Streamlined LCA in product EHS : A case study of Sandvik Mining

University essay from Lunds universitet/Internationella miljöinstitutet

Abstract: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is today an established environmental tool which allows companies to assess the environmental impact of its products. Considering all inputs and outputs that a product uses in its entire life cycle; an LCA study gives a quantified expression of environmental performance. Theory does however not always go hand in hand with practice and it is common that companies simply cannot justify the resources that an LCA study requires. Derived from LCA, Streamlining LCA (SLCA) offers companies a more manageable environmental assessment by deliberately excluding parts of an LCA study and still recieve results that are reliable and useful. There are however many ways to approach SLCA and a company needs to clearly understand its own unique requirements of using it. This research examines LCA and SLCA theory, and then it analyzes the case of Sandvik Mining, in order to describe how SLCA can be adapted and used as an environmental tool and incorporated into a company’s existing new product development model. The methods include literature analysis, review of both internal and external documentation, and semi-structured interviews. The findings include that SLCA can be justified at Sandvik Mining based on their current requirements of using it. A recommended incorporation of SLCA into Sandvik Mining’s new product development model is suggested. Overall, the findings are sensitive to the unique situation of the case study and these should be viewed as an initial effort to work with SLCA.

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