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Is Prolonging the Lifetime of Passive Durable Products a Low-Hanging Fruit of a Circular Economy?: A Multiple Case Study
Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden; CIRAIG, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montréal, Canada.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4449-5303
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5259-8137
Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0690-3043
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. (Product Services Innovation)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5991-5542
2019 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 11, no 18, article id 4819Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Extending the lifetime of passive products, i.e., products that do not consume materials or energy during the use phase, by implementing product-service systems (PSS) has a potential to reduce the environmental impact while being an attractive and straightforward measure for companies to implement.

This research assesses the viability of introducing PSS for passive products, by documenting five real product cases of prolonging the lifetime through repair or refurbishment and by quantifying, through life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC), the change in environmental and economic outcome.

The environmental impact (measured as global warming potential over the life cycle) was reduced for all cases because extraction and production dominated the impact. This reduction was 45–72% for most cases and mainly influenced by the number of reuses and the relative environmental burden of the components whose lifetime was prolonged. The costs for the company (measured as LCC from the manufacturer’s perspective) decreased too by 8–37%. The main reason that costs reduced less than the environmental impact is that some costs have no equivalent in LCA, e.g., administration and labor costs for services. The decreases in both LCA and LCC results, as well as the willingness of the companies to implement the changes, demonstrate that this measure can be financially attractive for companies to implement and effectively contribute to a circular economy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Switzerland: MDPI, 2019. Vol. 11, no 18, article id 4819
Keywords [en]
life cycle assessment, life cycle costing, resource efficiency, circular economy, product-service system, refurbishment, repair, remanufacture
National Category
Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-161723DOI: 10.3390/su11184819ISI: 000489104700005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85072603231OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-161723DiVA, id: diva2:1368579
Projects
Circularis (Circular Economy through Innovation Design)
Funder
Vinnova, 2016-03267
Note

Funding agencies: Circularis (Circular Economy through Innovation Design) project - VINNOVA, Swedens Innovation Agency [2016-03267]

Available from: 2019-11-07 Created: 2019-11-07 Last updated: 2019-11-27Bibliographically approved

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