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PROSA. PROSA is a method for the strategic analysis and management of product portfolios, products and services mainly for companies, but also for product policy and dialogue processes gives due regard to time and cost restrictions calls as far as possible on existing tools.

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PROSA

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PROSA

  • PROSA is a method for the strategic analysis and management of product portfolios, products and services

  • mainly for companies, but also for product policy and dialogue processes

  • gives due regard to time and cost restrictions

  • calls as far as possible on existing tools


PROSA - case studies

  • Produktlinienanalyse (methodology; washing; insulation) 1986

  • Produktlinienanalyse Waschen und Waschmittel (UBA) 1996

  • Sorbic acid preservative (Hoechst AG) 1997

  • PET roofing material (Hoechst AG) 1997

  • Biodegradable plastics (VKE, IGBCE, Lower Saxony Environment Ministry) 1999

  • Bt-maize (Novartis AG) 2000

  • 3-Liter-Lupo (Volkswagen AG / BMBF) 2005

  • Virtual answering machine (German Telecom / BMBF ) 2003

  • Washing machines (IKW / BMBF) 2005

  • EcoTopTen – sustainable products (BMBF) 2005


Development of new subtools

  • Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA)

  • Life Cycle Costing (partly)

  • Consumer research: tool benefit

  • Sustainability Assessment Model; proposal ProFitS (Products fit to sustainability)


Feasibility Study

  • Social LCA – is this really feasible?

  • UNEP-SETAC-Life Cycle Initiative, Taskforce „Integration of social aspects into LCA”

  • Launch today: Feasibility Study:Integration of social aspects into LCA

  • „Rainer Grießhammer, Catherine Benoit, Louise Camilla Dreyer, Anna Flysjö, Andreas Manhart, Bernard Mazijn, Andreé-Lise Methot and Bo Weidema (authors), contributions of further members of the taskforce


Feasible? Yes, but …

Abstract:...In terms of methodology, there are evidently no fundamental problems calling the feasibility of SLCA into question. There are however certainly considerable hurdles to be overcome in practice, especially in characterisation modelling, because social impacts will require an entirely different type of modelling. Hurdles arise in the categorization of indicator groups, in the classification of the associated individual indicators and in their characterization. It is quite probable that the very different appraisals of social aspects by different actors and in different countries, in combination with the process of interdisciplinary scientific discourse, will delay agreement for a longer time. ....


Structure like LCA

  • Goal and scope definition

  • Inventory analysis

  • Impact assessment

  • Interpretation


More Priority on Stakeholders

  • More priority on the process and integration of stakeholder positions:

  • It is “wise” to include stakeholder or at least stakeholder positions (an obligation to integrate stakeholders formally would go to far) (feasibility study p. 4)


More Priority on Functional Equivalence

  • Describe the functional equivalence (technical utility) and the corresponding social and symbolic functions for the consumer (time requirement, convenience, prestige etc.)

  • “Social impacts or benefits on the consumer should be described as part of the product utility” (p. 5) and not as social impact along the life cycle (!)


Inventory analysis – typical problems

  • Only a smaller part of the data sought is available in processed form from statistical or other sources.

  • No module data are yet available for several recurrent processes and activities (e.g. electronic component manufacturing, cotton production, railway use, web-based trading, etc.).

  • Several dozen or even hundreds of upstream chains can be involved, particularly in the case of more complex industrial products (see: ongoing study PROSA Computer).


Indicators

There is a need for a structured list of well discussed indicators with clear definition

It depends on the goal and scope of the case studies which indicators are used and whether the database is sufficient.

Two complementary classification systems: stakeholder approach (workforce, local community, consumers, society) andimpact categories


Quantitative and/or qualitative Indicators?

“The taskforce took side for a combination of quantitative and qualitative data, indicators and analysis. It voiced the opinion, that quantitative data and indicators alone are insufficient to cover all aspects of social impacts.” (p. 8)

On the other hand one has the possibility to translate qualitative results (e.g. corruption) into (semi)quantitative results (p. 8)


Next important steps are …

to establish a generally accepted list of social indicators (inventory indicators, midpoint indicators, endpoint indicators), structured after stakeholder groups and after generally accepted impact categories. The connection with indicators in the field of CSR (GRI, SA 8000, ILO etc.) should be emphasised

  • to define and charakterize the single indicators and typical measurement units …(p. 13)


Impact assessment

  • Classification: e.g. jobs (full-time or part-time jobs are meant, or “minijobs”, or jobs created under publicly-assisted schemes, self-employed jobs, well-paid, poorly paid, secure or insecure jobs, jobs within the country studied or abroad)

  • Characterisation: e.g. full-time jobs (100%)=1,0part-time jobs (50%) = 0,5; side-line job = …

  • Optional step: Normalization: e.g. reduction of 100.000 t CO2 and 400 jobs being lost in Germany …


Interpretation

  • General checks (completeness, consistency, sensivity)

  • Evaluation process (participation of relevant actors, documentation, transparency, conformity with the goal of the study …);

  • Qualitative evaluation or use of(semi-)quantitative evaluation models


Contact and website

  • Dr. Rainer Grießhammer Öko-Institut e.V.PO Box 6226, d-79038 Freiburgr.griesshammer@oeko.de

  • www.prosa.org


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