Life Cycle Approaches To Reduce The Impact On The Environment

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Life cycle approaches are aimed at reducing the impact on the environment by understanding the amount of resource that has been exploited for need to develop a product and secondly depends upon the usage and impacts of the product on the environment. When we are considering life cycle approaches through de-materialization and substitution process, there could be many barriers like if we consider developing countries where there is lack of sufficient data availability, availability of tools, need for advance technology, need sufficient awareness for life cycle management, need sufficient financial investment and desire need market that supports dematerialized products. The Life cycle approaches are based on the analysis and practical implementation, where there is huge gap. This can occur due to lack of communication and data.

Life Cycle Approaches (LCA) can’t cover the entire broad spectrum of production, procurement and delivery in manufacturing firm. Let us say even when we consider two products X and Y, we select product A as more environmentally friendly than B, this could be valid but LCA can’t prove this. According to Goran Finnveden, even when a product is under scrutiny for being less environmentally friendly, there has to be a substitution to prove there are better products thus LCA can’t fit into current policy and market conditions. When we consider Dematerialization for example can we say, alternative to that of PVC flooring is not environmentally friendly ‘?’, the answer is-it depends, because we know PVC has additives which are difficult to recycle so considering an alternative must depend upon comparing the whole life cycle PVC flooring to it, so that we don’t run into new problems and then find other materials which can be hazardous to environment. The alternatives are polyolefin flooring or linoleum flooring. When we are considering substitution for a material in terms of life cycle approaches, the substitution should not be hazardous for example considering plastic which is been used for frequently compared to metals. The problem of plastic is its non-biodegradable which increases pressure on the environment and demand for a particular alternative resource increases rapidly. If we consider energy and public transportation we need resources, by restricting resources (Diesel) to what extent efficacy is improved, because this can vary across market and in developing countries it’s difficult to substitute these resources as its based-on cost, market and technology availability. Even when we consider Rucksacks and slag in infrastructure, to what extent can you reuse them [2].

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