The aim of this paper is to provide an overview about the distribution of the environmental impacts arising from different domestic functions (i.e. storing and preparing food, washing dishes, watching television, reading, personal cleaning, washing, drying and ironing clothes, home cleaning, heating, cooling, lighting and mobility) typically performed within a common family home. The method has general validity but for reasons related to the availability of data in the literature it has been applied by way of example only in three EU countries: Italy, Germany and France. The study was performed by using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in accordance with international standard ISO 14067 for determining the carbon footprint of different alternative domestic components, mainly appliances, for each function, by exclusively exploiting data from scientific literature. The functional unit is defined comprising all most common referred domestic activities of a family of three members within a house of 100 m2. The study identified an optimal configuration and a worse one of the domestic components in terms of carbon footprint, showing how a wise choice of these can greatly affect the overall impact by reducing it compared to the worst by more than 22% in Italy, 45% in Germany and 56% in France. The average impacts between the optimal and the worst configurations of Germany are higher than Italy (+27%) and France (+44%). Considering the impacts among the domestic functions in the average configuration, mobility was the most impactful in all the three countries (35–48%), followed by heating (17–26%), personal cleaning (10–13%) and washing dishes (8–13%), while cooling is consistent only in Italy (13%), against 5% in Germany and 2% in France. The study also allowed to identify some generic criteria for defining the optimal configuration: the increasing in energy efficiency, the choice of the least impacting energy source depending on the geographical location, ensuring water savings and the early replacement of older domestic components. Finally, by comparing some common measures for improving the domestic sustainability, these criteria proved to be more effective than solar systems and improved electricity mix. The provided outcomes may be used by manufacturers for improving their product in a more sustainable way as well as by legislator and end user, respectively for boosting and choosing the greener domestic components.

(2020). Assessing domestic environmental impacts through LCA using data from the scientific literature [journal article - articolo]. In JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/159256

Assessing domestic environmental impacts through LCA using data from the scientific literature

Spreafico, Christian;Russo, Davide
2020

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to provide an overview about the distribution of the environmental impacts arising from different domestic functions (i.e. storing and preparing food, washing dishes, watching television, reading, personal cleaning, washing, drying and ironing clothes, home cleaning, heating, cooling, lighting and mobility) typically performed within a common family home. The method has general validity but for reasons related to the availability of data in the literature it has been applied by way of example only in three EU countries: Italy, Germany and France. The study was performed by using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in accordance with international standard ISO 14067 for determining the carbon footprint of different alternative domestic components, mainly appliances, for each function, by exclusively exploiting data from scientific literature. The functional unit is defined comprising all most common referred domestic activities of a family of three members within a house of 100 m2. The study identified an optimal configuration and a worse one of the domestic components in terms of carbon footprint, showing how a wise choice of these can greatly affect the overall impact by reducing it compared to the worst by more than 22% in Italy, 45% in Germany and 56% in France. The average impacts between the optimal and the worst configurations of Germany are higher than Italy (+27%) and France (+44%). Considering the impacts among the domestic functions in the average configuration, mobility was the most impactful in all the three countries (35–48%), followed by heating (17–26%), personal cleaning (10–13%) and washing dishes (8–13%), while cooling is consistent only in Italy (13%), against 5% in Germany and 2% in France. The study also allowed to identify some generic criteria for defining the optimal configuration: the increasing in energy efficiency, the choice of the least impacting energy source depending on the geographical location, ensuring water savings and the early replacement of older domestic components. Finally, by comparing some common measures for improving the domestic sustainability, these criteria proved to be more effective than solar systems and improved electricity mix. The provided outcomes may be used by manufacturers for improving their product in a more sustainable way as well as by legislator and end user, respectively for boosting and choosing the greener domestic components.
articolo
Spreafico, Christian; Russo, Davide
(2020). Assessing domestic environmental impacts through LCA using data from the scientific literature [journal article - articolo]. In JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/159256
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