Circularity, sustainability, environmental impact – the life cycle assessment of your new development

Newsletter 02/2021

What contribution does your new development make to the circular economy? And what about the overall balance? Does the overall bottom line improve? Answers to these questions are provided by the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in the Fraunhofer CCPE cluster by evaluating the circular economy properties of a product over its entire life cycle.

Potential for improvements from a life cycle and circular economy perspective. © Fraunhofer ICT

Potential for improvements from a life cycle and circular economy perspective.
© Fraunhofer ICT

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an established method that is used in various research and development projects for a variety of sustainability-related issues. It claims to make a holistic environmental and sustainability assessment possible. All life cycle phases, including production, use and end of life, thus from the conception phase to project completion, are evaluated in the course of the research using concrete demonstrators. The iterative approach supports a continuous improvement process, which paves an effective path to greater sustainability.

In the Fraunhofer CCPE, the LCA thus serves as a basis for decision-making by evaluating the environmental performance of a product across different life cycle phases. In this way, hotspots can be identified and effective measures for improving environmental performance can be derived. In order to better unite the life cycle perspective with the circular economy perspective, the so-called life cycle (GAP) analysis was developed at the Fraunhofer ICT. This is an extended interpretation mechanism in the LCA evaluation that makes it possible to identify gaps in the circularity of a product and thus potentials for further improvements. The aim of LC(G)A is thus to close any GAPs found without worsening the overall balance of a product. Since the research and development work at the Fraunhofer ICT deals with the sectors of automotive and transport, energy and environment, defence and security as well as chemistry and process engineering, the fields of application for the LCA assessment of the KLW Group are correspondingly broad. You too can contact us if you want to ensure that your new development closes loops and effectively reduces potential environmental impacts.

Contact:

D. Sc. Ana Claudia Nioac de Salles (ana.salles@ict.fraunhofer.de);
M. Sc. Michael Dieterle (michael.dieterle@ict.fraunhofer.de);
M. Sc. Peter Brantsch (peter.brantsch@ict.fraunhofer.de)

Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology