Life cycle assessment through on-line database linked with various enterprise database systems
- 227 Downloads
Goal, Scope and Background
Performing a life cycle assessment (LCA) has been a rather resource and time-consuming business. The method of data collection may be problematic, and the quality of the final results can be influenced by the reliability of the data. Therefore, it is helpful to utilize an on-line data gathering system to save time and to improve the reliability of the collected raw data.
We have developed an LCA software package for a steel company. The software consists of two major parts: an LCA tool kit and an interface program. The LCA tool kit is a user interface for handling an LCA database server. It has powerful functions to execute systematic analysis, not only for the amount of energy and raw materials, but also for the volume of pollutants generated by each component. The latter is an interface program between a data handling system and an on-line data gathering system. This interface program is linked with three enterprise database systems, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), an environmental management system (EMS) and an energy server system (ESS). In this study, we compared three different ways of performing LCA. Two of them are on-line methods, and another is manual.
Results and Discussion
Among the three methods, the best method was on-line LCA linked with ERP, EMS and ESS. Case studies in steel works have shown that the current method is superior to manual data gathering in terms of time and cost (man-month) savings, data reliability and other applications. Results of life cycle inventory and life cycle impact assessment for steel products have shown monthly fluctuations due to fuel usage ratio, which have not been detected before using manual data gathering.
An LCA can be performed quickly, if one is to employ the on-line data gathering system we have developed. The system consists of an LCA software package including the interface program and LCA tool kit, and the enterprise database systems. Case studies for LCA with the on-line system have shown superior performance to that carried out using the manual data entry method.
Recommendations and Perspective
This system enables an enterprise to take Type III and conduct benchmarking to other companies or societies within a short time. Also, combining this tool with an environmental performance evaluation or accounting system can allow one to achieve a more progressive environmental management.
KeywordsClient/server energy server system enterprise database system environmental management system enterprise resource planning integrated interface life cycle assessment (LCA) LCA software package on-line data gathering steel product
- CML (2001): Life Cycle Assessment-An Operational Guide to the ISO Standards (Final Report). Centre of Environmental Science, Leiden, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
- IISI (1998): Worldwide LCI Database for Steel Industry Products-Technical Report #1. International Iron and Steel Institute, Brussels, BelgiumGoogle Scholar
- ISO 14040 (1997): Environmental Management-Life Cycle Assessment-Principles and FrameworkGoogle Scholar
- ISO 14041 (1998): Environmental Management-Life Cycle Assessment-Goal and Scope Definition and Inventory AnalysisGoogle Scholar
- ISO 14042 (1999): Environmental Management-Life Cycle Assessment-Life Cycle Impact AssessmentGoogle Scholar
- ISO 14043 (2000): Environmental Management-Life Cycle Assessment-Life Cycle InterpretationGoogle Scholar
- Januschkowetz A, Hendrickson CT, Garrett JH (2000): Models for Combining Enterprise Resource Planning Systems and Life Cycle Assessment Software. The Fourth International Conference on Ecobalance, Tsukuba, Japan, 185–188Google Scholar
- Korea Environmental Labeling Association (KELA) (2003): LCI D/B List. http://www.kela.or.kr/koreanGoogle Scholar
- Korea ERP Association (KERP21) (2002): ERP Study, http://www.erp21.comGoogle Scholar
- NEC (2001): The NEC Annual Environmental Report, JapanGoogle Scholar
- Norris GA (2001): Integrating Life Cycle Cost Analysis and LCA. Int J LCA 6 (2) 118–120Google Scholar
- Posch A (2001): STABIS-An Integrated Environmental Management Tool. The Inaugural Meeting for the International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE), The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
- POSTECH (2002): Upgrade of LCI/POEM S/W, Linking with PI and Development of LCA Application Module. Report 2001Y206, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, KoreaGoogle Scholar
- Suh IS, Chung KS, Park JI, Eun JH, Chung JS (2000): Development of Client/Server Version of LCA Software ‘POEM’. The Fourth International Conference on Ecobalance, Tsukuba, Japan, 697–698Google Scholar