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Is prolonging the lifetime of passive durable products a low-hanging fruit of a circular economy? A multiple case study

Mohamad Kaddoura, Marianna Lena Kambanou, Anne-Marie Tillman, Tomohiko Sakao

Article (2019)

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Abstract

Extending the lifetime of passive products, i.e., products that do not consume materialsor energy during the use phase, by implementing product-service systems (PSS) has a potentialto reduce the environmental impact while being an attractive and straightforward measure forcompanies to implement. This research assesses the viability of introducing PSS for passive products,by documenting five real product cases of prolonging the lifetime through repair or refurbishmentand by quantifying, through life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC), the change inenvironmental and economic outcome. The environmental impact (measured as global warmingpotential over the life cycle) was reduced for all cases because extraction and production dominatedthe impact. This reduction was 45–72% for most cases and mainly influenced by the number of reusesand the relative environmental burden of the components whose lifetime was prolonged. The costsfor the company (measured as LCC from the manufacturer's perspective) decreased too by 8–37%.The main reason that costs reduced less than the environmental impact is that some costs have noequivalent in LCA, e.g., administration and labor costs for services. The decreases in both LCA andLCC results, as well as the willingness of the companies to implement the changes, demonstrate thatthis measure can be financially attractive for companies to implement and effectively contribute to acircular economy.

Uncontrolled Keywords

life cycle assessment; life cycle costing; resource efficiency; circular economy; product-service system; refurbishment; repair

Subjects: 1500 Environmental engineering > 1500 Environmental engineering
1600 Industrial engineering > 1606 Operations management
Department: Department of Chemical Engineering
Research Center: CIRAIG - International Reference Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services
Funders: VINNOVA
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/4960/
Journal Title: Sustainability (vol. 11, no. 18)
Publisher: MDPI
DOI: 10.3390/su11184819
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/su11184819
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2022 16:27
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 14:00
Cite in APA 7: Kaddoura, M., Kambanou, M. L., Tillman, A.-M., & Sakao, T. (2019). Is prolonging the lifetime of passive durable products a low-hanging fruit of a circular economy? A multiple case study. Sustainability, 11(18), 4819 (22 pages). https://doi.org/10.3390/su11184819

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