Greening Business: An online teaching resource Session 3: Life Cycle Analysis Suggested activities
Activity 1: LCA Demo • Access and download the SimaPro LCA software demo from http://www.pre.nl/simapro/ • Go through the demo… • Describe the results in the production phase • How are these affected by normalising? • How are these affected by weighting? • What does the sensitivity analysis reveal about the results? • Go through the tutorial to gain greater understanding of the LCA process and available software
Activity 2: LCA flowcharts • Devise a LCA flowchart of a washing machine, thinking about the inputs and outputs in (a) manufacture, (b) use and (c) disposal, and the impacts of these inputs and outputs • Which stage do you think has the greatest environmental impact? • How can the washing machine and the process of washing be designed to reduce its impact?
Activity 3: LCA of hand drying • Devise a LCA flowchart of three different hand drying mechanisms 1) paper towels, 2) a material roller, 3) a warm air dryer, thinking about the inputs and outputs associated with (a) manufacture, (b) use and (c) disposal, and the impacts of these inputs and outputs • How do the different drying mechanisms compare? Which do you think has the lowest impact? • Look at the following websites. Do these alter your view? www.climateconservancy.org/salon.php www.dysonairblade.co.uk/specification/calculator.asp www.treehugger.com/files/2007/05/lca_handdryer_papertowels.php Continued on next page
Activity 3: LCA of hand drying (cont.) • Your Students’ Union currently has paper hand towel dispensers and warm air dryers for people to dry their hands. The toilet facilities are due for refurbishment and you want to investigate alternatives to paper towels. Make a clearly reasoned and justified case to present to the senior management about your preferred choice of hand drying ‘product’. The Union currently has 4 paper towel dispenser and 8 warm air dryers.
Activity 4: Hummer vsPrius LCA • Access and read the following reports: • Rocky Mountain Institute (undated) Checking Dust to Dust assumptions about the Prius and Hummer http://www.rmi.org/rmi/Library/T07-01_AssumptionsPriusHummer • Pacific Institute (2007) Hummer versus Prius. “Dust to dust” report misleads the media and public with bad science http://www.pacinst.org/topics/integrity_of_science/case_studies/hummer_vs_prius.pdf • List and evaluate the assumptions reportedly used in the CNW report and those in the subsequent LCA • Discuss the implications of this report on the credibility of the LCA process
Activity 5: ‘Self dose’ vs washing tablets • Read Unilever (2009) Tablet detergents: Towards a more sustainable future. Available from: http://www.unilever.com/sustainability/environment/manufacturing/lifecycleassessment/ • Describe and explain the main benefits of the use of tablets vs ‘self dose’ powders • Critically evaluate this LCA.