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The environmental benchmarking procedure as developed by the Design for Sustainability Lab of Delft University of Technology and the Environmental Competence Centre of Philips Consumer Electronics has been applied to TVs sold in the market in three continents: North America (USA), Europe and Asia (China). For each region three or four products of different brands have been considered. In. total some fifty parameters, which are relevant for the environmental performance, have been measured. These measurements allow making calculation of life cycle performance of the products (based on the Eco Indicator 95 system). The results show big differences in all categories; no brand scores consistently best in all focal areas. It is concluded that although TVs are seemingly a mature product, different design tradition, different supplier base and difference in speed of latest technology make that in practice differences up to 50% in life cycle performance have been found. Also, between products sold in the three regions of the world, clear differences were found (although not as big as between best and worst brand. performances). Only partly can this observation be explained by differences in for instance environmental legislation. It is speculated as to what extent the structure of the value chain is responsible. It is concluded that environmental benchmarking is a powerful tool to systematically track down design improvements and to check on supplier relationships.
Date of Conference: 19-22 May 2003