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For your chosen service (e.g. white board markers), identify two alternatives of getting the service (e.g. brand A, brand B). Choose the most environmentally friendly option by conducting life cycle assessment in GaBi. Alternatively, you can perform the LCA manually with known environmental impacts of components. Present the information in a report form as the first Part 
Your report should include 
a)Write an executive summary
b)Problem definition as an introduction (i.e. service wanted and two alternatives and why you chose this problem) and briefly describe (flow chart is fine) the procedure recommended by the ISO to conduct LCA
c)Estimated weight of each component of each alternative (e.g. plastic type, ink etc. for a white board marker), service life etc.
d)A well-defined functional unit
f)An impact analysis for each alternative
g)Hot spot identification for each alternative (usually the component or process that gives the most environmental impact from life cycle analysis).
h)Remedial measures for the identified hot spot of each alternative and the feasibility of improvement options
i)Select the best alternative after the most feasible improvement of each alternative has been implemented and write conclusion.      

Energy Efficiency

This section requires you to write a report as a way of answering questions. Please consider a place familiar to you so you can collect data reliably. This could be your office, home, apartment, or room you are living in. Identify one energy consuming appliance in the chosen place. Perform following steps before starting to write the report.

Functional Unit

According to Hellweg and i Canals (2014), by the two different standards of the Life Cycle Assessment as proposed by the Organization for Standardization (ISO), which are the ISO 14044 and the ISO 14040, the LCA can be defined as the inputs and outputs compilation and their evaluation and the subsequent impact of the product on the environment during its life cycle (Jolliet et.al. 2015). There are many uses of the LCA. During the life cycle of a product there are many ways of improving its impact on the environment which can be done using the LCA (Cabeza et.al. 2014). The setting of priority to the strategic planning in different organisations and sectors can be done effectively using the LCA. The factors or the key indicators which mark the environmental performance of a product are selected under LCA (Kirchain Jr, Gregory and Olivetti 2017). The different products get their eco labelling from the LCA. In this report the service chosen is the steel paper clips. The two brands which produce such steel paper clips are Southington Tool & Manufacturing Corp. (STMC) and the

 Arthur I. Platt Company. These two companies are providing the same service. In the flowchart given the procedure which is to be followed for conducting the LCA is illustrated.

The complete assessment of the system environment starting from energy supply to its waste management is made a part of the LCA (Mills et.al. 2014). There are different types of clips like steel paper clips to the plastic paper clips.

Estimated weight

The stainless steel paper clips are unexpectedly lighter than the plastic paper clips.

Type

Weight

Plastic Paper Clips

0.5 grams

Steel Paper Clips

0.45 grams

Functional unit

The functional unit in case of a paper clip is its holding and binding capacity in terms of duration of shelf life or the time for which it can function.

Balanced Material Flow

Steel Paper Clip

Manufacturing process of the steel paper clip comprises of the following process described in the flowchart below:

Plastic Paper Clip

Manufacturing process of the plastic paper clip comprises of the following process described in the flowchart below:

Impact analysis

The use of stainless steel paper clips is better than the use of the plastic paper clips because the former has lesser adverse effect on the environment than the latter which are non-biodegradable in nature and cause harm to the environment unless disposed of well (Plevin, Delucchi and Creutzig 2014).

Alternative

 LCA takes many aspects into account while making a choice between two alternatives. The two alternatives available here are the plastic paper clips and the stainless steel paper clips. The different aspects which are analysed under the LCA are the monetary values of the product, the time duration involved in making the products, the social impact of the manufacturing process, the environmental impact, the performance outcome, etc. In this case when the two alternatives are analysed under the LCA it is seen that not much difference exists between the two. The major area of difference and the reason of choosing the stainless steel clips over the plastic clips is that the former does not cause much environmental pollution which is caused by the latter post disposal and while manufacturing.

Balanced Material Flow

Environmental impact

There are different stages in the LCA which studies and analyses the environmental impact of the two alternatives. The first step is that of cradle to grave which analyses the production of the energy chain and the material. The different stages throughout the production process starting from extraction of the raw materials to the transportation of the materials, etc.  are investigated. This entire process is incorporated into the life treatment of the product (Plevin, Delucchi and Creutzig 2014). The second phase is that of cradle to gate. In this phase the study is limited to the extraction of the materials to its transportation till the gate of the factory.  The phase which comes next is that of gate to grave which is again limited to the processes taking place after the production is over. After leaving the factory what impact the product causes on the environment is studied under his phase.  Finally the last phase of gate to gate refers to the production phase itself. This mainly refers to the single step of production.

Hot Spot Identification

The hot spot identification for this case study suggests that the use of the stainless steel paper clips is best. This has environmental advantage as the material used here is steel. Steel is a non-toxic material. This input does not even cause harm to the environment when they are disposed of after their use. This process has many safety measures which are underlying the process of manufacture and use of the stainless steel paper clips.

On the other hand, the usage of plastic paper clips would not involve the complications of metal mining or metal destructions, yet, it would act as a harmful substance for the environment. Thus over the alternative of plastic paper clips it is environmentally advantageous to use stainless steel paper clips.

Considering the different phases under the LCA which determines the environmental impact of a commodity, here the stainless steel paper clips and the plastic paper clips, it is seen that the first alternative is the best one. The first option creates less environmental hazard and so the implementation and use of the stainless steel paper clips is most effective.

Remedial measures

Now in case the preference is for the plastic paper clips, there are chances of improvement in this option or alternative as well. The plastic paper clips do not pose much problem during their life time (Hertwich et.al. 2015). The usage phase of these clips does not create environmental hazard. The main problem with the plastic clips is after their life time. When the plastic paper clips lose their capacity to hold or bind and they become obsolete or misfit for use, they are throw away. However, the plastic clips are not degradable. Plastic is a non-biodegradable material and so it cannot be simply discarded after use. These clips need to be recycled or disposed off in a proper way so that it does not contaminate the soil and water when disposed without proper measures (Pargana et.al. 2014).

Implementation

Therefore after a proper and planned disposal method is selected for the plastic paper clips they can also be used as an alternative to the steel paper clips. The life cycle assessment of the paper clips leaves us with the option of steel clips for usage in the present settings.

References

Cabeza, L.F., Rincón, L., Vilariño, V., Pérez, G. and Castell, A., 2014. Life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle energy analysis (LCEA) of buildings and the building sector: A review. Renewable and sustainable energy reviews, 29, pp.394-416.

Hellweg, S. and i Canals, L.M., 2014. Emerging approaches, challenges and opportunities in life cycle assessment. Science, 344(6188), pp.1109-1113.

Hertwich, E.G., Gibon, T., Bouman, E.A., Arvesen, A., Suh, S., Heath, G.A., Bergesen, J.D., Ramirez, A., Vega, M.I. and Shi, L., 2015. Integrated life-cycle assessment of electricity-supply scenarios confirms global environmental benefit of low-carbon technologies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(20), pp.6277-6282.

Jolliet, O., Saadé-Sbeih, M., Shaked, S., Jolliet, A. and Crettaz, P., 2015. Environmental life cycle assessment. CRC Press.

Kirchain Jr, R.E., Gregory, J.R. and Olivetti, E.A., 2017. Environmental life-cycle assessment. Nature materials, 16(7), p.693.

Mills, N., Pearce, P., Farrow, J., Thorpe, R.B. and Kirkby, N.F., 2014. Environmental & economic life cycle assessment of current & future sewage sludge to energy technologies. Waste management, 34(1), pp.185-195.

Pargana, N., Pinheiro, M.D., Silvestre, J.D. and de Brito, J., 2014. Comparative environmental life cycle assessment of thermal insulation materials of buildings. Energy and Buildings, 82, pp.466-481.

Plevin, R.J., Delucchi, M.A. and Creutzig, F., 2014. Using attributional life cycle assessment to estimate climate?change mitigation benefits misleads policy makers. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 18(1), pp.73-83

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My Assignment Help. (2020). Environmental Impact Assessment Of Stainless Steel Paper Clips Vs Plastic Paper Clips Using LCA Essay.. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/engn3410-engineering-sustainable-systems/life-cycle-assessment.html.

"Environmental Impact Assessment Of Stainless Steel Paper Clips Vs Plastic Paper Clips Using LCA Essay.." My Assignment Help, 2020, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/engn3410-engineering-sustainable-systems/life-cycle-assessment.html.

My Assignment Help (2020) Environmental Impact Assessment Of Stainless Steel Paper Clips Vs Plastic Paper Clips Using LCA Essay. [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/engn3410-engineering-sustainable-systems/life-cycle-assessment.html
[Accessed 22 July 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Environmental Impact Assessment Of Stainless Steel Paper Clips Vs Plastic Paper Clips Using LCA Essay.' (My Assignment Help, 2020) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/engn3410-engineering-sustainable-systems/life-cycle-assessment.html> accessed 22 July 2024.

My Assignment Help. Environmental Impact Assessment Of Stainless Steel Paper Clips Vs Plastic Paper Clips Using LCA Essay. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2020 [cited 22 July 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/engn3410-engineering-sustainable-systems/life-cycle-assessment.html.

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