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Environmental Informatics 2011

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  • Konferenzbeitrag
    Linking PCF, LCA and ecodesign – A practical approach for the food sector
    (Innovations in Sharing Environmental Observations and Information, 2011) Schiesser, Philippe; Teixeira, Ricardo; Himeno, Anne; Southwood, Andrew
    Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for food and agriculture products is becoming more mainstream as more companies adopt and integrate the process. On the one hand, food products have one of the largest shares of carbon emissions. On the other hand, primary production sectors feel the effects of climate change before any others, in price and availability of inputs, in soil and water quality, and in yields. In response, PCF studies are progressively being integrated in companies’ day-to-day activities. Reducing the footprint of products can, however, be costly. First, assessing the impacts of products can be time and resource consuming. For this reason, it’s important to start simple and use screening tools providing insights on hotspots and chain management. In this paper, we discuss how PCF and LCA are being used by companies in the agri-food sector to turn the issue of sustainability around. Instead of being a cost-inducing burden, sustainability can be a profit-driving activity for business. To support this conclusion, we present different improvement scenarios studied for an agri-food company. We show how LCA-oriented changes in ingredients, packaging and energy use in food products can provide companies with win-win improvements to their operations.
  • Konferenzbeitrag
    The International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Format – Basic Concepts and Implementation of Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) Method Data Sets
    (Innovations in Sharing Environmental Observations and Information, 2011) Wolf, Marc-Andree; Kusche, Oliver; Düpmeier, Clemens
    In the context of its efforts to facilitate environmental sustainability, the European Commission is promoting and supporting the use of life cycle data and tools through its European Platform on LCA. Objectives of this project are to develop the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook as authoritative guidance on LCA, to contribute key European scope quality data sets via the European Reference Life Cycle Database (ELCD) as well as to implement the ILCD Data Network as infrastructure for LCA data, open to all data developers. Both the ELCD database and the ILCD Data Network rely on the ILCD data format as reference format and for data exchange. In the initial release of the ILCD data format, only a draft specification for LCIA method data sets had been included, which has been enhanced and finalized in the meantime, addressing feedback from an earlier public stakeholder consultation process and reflecting insights when documenting the ILCD-recommended LCIA methods. The finalized ILCD method dataset specification is now implemented in software and will enable tools to easily import and apply new LCIA methods documented in the ILCD data format. In this paper, the new LCIA method dataset specification and its corresponding software implementation are presented. The history and idea behind the data format is briefly addressed as well as how the adoption among tools and databases is progressing. The basic structure of the ILCD data format is presented, with the different data set types and their relationships to each other. Then, the structure of the LCIA method data set and its modeling capabilities are explained. Furthermore, technical considerations for tool integration are discussed. Briefly, an exemplary LCIA method instance data set of a draft recommended LCIA method for Europe, foreseen for release by the European Commission’s DG JRC, is presented to illustrate the use of the finalized dataset type implementation. Finally, an outlook on future developments is given.
  • Konferenzbeitrag
    Integrating CAD, PLM and LCA: new concepts, data model, architecture & integration proposals
    (Innovations in Sharing Environmental Observations and Information, 2011) Theret, Jean-Pierre; Evrard, Damien; Mathieux, Fabrice; Le Guern, Yannick; Chemla, Patrick
    Current acute environmental challenges require that preventative approaches (e.g. product stewardship) to environmental pollution be urgently deployed into day-to-day practices within manufacturing industries. Interconnecting Environmental Assessment tools with design tools, such as Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) tools, used for designing products based on “Life Cycle Thinking” is one of the emerging challenges that design software companies like Dassault Systèmes have to face. The goal is to provide their Manufacturer Customers with the means to deliver Products and Services requiring fewer resources and having less impact on ecosystem and human health through their life cycle. The crux of this problem is not as simple as extracting the product CAD digital structure from a CAD Tool, i.e. the product “Bill of Materials” with all the Materials of the Parts, the corresponding weights, and other properties like Surface (for coating treatment) or the associated packaging, in order to send them as inputs into environmental assessment tools. Efficient product stewardship requires that product and environmental information is shared within the design stakeholders and along the product design process. Based on the analysis of the practices in the industry, different business scenarios to be implemented by the Manufacturers and their Suppliers to enhance efficient product stewardship activities along the Supply Chain are studied in this paper: Compliance scenario, Declaration scenario, Ecodesign scenario. To address these three business scenarios, new concepts for design tools have been defined. A new product data model based on the triplet Product-Process-Resource (PPR) linked to the Product Lifecycle Phases and the Development Project Steps to ensure the Data Quality and Data Traceability is proposed. A new global software architecture is proposed to interface environmental assessment third-party tools, like Design For Compliance, Design for Recycling and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), to the design tools (e.g. CAD and PLM software tools). Different levels of ICT interconnections between design tools and environmental assessment tools ought to be considered to support the various business scenarios and tool capabilities.
  • Konferenzbeitrag
    Tools for environment’s web application for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
    (Innovations in Sharing Environmental Observations and Information, 2011) Jobin, Rémy; Sié, Marion
    LCA is becoming more and more important over the last few years. In France, the application of law said Grenelle II in 2010 set, amongst others, the obligation for all distributors to display the environmental performance of all ‘business to consumer’ products which can be communicated by environmental labelling. This requirement comes directly from the Ecodesign directive and its application leans on the LCA method. The French movement is a precursory of ecolabel which is now being developed at European level. The downside of the widespread use of LCA could be a lack of human and financial resources. Actually, LCA needs well educated people with good experience working on highly capable but complex software. One way to resolve the increasing demand on LCA is to make it achievable by non-experts working on uncomplicated software. The benefit of this way is to increase the number of people who can model a product or a service and calculate its environmental impacts. A solution to get LCA achievable by non-experts is a tool which combines quality and the simplicity. This tool is a tailor-made software for specific application field. It leans on three mainstays : a Product Category Rules (PCR), a sector specific database and a calculator implemented in a web application. This method guaranties the quality and representativeness of the LCA even performed by an inexperienced user. The web application gives a holistic environmental view of the product or service, the detail of the environmental impact by process and can be used to compare several scenarios. Since the end of April, the web application also integrates uncertainty analysis.
  • Konferenzbeitrag
    Stochastic Assessment by Monte Carlo Simulation for LCI applied to steel process chain: The ArcelorMittal Steel Poland S.A. in Krakow, Poland case study
    (Innovations in Sharing Environmental Observations and Information, 2011) Bieda, Boguslaw
    The aim of the paper is stochastic approach for LCA/LCI probabilistic conception with uncorrelated input/output data in steel process chain with six processes (including Coke Plant, Iron Blast Furnace, Sintering Plant, BOF, Continuous Steel Casting and Hot Rolling Mill) applied to ArcelorMittal Steel Poland (AMSP) S.A. in Krakow, Poland case study. Uncertainty assessment in LCI is based on a Monte Carlo (MC) simulation with the Excel spreadsheet and CrystalBall® (CB) software was used to develop scenarios for uncertainty inputs. The economic and social criteria and indicators will not further be discussed in this paper. The framework of the study was originally carried out for 2005 data because important statistics are available for this year and also because it represents the data, which are the foundation for the Environmental Impact Report of the AMSP, annually collected (2005) and evaluated. The study comprises the inventory corresponding to the all process stages including the Coke Plant, Iron Blast Furnace, Sintering Plant, BOF, Continuous Steel Casting and Hot Rolling Mill. The complete inventory was integrated by main environmental loads (inputs, outputs): energy and raw materials consumed, wastes produced, and emissions to air, water and soil. The functional unit in this study is defined as “steel process chain includes all activities linked with steel production from Coke Plant and Sinter Plant to Hot Rolling Mill in 2005”. In this study only the following substances: hard coal, blast furnace gas, coke oven gas, natural gas, lubricant oil and the atmospheric emission of sulfur (S), cadmium (Cd), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), chloridric acid (HCL), chromium (Cr) nickel (Ni), sulfur dioxide (SO2), manganese (Mn), cooper (Cu), lead (Pb) have been taken in account. LCA/LCI data are full of uncertain numbers. The benefits of Monte Carlo simulation are saving in time and resources. CB eliminates the need to run, test, and present multiple spreadsheets. Simulation models are generally easier to understand than many analytical approaches. Monte Carlo analysis generates a mean value and upper and lower boundary value for each LCI exchange. The created inventories using the probabilistic approach facilitate the environmental damage estimations for industrial process chains with complex number of industrial processes (e.g. steel production). Consequently, MC analysis is a power full method for quantifying parameter uncertainty in LCA studies
  • Konferenzbeitrag
    Computational challenges in huge LCA and EEIOA systems
    (Innovations in Sharing Environmental Observations and Information, 2011) Heijungs, Reinout; Koning, Arjan de
    Life cycle assessment (LCA) and environmentally extended input-output analysis (EEIOA) are tools for supporting policies on sustainable production and consumption. Both the LCA and EEIOA model rely on manipulations with matrices, filled with data on technologies, emissions, and environmental impacts. Developments in LCA databases, e.g. at JRC-IES, and in EEIOA databases, e.g. at Eurostat, lead to the creation of ever-increasing datasets. The handling of such datasets in terms of retrieval, storage and processing urges for a need to rethink the computational paradigm. This paper sketches some of the developments.
  • Konferenzbeitrag
    Carbon Footprint in Canteen Kitchens - Calculation of Carbon Foodprints at a University
    (Innovations in Sharing Environmental Observations and Information, 2011) Manthey, Christian; Bergheim, Kirtan; Gerlach, Yardena; Grasshoff, Nico; Plischtil, Max
    The inducement for this paper was an ecological event week ("Climate Festival") at the Dresden University of Technology, Germany, in May 2010. The event was supposed to sensitize both students and employees to climate issues by showing how different aspects of everyday life have an impact on climate change. As one aspect, we calculated the Carbon Footprint for the varying meals in the canteen offered during that week and presented the results in various printed versions and hand-outs. This short paper introduces our motivation, approach and outcomes and also discusses some aspects for the further development.
  • Konferenzbeitrag
    Environmental impact assessment of electricity production by photovoltaic system using GEOSS recommendations on interoperability
    (Innovations in Sharing Environmental Observations and Information, 2011) Menard, Lionel; Gschwind, Benoît; Blanc, Isabelle; Beloin-Saint-Pierre, Didier; Wald, Lucien; Blanc, Philippe; Ranchin, Thierry; Hischier, Roland; Gianfranceschi, Simone; Smolders, Steven; Gilles, Marc; Grassin, Cyril
    Within the Architecture Implementation Pilot (AIP-3) of GEOSS, we have developed a scenario called “environmental impact assessment of the production, transportation and use of energy for the photovoltaic (PV) sector through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)”. It aims at providing decision-makers and policy-planners with reliable and geo-localized knowledge of several impacts induced by various technologies of the PV sector. The scenario is implemented in the GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI) and benefits from the GEOSS interoperability arrangements. The FP7-co-funded EnerGEO project provides a GEOSS compliant Catalogue Service for the Web (CSW) that permits to discover the Web Processing Service (WPS) allowing computation of the environmental impact. A WebGIS client provided by the FP7-co-funded GENESIS platform allows users to interact with geospatial data and computation processes. This scenario has proven to be an efficient tool to disseminate knowledge on environmental impacts related to PV because of the GEOSS capabilities in interoperability.
  • Konferenzbeitrag
    A scalable implementation of the track summing algorithm for Emergy calculation with Life Cycle Inventory databases
    (Innovations in Sharing Environmental Observations and Information, 2011) Marvuglia, Antonino; Benetto, Enrico; Rugani, Benedetto; Rios, Gordon
    Emergy analysis is an environmental accounting approach that links thermodynamics and systems ecology to evaluate the work made by both natural processes and human activities to make a product or service available. Emergy is a measure of the energy used in the past and thus “memorized“ in the product, including also the energy spent by natural processes up to the main source (the sun). In order to compute thisamount of solar energy (called solar energy equivalent) Emergy Evaluation (EME)uses conversion factors called transformities or Unit Emergy Values (UEVs), which express the amount of Emergy required per unit ofa given product or service. This work aims to develop an operational tool for allowing the calculation of the Emergy associated to each of the commodities involved in a given product’s life cycle along with its related inventoried resources. More specifically, the Emergy was calculated starting from a Life Cycle Inventory (LCI), which represents a list of environmental inputs and outputs (resource extractions and pollutant emissions) related to the production of a specific product. The motivation for our work is linked first of all to the consideration that, while Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) can nowadays avail itself of large LCI databases (such as Ecoinvent) which are constantly updated and extended, consistent libraries of UEVs for Emergy calculations do not exist. As a consequence, a methodology able to link LCI databases and emergy calculations and formalize the latter ones in a matrix form would represent an important step forward for Emergy-based environmental accounting. The case study tackled here deals with a simplified version of the production system of flat glass. We formalized the problem in a matrix-based structure which comes directly from the LCA framework and developed a variant of the track summing algorithm originally due to Tennenbaum (Tennenbaum1988). Two versions of the algorithm were implemented: one in Scala (a general purpose programming language that smoothly integrates features of object-oriented and functional languages) and one in C++. The former is a multi-threaded breadth first search (BFS), the latter follows a depth first search (DFS) and is more efficient in terms of memory usage.The algorithm consisted in calculating Emergy flows separately per Emergy independent sources, then summing the results. Solving the problem at stake took an operation time of 1.37 seconds on a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo laptop running Mac OS X. The results were validated using the software Emsim, a free-share Emergy simulatorthat can workwith lifecycle systems using a graph instead of a matrix. However, Emsimdoes not allow a direct link to automatic calculation routines, since it requires the system’s diagram to be drawn by the operator. The promisingresult obtained will enable us to scale-up the method, possibly using the whole Ecoinvent database. This would allow the achievement of a reproducible, consistent, and transparent calculation of Emergy values for thousands of products of a LCI database. Furthermore, the algorithm could be applied case by case to specific product’s life cycles modelled using conventional LCA software tools like Simapro, allowing an exact calculation of the Emergy associated to the studied products and therefore a complete combination of LCA and Emergy perspectivesinenvironmental assessment.
  • Konferenzbeitrag
    CEMIS Software Available on the German Market
    (Innovations in Sharing Environmental Observations and Information, 2011) Allam, Nabil; Junker, Horst
    Since 20 years there have been research projects on corporate environmental management information systems (CEMIS). Based on these projects nowadays we have different EMIS on the market that provide different approaches solving environmental issues in companies. Even so such information systems are rarely used. Up to now, there is no empirical study to investigate the environmental standard software market about an impression of offered software systems and their functionalities, which can be used by companies. Within the project “IT for Green” we conduct such a study and start investigations to describe the actual standard software systems that are available on the German market. The project will present a simplified classification of corporate environmental management information systems (CEMIS) products on the German software market which makes the information accessibility for interested companies. This should help to remove barriers that impede the use of these systems.