Identification and assessment of product's measures to improve resource efficiency: the case-study of an Energy using Product

F. Ardente
F. Mathieux
Policies and Targets
Technology and Standards

The article introduces the “Resource Efficiency Assessment of Products” (REAPro) method to assess and improve the resource efficiency of Energy Using Products, with a special focus to their end-of-life. The method allows to identify product's hot spots relevant for the following criteria: reusability/recyclability/recoverability (in mass and in terms of environmental impacts); recycled content (in mass and in terms of environmental impacts); use of hazardous substances. The method is structured into five steps: characterization of the product; assessment against the selected criteria; identification of product's hot spots; identification of improvement measures (at the product level); assessment of policy measures for resource efficiency (at the ‘product group’ level). The method includes the calculation of a comprehensive set of lifecycle based indices, including some original indices, as the “Reusability/Recyclability/ Recoverability benefits rates” and the “Recycled content benefit rate”. The method is applied to a casestudy Liquid Cristal Display (LCD) television. Some exemplary measures to improve resource efficiency of television are discussed as: the improvement of products recyclability through the setting of thresholds of the time for dismantling; the setting of a minimum recycled content of large plastic parts; the declaration of the content of indium in the displays. Potential environmental benefits associated to these
measures have been estimated. The method also proved to be relevant to current European Union (EU) policies and some of the presented results are being used as input for some on-going policy processes.
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