1. Executive Summary

Page Last modified 20 Apr 2016, 02:18 PM

1. Executive Summary

Project ambitions

The ambition of this project has been to develop a concept for environmental comparison of different technologies used for similar purposes, i.e. environmental performance indicators for comparison of different technologies to evaluate which one is 'cleaner'. These indicators in this project are called CEIDOCT/EPIs. This ambition level is high and may not be achieved without certain professional compromises.

Environmental comparison between technologies may include evaluation between different emissions to different media, e.g. carbon dioxide to air and heavy metals to water, as well as waste. Methodologies to do this are being developed within LCA concepts and are used, but not described in detail, in the present project.

Important prerequisites

The most important prerequisites for the project are:

evaluation of technologies to decide if one is 'cleaner' than another must be seen in the product lifecycle perspective. Changes at one stage of the lifecycle, e.g. the production stage, cannot be called 'cleaner technology' if the changes adversely affect the environmental impact at another stage, e.g. the use/consumption stage.

the concept to be developed is a proposal for a common, general and rather simple set of comparable environmental impact data/indicators (CEIDOCT/EPIs), which encompasses resources consumption and environmental effects of relevance on national, regional and global levels (Chapter 4). This can only be achieved by developing EPIs on a high level of aggregation, thereby mak-ing compromises between the level of details and accuracy inside specific issues and the demand for a general overview.

the concept includes a proposal for a systematic working approach and overall methodology for the development of Comparable Environmental Impact Data on Cleaner Technologies inside specific branches of trade (Chapter 5). A key element in this working approach is the use of reference technologies.

The problem of developing operational EPIs

Up to now the general approach to development of overall sets of Environmental (Performance) Indicators has been based on classification of environmental impacts, i.e. one indicator for each type or category of impact. This is scientifically and professionally correct but does not lead to easily operational concepts because of the very wide spectrum of environmental impacts existing, the broad knowledge of which is generally limited to environmental specialists.

The present project attempts to overcome this difficulty by developing the basic indicators inside important focus areas for environmental measures on a national, regional and global scale and in a future-oriented perspective.

Choice of focus areas

Based on assessment of areas of importance in Europe as well as globally, 4 focus areas have been chosen, which cover a very wide spectrum and volume of both consumption of resources and potential environmental effects. The 4 focus areas chosen are:

M) Consumption of mineral resources, excluding energy purposes (Mineral resources)

E) Consumption of fossil fuels (Energy)

C) Consumption and dispersion of chemicals hazardous to the environment and human health (Chemicals)

B) sumption of biological resources, including biological production as its basis, biodiversity and land use (Biological resources).

The focus areas M, E and C are generally covered in normal practices within LCAs. B, however, is included to account for the increased impacts on biological systems resulting from the many direct utilisations of these systems by mankind, which are not accounted for in existing LCA practices and methodologies.


Each of the focus areas has been worked through systematically with the aim of choosing indicators, which are aggregated from detailed investigation levels, e.g. LCAs, Environmental Impact Assessments or the like. A specific aim was to search/create indicators that can be used for a top-down approach not requiring a detailed knowledge of all aspects of environmental impact.

Level 0 is the most aggregated level, comprising only 4 indicators to serve as a first level in a top-down approach. Level 1 is more detailed and is aggregated from level 2, which is the level of an LCA or similar. Levels 0 and 1 represent the CEIDOCT approach:

Level 0 - one parameter for each of the focus areas- aggregated or directly estimated

Level 1 - 2-4 parameters for each focus area - aggregated

Level 2 - parameters from an LCA or similar (in the present project the EDIP method has been used).

The CEIDOCT concept is further illustrated in the following Figure 1.1:

Figure 1.1: Illustration of the CEIDOCT concept and relation to existing LCA - methodologies as a basis


In order to make EPIs comparable between different technologies and different media it is necessary to normalise. This may be done as milli-person equivalent units to make indicators comparable for the society as a whole (at national or international level). It is also possible to normalise per produced unit and product lifetime in order to make key Figures comparable at trade level. Normalisation is necessary in order to use the CEIDOCT concept.


Weighting is here used as a measure for 'closeness to target' and is necessary for decision making. In the Danish EDIP project, which is used to calculate the cases in Chapter 6, Danish and European political targets are used for weighting. In this report the development of sustainable targets for each focus area is advocated because the overall target for the concept of cleaner technologies is 'sustainable industrial production'. Weighting is not necessary in order to use the CEIDOCT concept and to calculate indicators, but weightings have been applied to a certain extent in the design of the concept framework, i.e. choice of focus areas, indicator types, etc.

An overview of the indicators recommended for the CEIDOCT concept is shown in the following table, Figure 1.2:

Figure 1.2: Overview of indicators at aggregated levels in CEIDOCT


Focus area

Focus area

Focus area

Focus area

Level 0

EPI = Loss of mineral resources per unit (normalised) from inputs (material content) and disposal stage; aggregation of all contributions from mineral resources.

EPI = Energy consumption per unit (normalised) measured as primary energy

EPI = Potential effects from chemicals per unit (normalised), evaluated as scores, using classifications for labelling:

EPI =Samount * ((Spersist. or Sbioaccumulation) +Stoxicity )

EPI = Area requirements per unit (normalised) evaluated from cultivation and exploitation

Level 1

EPI = Aggregation of normalised losses of mineral resources from the LCA in groups as:
· of fossil origin
· metals
· other minerals

EPI = Aggregation of normalised energy consumption in groups as:

· non-renewable
(% of total and MJ)
· renewable and
lasting resources
(% of total, MJ)

EPI = Potential effects from chemicals, calculated as critical volumes, normalised and aggregated for the categories

· photochemical ozone
· persistency, bioaccu-
· human toxicity
· ecotoxicity

· Index for normalised,
aggregated area requirement.


· Normalised index for degree
of exploitation of sensitive
species, transformed into an
area index

Level 2

Environmental effects and use of resources as calculated in an LCA method (in this report is used the EDIP method)
Resources: single types of fossil fuels, single minerals, etc.
Effects: GWP, POCP, acidification, eutrophication, persistency, human toxicity., ecotoxicity etc.

Indicators corresponding to LCA-level (Amounts and types of resources, land use, water availability, nutrients etc.)

ey product properties, TSIs

It has been found necessary to define key product properties related to environmental impact. These key product properties cannot be changed with a change in technology without seriously affecting the environmental impact throughout the lifecycle. The importance of these indicators for cleaner technology evaluations is obvious and has been shown in the cases in Chapter 6. They are termed Technology Specific environmental Indicators (TSIs) in the product dimension.

Product and process dimensions

In daily operation of production and manufacturing the process management is generally not governed by EPIs or the key product properties, but primarily by direct process parameters linked to the EPIs and product properties in various ways. The direct process parameter may be process temperature, use of raw materials per unit of product, calibration of machinery etc. and are termed Technology Specific environmental Indicators (TSIs) in the process dimension.

Reference technologies

Inside a specific branch of trade/industry the approach to cleaner technology will consist of a combined use of EPIs and TSIs in the product and process dimension, expressed through reference technologies for the industry in question. These reference technologies must be documented in terms of

- LCA-data,
- EPIs on levels 0 and 1,
- sets of key product properties/TSIs and
- process management TSIs.

Such reference technologies' life cycle data sets will create an important platform for cleaner technology management of product and process development as illustrated in the following Figure 1.3:

Figure 1.3: Illustration of the role of reference technologies in cleaner technology approaches in specific branches of industry

This figure is a general illustration of the relations between EPIs and TSI in the product and process dimensions exemplified in Chapter 6 of this report.


The following recommendations can be made based on the evaluations and conclusions in this project:

  • to further develop and test the framework presented here, focusing on the four areas: mineral resources consumption, energy consumption, dispersion of chemicals and biological resources consumption (MECB).
  • to further develop and test the indicators (CEIDOCTs) suggested at levels 0 and level 1 for comparison of different technologies covering the product lifecycle.
  • to further develop the proposed concept into a manual, which will give more detailed directions for development of sector-specific indicators. The manual should encompass technology-specific indicators (TSIs) and Environmental Performance Indicators (in the form of CEIDOCTs). In this context it is necessary to further develop and operationalise the biological indicators.
  • to evaluate how the ESEPI (environmental pressure indicator) programme initiated by Eurostat can be linked to environmental performance indicators developed in industry. The framework presented in this report can be used as a means for development of this link.
  • support for the development and necessary research for eco-toxic, persistent and bio-accumulation classification of chemicals. This is still required in the future in order to provide data for investigations of effects from dispersion of chemicals and improve our knowledge of chemicals used.
  • to support work for integration of the consumption of biological resources into the LCA concept, as a means of making the intentions from the Rio conference operational.

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