V Implementation and Case Studies of Life Cycle Management in Different Business and Industry Sectors

This part provides a few practice examples of life cycle management in different economic sectors, namely electricity sector, applied urban fabric planning, automotive industry and food and beverage industry.

Exploring Challenges and Opportunities of Life Cycle Management in the Electricity Sector

Miguel Fernandez Astudillo, Karin Treyer, Christian Bauer, and Mourad Ben Amor

Abstract Electricity supply is often cited as a significant hot spot in life cycle assessment results, and consequently in life cycle management results. Despite its importance, however, practitioners continue to overuse generic LCI data and different simplified methodologies regarding electricity supply modeling. Such simplifications and inconsistencies can result in difficulties, e.g. to compare the findings of various studies. This chapter is intended to highlight issues on electricity supply modeling, methodological choices and data set selections. Attributional and consequential perspectives as well as systemic aspects of the electricity sector are also reflected. Finally, key challenges and opportunities are summarized and suggestions on how to deal with such problems are provided when possible.

Keywords Energy policy • Electricity supply • Modeling choices • Life cycle inventory data • Life cycle assessment • Life cycle management

Introduction

Life cycle management (LCM) aims to minimize the environmental and socio-economic burdens associated with a product or product portfolio throughout its entire life cycle and value chain (Remmen et al. 2007). From an environmental perspective, electricity is a major consideration in many life cycle assessment (LCA) studies. Indeed, electricity supply is often highlighted as a significant hot spot in LCA results for a majority of product life cycles (Curran et al. 2005; Treyer and Bauer 2013). It has also been shown, from the LCA perspective, that electricity sector as such is an important originator of environmental burdens worldwide and that energy policies can result in burden-shifting (Laurent and Espinosa 2015). As LCAs are being conducted frequently, it is key that suitable life cycle inventory (LCI) data become in general more readily available (Soimakallio et al. 2011).

This book chapter aims to highlight issues on electricity supply modeling, methodological choices and data set selections. Attributional and consequential perspectives as well as systemic aspects of the electricity sector are also reflected. Finally, this chapter summarizes the key challenges and opportunities and provides suggestions on how to deal with such problems.

 
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