A dynamic approach for life cycle assessment. The case of domestic refrigerators.

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nadège Troussier
Author: Cappelletti, Federica; Rossi, Marta; Germani, Michele
Series: ICED
Institution: Università Politecnica delle Marche
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 0131-0140
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.1017/pds.2023.14
ISSN: 2732-527X


The Life Cycle Assessment is a well-stated methodology whose application has recently spread over a multitude of sectors. Thus the need for very accurate and reliable analysis. The present work investigates how to achieve reliable and faithful results while still maintaining a micro-systemic approach and how to handle the evolution of the real cases through commercial solutions available. The works present an innovative dynamic approach that aims at filling the discrepancy between the attributional Life Cycle Assessment which is focused on the product at the point to appear short-sighted and isolated from the surrounding evolving system and the consequential, which is willing to include the consequences of the evolution of the surrounding system, with increased complexity. The approach is applied to the case of a domestic refrigerator; the application reveals a discrepancy of 16% between the results of the dynamic and attributional analysis and registered doubled environmental impacts than the consequential, carried out with the support of commercial datasets. The approach respects the 5 main criteria for methods in environmental systems analysis, namely feasibility, accuracy, easiness in communication, inspiration, robustness.

Keywords: Research methodologies and methods, Sustainability, Product modelling / models, Ecodesign

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