to stakeholders; standardization; and future of LCA

Published in:

Environmentally Conscious Design and Inverse Manufacturing, 1999. Proceedings. EcoDesign '99: First International Symposium On

Date of Conference:

1-3 Feb 1999