Designing a LCA Infrastructure for Product Sustainability in the HVAC Industry – the Case of Bosch Home Comfort

Main Presenter:    Pia Szichta;Ricardo Luis Carvalho 


Market requirements, customer expectations and emerging legislation (e.g., Green Claims and Digital Product Passport) and subsidies at EU and national level, require the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry to design and implement a LCA infrastructure that focuses on the (environmental) sustainability of products. Applying the principles of Life Cycle Management (LCM), focusing on the entire product life cycle considering affected processes, data management and IT systems, Bosch Home Comfort integrates sustainability management and environmental performance of products into the company’s activities and its supply chain.

Technical and organizational challenges such as conflicting requirements of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) related declarations, (e.g. PEP and EPD) impact assessment methods and databases from different European markets (e.g. French INIES and German ÖKOBAUDAT), the capacity and time intensity of data collection, varying data quality requirements, the complexity of products and systems as well as a high number of production sites and the general lack of understanding of the LCA topic by stakeholders hinder this implementation.

To tackle technical challenges, data requirements were identified in pilot projects, as different levels of detail are required to respond to market requests and to support product development in parallel. Additionally, data collection templates have been developed and a modular approach is used to perform product LCAs in a harmonized manner, reducing time intensity and allowing adaptation of generic models to various products.

From an organizational perspective, an internal network was established through the development of a standard procedure to streamline and support LCA activities, including data collection related to the different product life-cycle stages (material sourcing, manufacturing, logistics, use and End-of-Life). A Center of Competence enhances the collaboration of experts from the areas Operational Sustainability, Engineering as well as the business units (participating in weekly forums). A LCA guideline and a training concept have also been implemented so far. The training concept consists of diverse workshops which are implemented to: 1) enable an effective data compilation and the understanding of identified data requirements; 2) map a network of processes and synergies and 3) align with sales and communication professionals.

Moreover, it is necessary to work towards implementing integrated data collection into the organizational IT landscape and do develop a consistent LCA infrastructure to allow the consolidation of a high-quality company LCA database. These are important steps that we are taking on the path towards integrating LCM into the organization.

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