Session Title: Sustainable Lifestyles and Business Models
Time: 6:00 – 6:30pm
Session Type: tba
The recent update of Ecodesign directive (2009/125/EC) released in 2019 addresses the issue of planned obsolescence of use-intensive household products, like washing machines, fridges, lighting, dishwashers and electronic displays, and aims for their service life extension through reparability. This update not only incentivizes manufactures to produce more robust products which can be easily dismantled and repaired but also promotes the transition from the traditional business models (BM) to circular economy BMs like product service systems (PSS). Product leasing, a type of PSS, is believed to reduce the material consumption as one product can be used by different users over a period of time and promotes reparability and refurbishment of products by the manufacturer. Even though it can be expected that the combination of the updated Eco-design requirements and product leasing would decrease the resource consumption, the environmental impacts due to spare part production, repair and refurbishment cannot be ignored. Moreover, rebound effects due to ever emerging newer models in the market can occur as the consumers can easily acquire the new product models under the product leasing BM.
The goal of the study is to quantify the environmental impacts of a 6kg washing machine, built to repair under the updated Eco-design directive, which is consumed in a product leasing BM and to compare it with a traditional BM. The study furthers aims to discuss the complexities of conducting an LCA for products with multiple life cycle (in the case of leasing). The impact of service life extension is studied through comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for the two cases 1) washing machine is sold and utilized for 12 years; 2) it is leased 3 times for 5 years each and refurbished with a new pump, motor and spinning drum after 10 years. To study the aforementioned rebound effect, a survey of 400 people is done to determine whether the consumers prefer to repair their old washing machines or use a new model. Assuming that as a typical case for consumer behavior, the impact of their choices on forced product obsolesce and spare part production and consumption is quantified using LCA.
The study highlights the complexity in deciding the functional unit, system boundary and allocation of impacts for conducting an LCA of products with multiple life cycles. Moreover, the LCA results conclude that product leasing is environmentally beneficial for built to last products only if consumers are incentivized to repair them.
Designers and engineers have developed many products, systems and services that have been socially, economically and environmentally beneficial; however, they have also been initiators of and contributors to the linear economy, which has created many negative impacts and is proving unsustainable (1). Either way, the power and influence of the design and engineering professions is indisputable and therefore the role of educators as arbiters of good practice is critically important. Consequently, it is surprising that some courses still fail to include sustainability as a core subject and/or that sustainability is seen as a ‘tick box’ criterion that is ignored or forgotten once covered in an assignment.
In the latter case this could be due to: students feeling over-whelmed by the breadth of criteria they need to address in their assignments; the way in which assignment briefs are presented and marks allocated; ‘eco- fatigue’ (e.g. in response negatives such as green washing) and/or eco-anxiety. This, and similar phenomena such as climate-depression, are increasing among people who work in sustainability-related professions and young people who feel as though they have no control over their future or are powerless to initiate positive change (2).
It is important for educators to develop pedagogic strategies to simultaneously mitigate these issues and ensure that sustainability remains core to design and engineering courses; it is equally important to help students to deal with their negative feelings. Education for Sustainable Development involves developing positive solutions to problems. However, this paper proposes that reverse psychology can be used to create enjoyable and educationally memorable experiences that highlight the need for good practice.
In simple terms, reverse psychology encourages someone to do something by suggesting that he/she does the opposite. This paper describes a case study where first year engineering and design students were asked to develop the most unsustainable concept and to negate as many Sustainable Development Goals SDGs possible in response to subjects such as food / water supply and resource consumption. Once the students realised that ‘bad was good’ in this context, the level of creativity and innovation rose and the end-of-project presentations were high spirited and humorous. This controversial approach has proved successful so far and the response to subsequent assignments asking for sustainable design proposals have been of a higher standard than those from other year groups and each has included evidence of Life Cycle Thinking and intrinsic links to SDGs with limited prompting.
- Andrews, D., The circular economy, design thinking and education for sustainability. Local Economy; Article first published online: March 19, 2015; Issue published: May 1, 2015 Volume: 30 issue: 3, page(s): 305-315.
- Clayton, S., Manning, C. M., Krygsman, K., & Speiser, M. (2017). Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications, and Guidance. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, and ecoAmerica.
- Pennebaker, J. W. and Sanders, D. Y. (1976) American graffiti: Effects of authority and reactance arousal. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2, 264-267
- MaDonald, G., Nail, P.R and Harper, J.R. Do people use reverse psychology? An exploration of strategic self-anti-conformity. January 2011; Social Influence 6(1): 1-14 DOI: 10.1080/15534510.2010.517282
The environmental impact of mobile Internet-enabled devices (MIEDs) is highly relevant and growing. According to Belkhir & Elmeligi (2018), the relative contribution of the information and communication technology to global greenhouse gas emissions will rise from around 1% in 2007 to over 14% by 2040, which corresponds to around 5 GtCO2eq. The largest negative environmental impact of MIEDs is caused during production (see Keller et al., 2019). For this reason, the lifetime extension of MIEDs could significantly reduce their ecological footprint.
The Lifesaving project aims to develop innovative approaches for lifetime extension that are both economically viable and appealing to consumers. Therefore, not only environmental factors are analysed, but also the needs of consumers and the various market players, such as repair shops or second-hand retailers. Based on these findings, disruptive business models are developed, which stimulate the lifetime extension of mobile devices. Finally, these business models will be assessed on their direct and indirect impact on the environment and evaluated in field experiments.
Life cycle assessment (LCA) studies of MIEDs have shown that greenhouse gas emissions increase over time due to the increasing complexity and storage capacity of the devices (see Ercan et al., 2016). The studies agree that the manufacturers of the integrated circuits (IC) cause the majority of the environmental impact (see Proske et al., 2016; Ercan et al., 2016; Moberg et al., 2014). This effect is mainly due to electricity production, as the manufacturing of integrated circuits is a highly energy-intensive process. However, the currently published life cycle inventory models for production of mobile devices show a considerable difference in the environmental impacts per device compared to the most recent environmental reports of device producers (e.g. Apple) and availability of MIED specific components is limited. Therefore, up-to-date life cycle inventory models for modular modelling of MIEDs, especially ICs, are being developed within the project, which will allow to quantify the environmental impacts caused by lifetime extending business models. In this way, the full life cycle of MIEDs, including rebound effects, will be evaluated.
Belkhir, L., & Elmeligi, A. (2018). Assessing ICT Global Emissions Footprint: Trends to 2040 & Recommendations. Journal of Cleaner Production, 177, 448–463.
Ercan, M., Malmodin, J., Bergmark, P., Kimfalk, E., & Nilsson, E. (2016). Life Cycle Assessment of a Smartphone. In Proceedings of ICT for Sustainability 2016. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Atlantis Press.
Keller, R., Stucki, M., & Itten, R. (2019). Projekt Digitale Suffizienz – Ökobilanzbericht zur Nutzung digitaler Geräte durch Jugendliche in der Schweiz. Wädenswil: Institut für Umwelt und Natürliche Ressourcen ZHAW.
Moberg, Å., Borggren, C., Ambell, C., Finnveden, G., Guldbrandsson, F., Bondesson, A., Malmodin, J., & Bergmark, P. (2014). Simplifying a Life Cycle Assessment of a Mobile Phone. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 19(5), 979–993.
Proske, M., Clemm, C., & Richter, N. (2016). Life Cycle Assessment of the Fairphone 2 (Final Report, November 2016). Berlin: Fraunhofer IZM.
Concha y Toro winery is leader in the wine industry. With productive operations in three countries – Chile, Argentina and the United States -, the group has consolidated its global position with a presence in 147 countries. They recently published their ambitious emission reduction goals approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), becoming the first Latin American company and the first in that industry to have targets aligned with the goal of keeping global warming below 1,5ºC, by committing to reduce absolute scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by 55% by 2030.
Approximately 55% of their total GHG emissions are due their packaging, and within packaging, the glass bottle represents 78% of emissions; therefore, the glass bottle represents roughly 48% of their total GHG emissions.
On June 1, 2016, the extended producer responsibility and recycling promotion law (REP in Spanish) was published in Chile. This law is not yet in force, however there are several companies that are already anticipating on how to comply. On the other hand, Chilean consumers are increasingly informed and sensitive about the effects of their purchase decisions on climate change.
Given all of the above, Concha y Toro together with Edge Chile conducted a comparative life cycle analysis between the different wine packaging options. This analysis considered Concha y Toro’s current packaging scenario for their main exporting markets, and how the REP’s recycled content requirement would affect the results. Results didn’t improve glass performance in comparison to others such as bag in box, plastic or tetra Pak, which has encouraged the creation of innovation worktables for more sustainable wine packages than those already available.