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Flashcards in Sustainability Deck (40):

What is a Life cycle inventory?

A lifecycle inventory describes which raw material are used the emissions produced during a products lifecycle, including:
Environmental Inputs and Outputs: of raw materials and energy resources
Economic Inputs and Outputs: of products components or energy that outputs from other processes

Data produced to evaluate a products environmental impact and footprint
Lists inputs and outputs of industrial process
Analyses material use and waste
Deduces what emissions are produced during its entire lifecycle


What are the 5 factors that make a product sustainable?

Cyclic: Biodegradable or recyclable materials
Solar: Renewable energy
Social: Basic human rights and cultures
Safe: No harmful bi products
Efficient: 90% less energy then 1990


How can a product be designed to be recycled?

Easy to dismantle
Easily repaired
Low material use
Labelled materials
No coatings


How can a products design be changed to reduce the energy required to manufacture it?

Simpler design with fewer components
Different, lighter, and more recyclable materials
Simpler components that are easier to produce
Simplified work flow with fewer components


What is a life cycle assessments?

A lifecycle assessment is used to evaluate a products carbon footprint

Look into what happens to the product between:
Cradle to gate: From material extraction to product being sold
Cradle to grave: From material extraction to product being thrown to landfill/recycled

May look into materials, processing in manufacturing, shipping, use, and recycling. Doing asses,ent will show where improvements need to be made

Achieve ISO 14,000 which is given when a company continuously improves their environmental management systems


What are the advantages of carrying out a Life Cycle assessment/ inventory?

Reduce the volume and range of materials enabling materials costs to reduce
Reduce the amount of energy required to design, manufacture, and distribute the product helping the company meet emissions targets and reducing energy costs
Promote the product or company as being environmentally friendly so increasing its appeal
Setup production nearer to suppliers or markets, reducing transportation costs
Establish a life length for the product so that they know when to launch a new product and can establish a warranty length
ISO 14,000


What are the advantages and disadvantages of LPG

Good availability of fuel
Good Range of Available
Increasing Used Supply of Vehicles
Low cost fuel
Reliable Performance

Not available for diesels
No factory fit models available


What are the advantages and disadvantages of Bio Ethanol

Reduced Emissions
Increased Power
Factory Fit Models Available
Renewable Fuel

Poor availability of fuels
Limited availability of vehicles
Similar price to diesel
30% lower economy to petrol


What are the advantages and disadvantages of Compressed Natural Gas

Retrofitted to existing diesels
Similar Economy, but reduced emissions

Poor Availability of fuels, vehicles and kits
Slow refuelling times


What are the advantages and disadvantages of Hydrogen

Zero Emissions
Renewable Fuel
Fast Refuelling

Very poor availability of fuels
Limited availability of fits and vehicles
Vehicles are expensive


What are the advantages and disadvantages of electricity as an alternative fuel

Zero Emissions
Can be charged from any plug
Increased Power
Simple design

Limited range
Slow charging times
Batteries are expensive
Fast chargers are hard to come by
Battery production is very energy intensive
Battereis don't last very long
Vehicles are expensive


Can can you reduce the CO2 produced during a products distribution?

Move the factory closer to the raw materials or the intended market

Use alternative fuels or railway networks

Lighten the product

Improve the products ability to be stacked during transport


What are the advantages and disadvantages of wind energy production

Flexible, can be used in large scale farms, for national grid, or a few for rural environments
Non-polluting energy, and produces 50x as much energy as is required to build and install
Low cost power if done commercially, thanks to low running costs
Could be installed off-shore for better wind, and minimise visual impact
NFFO or Kyoto

Limited by space required
Wind turbines are unsightly and spoil landscapes
Infrastructure required damages landscapes
Noise and vibration
Effects wildlife, like birds


What are the advantages and disadvantages of Solar energy production

Huge amount of available
Pollution free energy production
Low operating costs
Economically competitive in rural areas
Produces enough electricity to cope with peak demands
Allows small buildings to be self sufficient
NFFO and Kyoto

Relatively expensive set up costs for domestic
More expensive than other sources
Not generating at night
Energy lost converting from AC to DC
Panels must be kept clean
Large areas needed
Has to be put in direct sunlight - cant be put anywhere


What are the advantages and disadvantages of Nuclear Power?

Uranium is abundant and accessible
Reaction also heats the power station
Migrates greenhouse effect if being used to replace fossil
New passive reactors are much safer, avoiding leaks and meltdowns
Fission will be much cleaner and efficient
Kyoto and NFFO

Unpopular with locals, due to previous accidents thousands of years
Waste needs to be stored for thousands of years
Potential for severe contamination
Risk of terrorism
Mining courses damage to local environment


What are the advantages and disadvantages of fossil fuels

Large amount of energy produced at a low cost
Gas fired stations are very efficient
Station can be built almost anywhere
Doesn’t require extra processing when minded
Easy and safe to handle and store
Energy can also be used to heat homes

Finite resources
Generates acid rain
Fossil fuels contain radioactive materials that are released into the atmosphere
Mining an extraction damages local environments
Conflicts triggered over oil reserves


What are the advantages and disadvantages of water for energy production

No fuel required, low carbon
Very efficient, and highly automated
Longer lasting then fuel fired power stations
High set up costs quickly recovered from electricity
Reservoirs can be useful for leisure and tourism
Kyoto NFFO

Dams are extremely expensive
Areas of land need to be flooded
Rivers diverted causing problems for locals
Dam failures can cause mass flooding
Can be distractive to marine life
Causes changes down stream


What are the advantages and disadvantages of biomass and biofuels

Huge amount of available
Pollution free energy production
Low operating costs
Economically competitive in rural areas
Produces enough electricity to cope with peak demands
Allows small buildings to be self sufficient
Kyoto NFFO

Ecological damage (deforestation)
Currently expensive process with low yield
Localised Pollution
Poor Harvest/drought/disease
Reliance on Pesticides
Over farming/water intensive
Lorries require to transport fuel
Energy in refining process
Less food produced


What is the Kyoto protocol and what are its targets?

Kyoto Protocol is to amend the existing framework from human activates related to global warming
The target is for all nations to reduce greenhouse emission by 5% from 1990 levels by 2012
The objective was to stabilise greenhouse emissions to prevent changes to world climates
By December 2006, 169 countries had signed the agreement, agreeing on a set of “common but differentiated responsibilities
Developing countries are exempt from emission reduction targets, as they weren’t the main contributors
The US hasn’t officially confirmed its participation due to the amount of energy required to sustain its economy, instead it joined the Asia Pacific Partnership, which has similar goals, without specific targets


What is the NFFO

Instigated in 1989 when UK energy was privatised
Money raised was used to subsidise nuclear energy, however it was enlarged for all renewables
The UK government wants to half its emissions by 2050, so in 2002 it obligated suppliers to source 10% of their supply from renewables, rising to 15% by 2015
The UK has the highest wind energy potential in Europe, and it can produce energy at a lower cost to coal and nuclear
Marine resources like wave and tidal are a massive untapped resource for the UK


What is your carbon footprint

A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact human activates have on the environment, measure by CO2 released

Everyone has a responsibility to reduce their own footprint, allowing them to recognise their impact including:
o Annual Household Energy Use
o Annual Travel


How can a person reduce their carbon footprint

There are many ways of saving energy (energy saving appliances, turning off electronics, public transport, car sharing etc.)
However for somethings like long haul flight carbon off-setting may the answer, where the carbon is offset with activities like planting trees or protecting habitats


How can a business reduce their carbon footprint

For manufacturers their carbon footprint can be reduced by:
Doing a Life Cycle Assessment to determine the current footprint
Identifying hotspots of energy consumption in the production process
Optimising energy efficiently, reducing CO2
Identifying Carbon Offsetting solutions to neutralise the CO2 emissions that can’t be eliminated


How do countries promote the use of sustainable timber

No Longer using deforested woods
Moving to supplies in areas of surplus, with high yield plantations
Certification assures UK forests are sustainably managed
Tracing systems identify if timber is sourced form sustainable sources
Educating people about the benefits of sustainable timber
Encourage exporters to change policies
Supporting international efforts to control trade of unsustainable woods


What are the issues of unsustainable deforestation

Environmental Degradation of Forest Areas: The removal of forests to make way for other uses, it can be reforested but the quality doesn’t replace the natural forest

Loss of Bio Diversity: 1% of all species are lost each year

Loss Of Cultural Assets: Indigenous peoples lives are destroyed, and undocumented knowledge of the forests are lost

Loss of Livelihood: People who rely on the forests lose their source of income, and must migrate

Climate Change


What are the 4 r's of minimising waste?






What is Reduce, and how can it be achieved?

Reducing the amount of materials used saves money, and reduces carbon footprint. Packaging designers must also bear this in mind

Under the UK Producer Responsibility Obligation (Packaging Waste) regulations:
Consider materials and designs used
Reduce packaging (bulk delivery, improved cleanliness, JIT delivery)
Match amount of packaging to number of products used


What is Reuse, and how can it be achieved?

Reusing products minimises extraction, processing and recycling energy
Refillable products (e.g. milk bottles) help but they often require more energy to make, collect, wash etc.
Increasing the product concentration (washing up liquid) has also helped reduce the impact


What is Recycle, and how can it be achieved?

Taking old products and materials, and turning them into something new
Reduces reliance on landfill, and means less energy is needed for extraction


What is Recover, and how can it be achieved?

Waste products that can’t be recycled can be used for other purposes, like incinerating to generate electricity


What is Metal Recovery and how can it be achieved?

Metals can be recycled a number of times
Ferrous and Non-ferrous need to be separated
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell between the metals, so a magnet is used

o Ferrous are graded by size before being melted
o Steel has a low scrap value to keep costs competitive, and it’s the most recycled metal

o More Valuable then non ferrous
o Sorted by grade then used accordingly


Why was the Kyoto protocol not signed until 2005

Only a few countries initially signed it / some countries refused to sign it.

A small number of countries acting alone would economically disadvantage themselves. (1

Action by a small number of countries would have minimal impact on reducing global emissions. (

Time needed to negotiate / recruit non signatory countries.

Countries needed time to consider the implications
(government / industry / costs / public support) of the agreement and develop implementation strategies before signing it

They waited until sufficient countries responsible for at least 55% of global emissions signed, so that a realistic difference could be made


How are microbes used in the disposal of biodegradable plastics

Plastic exposed to soil and water, causing it to break down

More microbes, more heat, less o2 leads to faster breakdown

Leaves behind CO2 water and other non toxic materials


What are the 4 types of Built In Obsolescence

Technological: Technological Advances

Postponed: Release old technology

Physical: When it breaks, degrades

Style: New style of product and marketing


Outline the environmental impacts of of deforestation

Climate change and global warming as increased greenhouse effect
Loss of habitats, and effected food chains
More CO2 in environment as less trees to absorbed it
Produces carbon sinks
Leads to landslides
Machinery for logging creates pollutio


Outline the role of NFFO in energy planing

To help develop/encourage renewable energy projects by providing financial support to renewable energy projects

Aim to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and increase use of renewable sources by encouraging he development of renewable energy projects


Advantages and disadvantages of recover

zero or low fuel cost
Energy produced offsets the pollution caused during
Can provide heat and hot water fo local homes
Reduces fossil fuel usage

localised pollution


How can you make materials used for a product more environmentally friendly

Designers consider the 4 Rs
Designers use Life Cycle Assessment
Label materials
Not material Coatings
Use few different materials
minimise gluing
Use fully recyclable materials
Use less materials
locally sourced materials
Use materials with low energy
use materials from renewable sources
material biodegradable
CO2 of transporting product


Advantages and disadvantages of designing a product to be environmentally friendly

Ease of recycling
Minimises contamination during recycling process
maintains air quality
Reduction in use/extraction of finite resources
Reduced waste disposal to landfill
Green image may increase sales
Reduced carbon footprint

Additional tooling/pattern costs
Choice of surface finish may be limited
Mechanical fixings may add bulk
Product may be perceived as lower quality
Recycled materials may be of inferior quality
Limits material choice Product may not be as robust
Longer design process adding cost
Materials and production more expensive


What are the environmental impacts of manufacturing from plastic

Energy needed to produce products
Create greenhouse gases
Toxic pollution created
Any environmental impact on habitats
Transportation of raw materials
Waste from manufacturing process to landfill