EcoTransparency app case study: Analyzing influence of implementing prospective research data in industries life cycle assessment

Main Presenter:    Jessica Kilb 

Co-Authors:   Falko Parthey     Kirsten Maciejczyk                                          

The Siemens Energy EcoTransparency app based on life cycle assessment (LCA) empowers us to visualize the environmental performance throughout the entire life cycle of our products and solutions. By identifying significant environmental impacts throughout all lifecycle stages and comparing developed scenarios, we can highlight environmental improvements and offer our customers the most eco-friendly version of our products.

Because our technologies have a lifespan of multiple decades, it is important to project and include future developments in our LCA data. For that, prospective data from research institutes can be used instead of standard inputs from databases.

To illustrate this process, we have developed a case study calculating the environmental impact of a transformer in different scenarios. The baseline uses an energy mix from Ecoinvent, while in the scenarios, the Ecoinvent mix was replaced by a prospective and dynamic energy mix in different time steps provided by our research partner Ffe Munich.

Using the EcoTransparency app to analyze the transformer’s environmental performance we can clearly identify the use phase as the most significant life cycle stage. By transparently comparing the scenarios with the EcoTransparency app, we show the influence from implementing the prospective data into industries life cycle assessment. Highlighting the differences makes it clear that the impact from the transformer use phase will change in the future.

As a new starting point, we will analyze the life cycle again with the EcoTransparency app to highlight the significant life cycle stages. With this, additional potentials in life cycle can be identified, while scenarios can be developed and compared to further improve the environmental performance.

Thus, with integrating prospective research data and the transparent analyzation with the EcoTransparency app, it can be shown that the significance of life cycle stages can change because of changing boundary conditions like energy mix in the future. This result supports the identification of further improvement potentials, which in the long term leads to the most eco-friendly version of a product or solution can be offered.

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