An integrated environmental product assessment model on ecodesign for electrical products and electronic appliances

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An integrated environmental product assessment model on ecodesign for electrical products and electronic appliances


Author: Wong, Yuen-ling
Title: An integrated environmental product assessment model on ecodesign for electrical products and electronic appliances
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2009
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Electric apparatus and appliances -- Environmental aspects.
Electronic apparatus and appliances -- Environmental aspects.
Environmental impact analysis.
Department: Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Pages: xxii, 386 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Environmental problems are a pressing concern all over the world as they have led to serious environmental impacts affect on daily lives. Although electrical and electronic industries have performed outstandingly in global market, several studies have found that electrical products and electronic appliances were part of the major cause of continuous deterioration in the environment and natural resources. Companies and manufacturers in electrical a nd electronic in dustries generally spend time on fixing environmental problems in existing products rather than preventing unexpected impacts generated from new products. In the market, numerous tools and techniques are useful for assessing the environmental performance of a product, however, they are not standardized and have great a mount of problems during use. In this report, the strengths and weaknesses of several existing environmental product assessment tools have been analyzed. To address the features and weaknesses of these tools, a newly developed model has been introduced aiming to fill the gaps. The newly developed model is an integrated approach which exhibits the strengths of existing assessment tools and that can be applied to all electrical and electronic product categories. It is divided into four main parts: general section, analysis of assessment type, analysis of life cycle stage involved, and presentation of results. A function a ssessmenthas also been developed to assess the environmental performance of completely new products. To test the applicability of the integrated model, one electrical product (vacuum cleaner, VC) and one electronic appliance (weather station with remote control, WS) were used. The VC and WS were evaluated by LCA software (Gabi 4.0), the existing tools and the integrated model. Although the comparison results were not consistent across all types of tools, the order of life cycle stages with significant environmental impacts were quite similar. As a result, it was evident that the integrated model was capable of assessing the environmental performance of both electrical products and electronic appliances. At the end of this report, the errors in each case study and the limitations of the integrated model have been discussed. Some recommendations for environmental product as sessment have also been suggested for future development. An advantage of the proactive integrated model for environmental product assessment is that it can create mutually beneficial outcomes for companies, manufacturers and the environment.

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