In 2004 the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released version 1.1 of its manual for the preparers and users of eco-efficiency indicators. At present, the financial community is concerned about how environmental performance affects the financial results of an enterprise. The manual presents a method by which environmental and financial performance indicators can be used to measure an enterprise’s progress in attaining eco-efficiency or sustainability. The method enables preparers of eco-efficiency indicators to generate internally consistent environmental and financial information, thus improving the quality of environmental reporting. — As per definition eco-efficiency indicators are ratios composed of an environmental item divided by a financial item like turnover or profit. The paper uses ‘dynamic modelling’ as a tool to emphasize inconsistencies of results generated by different eco-efficiency indicators under unique and extreme conditions. However, the study does not intend to neglect the usefulness of these indicators, but rather stimulate the preparer and user to be on lookout when he or she feels inclined to leave a company’s or even a nation’s fate to this type of eco-efficiency measurement.
The recent activities related with Eco-efficiency (EE) in Korea such as policy & strategy, methodology development and case study are briefly discussed. The significance of EE is realized in many sectors of Korea as one of the prominent approaches to attain both economic development and environmental protection toward sustainable development. Subsequently, under the government leadership, as several activities including the use of EE in many areas of public policies are recently initiated, EE is beginning to draw attention from both industry and academia. At present, the development of practical concepts & measurement frameworks of EE and relevant databases is being pursued, concerning with what to measure and how to measure. Corresponding to the ongoing progress in EE methodology, some leading industries and companies have attempted to apply EE in their decision-making processes and communication with stakeholders.
Eco-efficiency is a concept and an indicator that links economical and environmental performances to create more value with less ecological impact. To date, many Japanese corporations have introduced Eco-efficiency as an evaluation index of environment management or environment-conscious product. This article describes how Eco-efficiency is applied by Japanese corporations based on the survey results of more than 400 Environmental Reports published in Japan.
The development of product functionalities and service is a critical element for IT products while the reduction of environmental loads is another challenge for manufactures. Eco-efficiency, coupling with the economical and environmental improvements at the same scale, is a beneficial indicator to pursue the sustainable yield. This paper shows one of the approaches applied by Fujitsu Group showing personal computer as a main example. In order to express the benefits or service of products, product functions or hardware specifications are used as base data. Environmental loads are calculated based on LCA method. Especially, EcoLeaf environmental label, which is the Japanese Type III label, and Fujitsu’s internal assessment methods are introduced. In addition, the integration of environmental loads by applying LIME is another characteristic of our approach. In closing, we believe that LCA is not only the effective tool to evaluate and review our products internally, but also the essential communication media connecting suppliers and customers by showing Ecoefficiency, Type III label and social cost.
The eco-efficiency of a product is defined as “product value per environmental impact”. Factor X is defined as the improvement rate of the eco-efficiency. In this paper, we present a method for quantifying the eco-efficiency of products using Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). These well-known tools are widely used in Toshiba corporation. In order to calculate the index of the product value, we introduce QFD, which is one of the methods for product planning based on consumer preferences. Applying the QFD method, quality characteristics of a product are weighted by voice of customer. A single index of a product value is expressed by sum of the weighted improvement rate of quality characteristics. An environmental impact throughout a product life cycle is derived from the Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) method. Applying an endpoint type of LCIA method, various environmental loads can be integrated into a single index. In order to calculate the factor X indicator efficiently, a software tool has been developed by Toshiba. Using this tool, we applied this method to various products such as home appliances, social infrastructures, and components. Recently, eco-efficiency of all these products has improved markedly. Finally, a debate about the eco-efficiency and factor X is summarized.
Technological advancements have brought us convenience and comfort. At the same time, our growing production and consumption of convenient products has directly and indirectly led to global environmental problems including global warming, resource depletion and pollution. To solve these global environmental problems, environmentally conscious products and services (hereafter called ECPs) that have less impact on the environment while improving functions are required. To promote the development and diffusion of ECPs, a distinct indicator for ECPs is required as a criterion to be used by designers and developers who actually develop products in enterprises, as a judgment criterion used by company managers for decision making, and as a purchase criterion used by consumers (users, customers). However there is no general means of measuring and evaluating specific target products, and the standard assessment method is yet to be established. Therefore, the “eco-efficiency (Factor X)” indicator independently developed as an ECP indicator, the case studies and the eco-design system constructed to actually develop ECPs will be introduced. The indicator and system have been actually applied in Matsushita Group since 2002.
Information and communications technology (ICT) has strong impacts on the global environment in both positive and negative sides. One is the environmental load which telecommunications networks operation creates, from the use of energy and natural resources, and the emissions of CO2 and wastes. The other side is how ICT can reduce the environmental load by dematerialization and optimization of transportations and shipping. This paper describes the eco-efficiency of ICT services. For example, we analyzed the impact of the videoconferencing on the environment by calculating the environmental loads of videoconferencing and by comparing that of business trip conferencing. It was clarified that transportation was the main factor for the reduction of the environmental loads, such as CO2 emissions and energy consumption, and its effect largely depends on the conditions including the distance between participants and frequency of meetings.
Canon launched its study on LCA in early 1990’s and has disclosed eco-label type III for copying machines, inkjet (IJ) printers, laser beam printers and cameras since 1999. In the case of copying machines, life cycle CO2 emission has been reduced by 60% mainly due to the energy conservation technology. In the case of IJ printers, about 7% has been reduced. Next, the eco-efficiency considering the product value is evaluated for IJ printers. The product value is evaluated by five functions such as “kind number of inks” and “Number of nozzles”. The eco-efficiency of the IJ printer in 2003 was 3.44 times higher than that of 1999. In 2003, we set the overriding indicator “Factor 2” as our vision for 2010. The Factor is defined as: Eco-efficiency (target year) / Eco-efficiency (base year); Eco-efficiency is defined as: Canon group sales / life cycle CO2 emissions of all products at Canon group. In 2004, the factor increased up to 1.30.
The compatibility of dematerialization with economic growth is indispensable for the realization of a sustainable society, and it involves the question of how to improve eco-efficiency. Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has proposed “Factor X” as the unique verifying method enables to evaluate eco-products in the environmental conscious design process based on consideration of MET (M: Material = effective utilization of resources; E: Energy = effective use of energy; T= Toxicity = prevention of emission of environmentally risky substances). Factor X is drawing attention as one of the management indices of a product design to reduce the negative environmental impact. Mitsubishi applied this calculation method to its products and unveiled their trial calculated values in December 2001. This paper describes the concept of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation's Factor X, the degree of performance improvement, the degree of reduction of environmental impact, and the calculation method, by showing actual in-house application of design process as a case study.
In this paper, listed are the articles related to LCA studies on package & paper, material, and waste management & recycling area which have been published in International scientific journals with peer review during 1990-2006. Articles in 110 International scientific journals have been queried on “Life Cycle Assessment”, “Life Cycle Analysis”, “LCA”, “LCI”, “LCIA”, etc. 186 articles related to LCA studies are on list.