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The product life cycle


As a holistic approach ECODESIGN examines the whole life cycle of products, which can be divided into five different stages. Related questions are:

Use of raw materials

  • Which raw materials are being used?
  • Which upstream chains are required for these raw materials?
  • How much energy is being cunsumed for these processes?
  • ...

Manufacture

  • What kind of operating materials are needed for the production process?
  • How much energy is required and from which sources is it generated?
  • ...

Distribution

  • What kind of packaging materials are being used and how recyclable are these?
  • Which means of transport are used for the products distribution?
  • ...

Product use

  • How energy efficient is the product in its use phase?
  • Is the product easy to maintain?
  • How long is the products lifetime?
  • ...

End of life

  • Is the product, or parts of it, reusable?
  • Does the product contain materials which are problematic to dispose?
  • Which basic materials are recycable?
  • ...

Depending on the product type and the considered impact categories (e.g. carbon footprint, cumulative energy demand, resource footprint) the analysis results in a specific environmental profile (see chart). A product, where most of the environmental impacts occur during the production phase is classified as basic type B. The different types of products can easily be identified with the ECODESIGN Assistant. The ECODESIGN PILOT helps you to find fitting strategies and measures based on the environmental profile.