Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Resource Efficiency Related Abstracts

11 Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of High Barrier Polymer Packaging for Selecting Resource Efficient and Environmentally Low-Impact Materials

Authors: D. Kliaugaitė, J. K, Staniškis


In this study tree types of multilayer gas barrier plastic packaging films were compared using life cycle assessment as a tool for resource efficient and environmentally low-impact materials selection. The first type of multilayer packaging film (PET-AlOx/LDPE) consists of polyethylene terephthalate with barrier layer AlOx (PET-AlOx) and low density polyethylene (LDPE). The second type of polymer film (PET/PE-EVOH-PE) is made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and co-extrusion film PE-EVOH-PE as barrier layer. And the third one type of multilayer packaging film (PET-PVOH/LDPE) is formed from polyethylene terephthalate with barrier layer PVOH (PET-PVOH) and low density polyethylene (LDPE). All of analyzed packaging has significant impact to resource depletion, because of raw materials extraction and energy use and production of different kind of plastics. Nevertheless the impact generated during life cycle of functional unit of II type of packaging (PET/PE-EVOH-PE) was about 25% lower than impact generated by I type (PET-AlOx/LDPE) and III type (PET-PVOH/LDPE) of packaging. Result revealed that the contribution of different gas barrier type to the overall environmental problem of packaging is not significant. The impact are mostly generated by using energy and materials during raw material extraction and production of different plastic materials as plastic polymers material as PE, LDPE and PET, but not gas barrier materials as AlOx, PVOH and EVOH. The LCA results could be useful in different decision-making processes, for selecting resource efficient and environmentally low-impact materials.

Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, Resource Efficiency, polymer packaging, materials extraction, polyethylene terephthalate

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10 A Comparison of Neural Network and DOE-Regression Analysis for Predicting Resource Consumption of Manufacturing Processes

Authors: Frank Kuebler, Rolf Steinhilper


Artificial neural networks (ANN) as well as Design of Experiments (DOE) based regression analysis (RA) are mainly used for modeling of complex systems. Both methodologies are commonly applied in process and quality control of manufacturing processes. Due to the fact that resource efficiency has become a critical concern for manufacturing companies, these models needs to be extended to predict resource-consumption of manufacturing processes. This paper describes an approach to use neural networks as well as DOE based regression analysis for predicting resource consumption of manufacturing processes and gives a comparison of the achievable results based on an industrial case study of a turning process.

Keywords: design of experiments, Manufacturing Process, Regression analysis, Resource Efficiency, Artificial Neural Network

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9 Resource Efficiency within Current Production

Authors: Sarah Majid Ansari, Serjosha Wulf, Matthias Goerke


In times of global warming and the increasing shortage of resources, sustainable production is becoming more and more inevitable. Companies cannot only heighten their competitiveness but also contribute positively to environmental protection through efficient energy and resource consumption. Regarding this, technical solutions are often preferred during production, although organizational and process-related approaches also offer great potential. This project focuses on reducing resource usage, with a special emphasis on the human factor. It is the aspiration to develop a methodology that systematically implements and embeds suitable and individual measures and methods regarding resource efficiency throughout the entire production. The measures and methods established help employees handle resources and energy more sensitively. With this in mind, this paper also deals with the difficulties that can occur during the sensitization of employees and the implementation of these measures and methods. In addition, recommendations are given on how to avoid such difficulties.

Keywords: Human Factors, Implementation, Resource Efficiency, production plants

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8 Sustainable Manufacturing Framework for Small and Medium Enterprises

Authors: Rajan Deglurkar


The research carried out in this piece of work is on 'Framework of Sustainable Manufacturing for Small and Medium Enterprises'. It consists of elucidation of concepts about sustainable manufacturing and sustainable product development with critical review performed on seven techniques of sustainable manufacturing. The work also covers the survey about critical review of awareness in the market with respect to the manufacturers and the consumers. The factors and challenges for sustainable manufacturing implementation are reviewed and simple framework is constructed for the small and medium enterprise for successful implementation of sustainable manufacturing and sustainable product.

Keywords: Sustainable Development, Sustainable Manufacturing, Resource Efficiency, framework for sustainable manufacturing

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7 Cleaner Production Framework for an Beverage Manufacturing Company

Authors: Charles Mbohwa, Ignatio Madanhire


This study explores to improve the resource efficiency, waste water reduction and to reduce losses of raw materials in a beverage making industry. A number of cleaner production technologies were put across in this work. It was also noted that cleaner production technology practices are not only desirable from the environmental point of view, but they also make good economic sense, in their contribution to the bottom line by conserving resources like energy, raw materials and manpower, improving yield as well as reducing treatment/disposal costs. This work is a resource in promoting adoption and implementation of CP in other industries for sustainable development.

Keywords: Energy, Cleaner Production, Beverages, Yield, Resource Efficiency, reduce losses

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6 MFCA: An Environmental Management Accounting Technique for Optimal Resource Efficiency in Production Processes

Authors: Omolola A. Tajelawi, Hari L. Garbharran


Revenue leakages are one of the major challenges manufacturers face in production processes, as most of the input materials that should emanate as products from the lines are lost as waste. Rather than generating income from material input which is meant to end-up as products, losses are further incurred as costs in order to manage waste generated. In addition, due to the lack of a clear view of the flow of resources on the lines from input to output stage, acquiring information on the true cost of waste generated have become a challenge. This has therefore given birth to the conceptualization and implementation of waste minimization strategies by several manufacturing industries. This paper reviews the principles and applications of three environmental management accounting tools namely Activity-based Costing (ABC), Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA) in the manufacturing industry and their effectiveness in curbing revenue leakages. The paper unveils the strengths and limitations of each of the tools; beaming a searchlight on the tool that could allow for optimal resource utilization, transparency in production process as well as improved cost efficiency. Findings from this review reveal that MFCA may offer superior advantages with regards to the provision of more detailed information (both in physical and monetary terms) on the flow of material inputs throughout the production process compared to the other environmental accounting tools. This paper therefore makes a case for the adoption of MFCA as a viable technique for the identification and reduction of waste in production processes, and also for effective decision making by production managers, financial advisors and other relevant stakeholders.

Keywords: Resource Efficiency, Waste Reduction, MFCA, environmental management accounting, revenue losses

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5 Analysis, Evaluation and Optimization of Food Management: Minimization of Food Losses and Food Wastage along the Food Value Chain

Authors: G. Hafner


A method developed at the University of Stuttgart will be presented: ‘Analysis, Evaluation and Optimization of Food Management’. A major focus is represented by quantification of food losses and food waste as well as their classification and evaluation regarding a system optimization through waste prevention. For quantification and accounting of food, food losses and food waste along the food chain, a clear definition of core terms is required at the beginning. This includes their methodological classification and demarcation within sectors of the food value chain. The food chain is divided into agriculture, industry and crafts, trade and consumption (at home and out of home). For adjustment of core terms, the authors have cooperated with relevant stakeholders in Germany for achieving the goal of holistic and agreed definitions for the whole food chain. This includes modeling of sub systems within the food value chain, definition of terms, differentiation between food losses and food wastage as well as methodological approaches. ‘Food Losses’ and ‘Food Wastes’ are assigned to individual sectors of the food chain including a description of the respective methods. The method for analyzing, evaluation and optimization of food management systems consist of the following parts: Part I: Terms and Definitions. Part II: System Modeling. Part III: Procedure for Data Collection and Accounting Part. IV: Methodological Approaches for Classification and Evaluation of Results. Part V: Evaluation Parameters and Benchmarks. Part VI: Measures for Optimization. Part VII: Monitoring of Success The method will be demonstrated at the example of an invesigation of food losses and food wastage in the Federal State of Bavaria including an extrapolation of respective results to quantify food wastage in Germany.

Keywords: Waste Management, Resource Management, Waste minimization, System Analysis, Resource Efficiency, Food Waste, food losses

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4 Construction and Demolition Waste Management in Indian Cities

Authors: Vaibhav Rathi, Soumen Maity, Achu R. Sekhar, Abhijit Banerjee


Construction sector in India is extremely resource and carbon intensive. It contributes to significantly to national greenhouse emissions. At the resource end the industry consumes significant portions of the output from mining. Resources such as sand and soil are most exploited and their rampant extraction is becoming constant source of impact on environment and society. Cement is another resource that is used in abundance in building and construction and has a direct impact on limestone resources. Though India is rich in cement grade limestone resource, efforts have to be made for sustainable consumption of this resource to ensure future availability. Use of these resources in high volumes in India is a result of rapid urbanization. More cities have grown to a population of million plus in the last decade and million plus cities are growing further. To cater to needs of growing urban population of construction activities are inevitable in the coming future thereby increasing material consumption. Increased construction will also lead to substantial increase in end of life waste generation from Construction and Demolition (C&D). Therefore proper management of C&D waste has the potential to reduce environmental pollution as well as contribute to the resource efficiency in the construction sector. The present study deals with estimation, characterisation and documenting current management practices of C&D waste in 10 Indian cities of different geographies and classes. Based on primary data the study draws conclusions on the potential of C&D waste to be used as an alternative to primary raw materials. The estimation results show that India generates 716 million tons of C&D waste annually, placing the country as second largest C&D waste generator in the world after China. The study also aimed at utilization of C&D waste in to building materials. The waste samples collected from various cities have been used to replace 100% stone aggregates in paver blocks without any decrease in strength. However, management practices of C&D waste in cities still remains poor instead of notification of rules and regulations notified for C&D waste management. Only a few cities have managed to install processing plant and set up management systems for C&D waste. Therefore there is immense opportunity for management and reuse of C&D waste in Indian cities.

Keywords: Building materials, Environmental Pollution, cities, Resource Efficiency, Construction and demolition waste

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3 Waste Prevention and Economic Policy: Policy Tools for Increasing Resource Efficiency and Savings

Authors: Sylvia Graczka


Waste related environmental problems are not only exploding but are also spotlighted for capacity shortages in recycling, as China announced its ban on waste imports. According to the waste hierarchy, prevention is the primary solution for waste, and also the cheapest. Waste related environmental pollution as externality puts an ever-growing burden on communities bearing the social costs. Economic policies often claim to be pro-environment, this often appears only theoretically, or at the level of principles. There are few concrete occurrences of tools in economic policies, such as green taxes, that are truly effective in stimulating the shift towards waste reduction. The paper presents theoretical economic policy tools based on literature review, and case studies on applied economic policy tools by analyzing policy papers, strategies in force, in line with ‘polluter pays’ and ‘extended producer responsibility’ principles. The study also emphasizes the differences between the broader notion of waste reduction and that of waste minimization, parallel to the difference between resource efficiency and resource savings. It also puts the issue in the context of neoclassical environmental economics and ecological economics, to present alternatives in approach. The research concludes in identifying effective economic policy tools that support the reduction of material use, and the prevention of waste. Consumer and producer awareness of waste problems and consciousness related to their choices are inevitable to make economic policy tools work effectively.

Keywords: Economic Policy, Resource Efficiency, waste prevention, producer responsibility

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2 Identification of Green Building Practical Strategies: Case Study of a Water Utility in South Africa

Authors: Thobekile Gambu, Sindi Shabalala


Umgeni Water is a water utility in South Africa that provides water services – bulk water supply and sanitation services – to other water services institutions within its mandated service area. The organization is committed to environmental sustainability and has incorporated green building as a strategy to assist tackle climate change. Conventional buildings worldwide account for 40% of the world’s energy consumption and an equivalent amount of greenhouse-gas emissions both in developed and developing countries. This results in buildings being the biggest single contributor to anthropogenic climate change. In addition, buildings are not only responsible for the use of large amounts of water globally but are also responsible for the wastage of large amounts of water. Worldwide, buildings use up 12% of potable water, which is roughly 15 trillion gallons (57 billion cubic metres) of water per year. The beginning of the twenty-first century has ushered in the era of green buildings as a result of the environmental crisis that we are faced with. Green buildings are seen as the single largest opportunity that humanity has at combating climate change. At a global level, the building sector has the largest potential for significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions compared to other major emitting sectors. Umgeni Water recognizes the contribution of buildings to climate change and the potential for resource efficient buildings to mitigate climate change. As a result, the organization undertook a green building study that was aimed at assessing existing buildings using the Green Star Existing Building Performance (EBP) Tool v1 as a framework and identifying strategies/initiatives that can be incorporated with a view of transforming the organization’s building infrastructure to achieve environmental sustainability. The assessments also took into consideration resource use by the treatment processes beyond just buildings. The objectives of the study were to carry out a Green Building assessment using the Green Star EBP Tool as a framework for a total of 14 sites (11 treatment works and 3 regional office buildings) including the compilation of detailed electrical and water balances and the review of consumption, identifying green building strategies that can be integrated into Umgeni Water’s existing buildings, rating the strategies including estimating capital injection required and long-term financial savings for the organization. The approach followed were on-site assessments at each of the facilities, undertaking interviews with site staff to better understand the working methods and practices. A number of green building practical strategies for the efficient use of water and energy were identified including more efficient waste management practices. These included the use of renewable energy, a lighting retrofit, online metering and sub-metering of water and energy, treatment process pumping system optimization, installing efficient water fittings, rainwater recovery and continuous HVAC system optimization. For the 11 treatment works and 3 regional offices in excess of R5.5 million and 3.5 million per annum respectively worth of savings were identified assuming that all of the recommendations are implemented. Umgeni Water realizes that taking no action is not an option.

Keywords: Energy Consumption, Water Treatment, Green Building, Resource Efficiency

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1 Material Flow Analysis of Rare Earth Elements and Their Sustainable Use in Australia to Reduce Potential Environmental Impacts

Authors: M. Palle Paul Mejame, David King, Z. Banhalmi-Zakar, Yinghe He


Rare earth elements (REEs) are a major constituent of many advanced materials in information and telecommunication industries, as well as the renewable and energy efficiency sectors. REEs are enablers of speed, performance, durability, and low carbon emissions in these industries. They are required in everyday applications because of their unique chemical and physical properties. Given the rise in environmental concerns and demand for REEs, and also the limited locations where REEs can be sourced, there is a very high risk of supply disruption. In view of this, this study will use a holistic and systematic approach to assess the sustainability of REEs in Australia. Based on the circular economy model, a strategy to minimize the adverse impacts of resource shortages while achieving maximum environmental benefits will be developed. A systems approach will enable the determination of the impact of material resources (REEs) on the environment and people, over time. Components of a whole systems approach include (a) an account of the whole life cycle of resources used, (b) a material flow analysis to connect resource use to environmental impacts (through footprints), and (c) the consideration of interactions between people and the environment. The potential environmental impacts will be measured using three resource efficiency indicators (footprints) in a sustainable development framework: materials use, energy demand, and greenhouse gas emissions. The results will allow the evaluation of existing resource efficiency strategies in REEs and make recommendations to improve sustainability outcomes in Australia. The end goal is to find approaches to mitigate and transform resource use in ways that minimize environmental and socio-economic impacts through enhancing resource efficiency and create sustainable consumption patterns.

Keywords: Environmental Impact Assessment, Resource Efficiency, rare earth elements, material flow analysis

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