liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Environmental Relevance and Use of Energy Indicators in Environmental Management and Research.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technique and Management . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technique and Management . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technique and Management . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technique and Management . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2006 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, Vol. 14, no 2, 134-145 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Energy use as a single indicator or in a set of few indicators is often used in applied research in the building, transportation and energy sectors. However, the environmental relevance of energy indicators is seldom questioned. The relation between environmental relevance and energy indicators might seem obvious. Nevertheless, how this is obvious has not been thoroughly discussed. The aim of this paper is to investigate the environmental relevance of the energy indicator and discuss implications for its use. The approach is to express environmental pressure in different environmental impact categories and determine the contribution to these from energy use. Because not all impact categories are closely linked to energy indicators, the aim and context in which it is used must be apparent.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 14, no 2, 134-145 p.
Keyword [en]
Energy indicator; Environmental pressure; Environmental assessment; Energy system; Environmental management
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-14493DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2005.01.004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-14493DiVA: diva2:23589
Available from: 2007-05-22 Created: 2007-05-22 Last updated: 2013-11-29
In thesis
1. Reuse of construction materials: Environmental performance and assessment methodology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reuse of construction materials: Environmental performance and assessment methodology
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Reuse is a measure for resource-saving materials and energy use, which is stressed in the concept of kretsloppsanpassning, or societal industrial ecology (SIE), as it will be termed in this thesis. Reuse is here used as a general term for any kind of reuse and divided into recirculation, upgrading and cascading, according to the degradation of the inner material structure. Reuse of construction materials in society is mainly done with the belief that any kind of reuse is environmentally beneficial. However, this assumption is seldom critically assessed.

The aim of this thesis was to examine under which conditions reuse of construction materials in the Swedish building and transportation sectors is beneficial to the environment. In order to identify critical conditions, the environmental performance of actual building projects that to a large extent utilised reused building materials was assessed (Papers V-VI). To better understand the practice of SIE and how it was implemented, the transportation sector was studied (Paper I). In order to address the issue of assessing the environmental performance of construction material reuse, method development became an important part of this thesis. Methods and tools employed in this thesis were required to be able to simultaneously address different system boundaries and also involve simplification.

Studying the implementation of SIE revealed the lack of a holistic approach in environmental management, though it is present in the overall objectives of the SIE concept (Paper I). This was concluded by studying the energy and material stocks and flows in a life-cycle perspective in the environmental management of the Swedish National Rail and Road administrations. The study showed that the SIE-related measures implemented were outflow oriented, while the material inflows were generally quantified. Overall, the management and use phases were addressed, while the construction and deconstruction phases were poorly considered.

Studying environmental assessment methods showed that an important characteristic is the system boundaries, which to a large extent decide which issues could be addressed and what actually could be studied (Paper II). Environmental assessment methods applied to reuse of construction materials were organised in an assessment framework of four system levels: the material level, the local environment level, the narrow life-cycle level and the industrial system level. It was concluded that mainstream environmental assessment of construction material reuse that is performed in the process of development consent and also in research, mainly addresses the narrow scope of the material level. In order to apply a holistic approach to environmental assessments of reuse of construction materials, the system boundaries needed to be widened.

When selecting system boundaries, methods and indicators, researchers indirectly decide on which environmental pressures we consider the most important (cf. Papers II - III). There are trade-offs between making broad or deep environmental assessments. To accomplish an environmental assessment wide in its scope requires abundant resources and is complicated to carry through. Simplifications of the complex reality are always needed. However, to counteract the risk of problem shifting, the simplified methods and indicators need to be balanced for environmental relevance and used with knowledge of what they reflect and what is left out (Paper III). One example of such method simultaneously environmentally relevant and capable to cope with wide system boundaries is the study of primary energy use in a life cycle perspective, applied to a material an energy use context (see Papers IV-VI).

In searching for a tool to prioritise building materials in building research and environmental management of the building sector, the total amount of building materials present in the Swedish building material stock was multiplied by their embodied energy coefficients (Paper IV). This product was normalized for the building materials’ service life. The accounting resulted in an ordering of building material categories according to their energy intensity. These are, in decreasing order: wood materials, bricks and other ceramics, concrete and steel.

After calculating energy use in a life-cycle perspective for the recirculation, upgrading and cascading of larger building reuse projects of concrete and clay bricks, it is not self-evident that reuse is beneficial for the environment (Paper V, VI). It mainly depends on the use of auxiliary materials and their embodied energy, but also the primary energy use for the reuse processes, such as transportation distance and mode between the deconstruction and construction sites. In order to improve the environmental benefits of reuse, primarily the auxiliary materials used in current reuse projects should be minimised. Otherwise, there is a risk that the energy use for these materials turns reuse into an unfavourable process for the environment. Furthermore, reuse should preferably be environmentally assessed with a wide scope before implementation. What is included in such environmental assessment is significant for the outcome and the pictured environmental performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för konstruktions- och produktionsteknik, 2005
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 928
Keyword
Environment, societal industrial ecology (SIE), reuse of construction materials
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-5041 (URN)91-85297-51-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-03-31, C3, Hus C, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
On the day of the public defence of the doctoral thesis the status of article III was: Accepted.Available from: 2005-04-19 Created: 2005-04-19 Last updated: 2009-03-12
2. Life-Cycle Considerations for Environmental Management of the Swedish Railway Infrastructure
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life-Cycle Considerations for Environmental Management of the Swedish Railway Infrastructure
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Syftet med den här avhandlingen är att förbättra möjligheter till miljöledning av järnvägens infrastruktur genom att utveckla en metod för att rikta in ansträngningar på att minska miljöpåverkan från infrastrukturens produkter. Metodens används i ett byggprojekt och dess robusthet blir testad. Den använder den materialrelaterade energianvändningen för att studera miljöpåverkan från infrastrukturen. Vidare studeras vilka förutsättningar och hinder det finns för att införa ett livscykelperspektiv i Banverkets organisation.

Först analyserades de miljömässiga försättningarna genom en jämförande studie med vägtransportsystemet. Fokus låg även på infrastrukturens del i miljöpåverkan i jämförelse med själva transporterna i de bägge systemen. Sedan presenterades metoden och analyserades med avseende på användbarhet och robusthet. I de senare testen gavs materialtransporternas del av miljöpåverkan samt energiindikatorns miljörelevans extra utrymme.Slutligen studerades de organisatoriska förutsättningarna för att introducera metoden och införa ett livscykelperspektiv vid materialhanteringen.

De organisatoriska förutsättningarna präglas mycket av Banverket miljöhistoria som främst handlar om miljögifter kopplade till lokala eller regionala miljöproblem. Dessutom finns det få miljörelaterade krav utifrån, vilket delvis kan förklara att livscykelperspektivet i mångt och mycket saknats inom organisationens materialhantering. Miljökraven på Banverkets inköp av produkter är oftast lagkrav, men eftersom de lagkrav som har anknytning till de globala miljöproblemen, vilka främst kan kopplas till uppströms produktframställning, inte är tillräckligt specifika, har organisationen svårt att översätta dessa till relevanta miljökrav vid upphandling. De avdelningar inom Banverket som är mest berörda av upphandlingen och arbetet med kravspecifikationer kräver mer stöd och kunskap för att kunna införa livscykelperspektivet i materialhanteringen.

De upplevda miljöfördelar som järnvägen tycks ha över vägtrafiken är inte helt självklara. Vikten av indirekt miljöpåverkan från infrastrukturen är större för järnvägstrafiken än för vägtrafiken och detta i kombination med att den materialrelaterade energianvändningen är nästan uteslutande fossilbaserad leder till att miljöförsprånget minskar jämfört med trafikens miljöpåverkan. Om vägtrafiken minskar sitt fossilberoende i användningsfasen så måste järnvägssektorn antingen minska energianvändningen eller fossilberoendet i produktionen av järnvägsprodukter för att fortfarande kunna sägas ha miljöfördelar. För att kunna göra det senare måste nya perspektiv introduceras i Banverkets organisation. Metoden som presenteras i denna avhandling kan användas för att introducera dessa nya livscykelperspektiv och bidra till att Banverkets ansträngningar fokuseras på att minska infrastrukturens miljöpåverkan. Denna nya kunskap kan användas vid design av nya järnvägsprodukter och vid upphandlingen av dessa. Dessutom visar avhandlingen på var utförligare miljöanalyser av produkter kan behövas. Metoden använder en energiindikator för att uppskatta miljöpåverkan från materialanvändningen. Denna indikator är lätt att använda för miljöanalysen vilket gör det möjligt att enkelt introducera och inrikta livscykeltänkandet i organisationens miljöledning. Något som annars kan ligga utanför dess expertis, budget och tidsresurser.

Metoden identifierar de tre produkter som är absolut viktigast att fokusera på om man vill minska miljöpåverkan från materialanvändningen i infrastrukturen. Dessa är räl, slipers och ballastmaterial där räl har överlägset störst användning av uppströms materialrelaterad energi. Genom att introducera miljökrav tidigt i designprocessen vid införande av dessa produkter kan stora miljövinster göras. Teknikavdelningarna samt upphandlarna behöver därför stöd för att introducera dessa starkare krav på uppströms miljöpåverkan.

Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis has been to develop an approach for the scoping of environmental aspects regarding material use in the Swedish railway infrastructure in order to contribute to strategic environmental management. This is done through the development of a method based on the concepts of embodied energy and material flows, which is then tested for its robustness. Furthermore, a study has been made on which preconditions for life-cycle considerations there are for the manager of the Swedish railway infrastructure and how this relates to the actual environmental pressures from the product. The study has used the Swedish National Rail Authority, Banverket, as a case.

First the environmental context was studied by an analysis of how the environmental pressure from material use compares to the operations phase and to other transport systems. Secondly, a scoping method for environmental pressure from material use in a large organization was developed and tests performed on its use and its robustness. Special focus was on the importance of materials transports and the environmental relevance of the energy indicator used. Finally, an organizational context was presented which showed the possibilities and hindrances to implementing life-cycle considerations in the environmental management of the Swedish railway infrastructure.

It seems difficult to incorporate life-cycle considerations in an organization whose history is characterized by its work on solving specific local environmental issues. In addition, there seem to be limited pressures either from outside or inside the organization to adopt life-cycle environmental management. There is a need for clearer and more specific policy instruments governing many of the global environmental issues pertaining to upstream environmental pressures in order to make it easier for organizations to translate these into something useful in their environmental management. The departments with the most capacity to influence the environmental pressures from material use are demanding support and more knowledge about life-cycle considerations in order to set more relevant environmental requirements on the products.

The perceived environmental advantage of the rail transport sector over road transports should not be taken for granted. The importance of the indirect environmental pressures for the rail infrastructure decreases this advantage, since its material-related energy use is almost entirely from non-renewable sources. Thus the rail transport sector needs to start decreasing the use of energy for production of railway infrastructure products or its reliance on nonrenewable energy sources for production.

In order to start working with the environmental management of the railway products there is a need to adopt and introduce new perspectives. The approach developed in this thesis can be used to introduce these new perspectives, such as upstream environmental pressures, to the organization’s environmental management. It can also be employed to identify hot spots in the organization’s material use. Consequently, this new knowledge can be used in the design of new products, to set environmental demands in purchasing, and to focus further environmental analyses of the hot spots. It can also be used to broaden the perspectives in, for instance, environmental impact assessments, strategic environmental assessments and environmental reviews. The relative ease with which this indicator is collected and calculated can make it possible for the organization to include new environmental dimensions in their environmental management, which could otherwise be outside their expertise, budget or time frame.

The scoping of environmental pressures, by using the approach presented in the thesis, pointed to three important railway infrastructure products. These are the products that Banverket needs to focus on first. One of the most important tasks in incorporating life-cycle considerations for products is to set environmental requirements when introducing new products to the material supply process. The requirements should already be present in the design phase of the products. Thus it is essential that the product developers get the support needed in finding relevant environmental criteria for the new product. One way to accomplish this is to employ an environmental coordinator with sufficient knowledge in the technical departments to work together with the design teams as an integral part of the design process.

The overall environmental pressures from the railway transport system depend substantially on the upstream environmental pressures generated by the production of the infrastructure products. These pressures are totally dominated by three products. There is a large improvement potential in focusing the environmental management on these products by posing environmental requirements on their suppliers, in order to decrease the overall environmental pressures generated by the railway transport system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling, 2006. 66 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1064
Keyword
Enviornmental management, railways, life cycle perspective, environmental pressures, material use, Miljöledning, järnvägar, livscykelperspektiv, miljöpåverkan, materialhantering
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-8875 (URN)91-85643-27-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-12-15, A2, Hus A, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-05-22 Created: 2007-05-22 Last updated: 2010-01-14
3. Scoping environmental pressure from material use for strategic environmental management : case of the Swedish National Rail Authority
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Scoping environmental pressure from material use for strategic environmental management : case of the Swedish National Rail Authority
2005 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis aim is to develop an approach for scoping of environmental aspects regarding the material use in a large organisation in order to contribute to a strategic environmental management. The study object is the Swedish National Rail Authority.

The transport sector is closely linked to the environmental pressures caused by our society, consequently a lot of studies have been made regarding the contribution from different transport sectors. However, the bulk of these studies concerns only the transports and thus omits the environmental pressures from the material use needed to support these sectors, i.e. building and maintaining the infrastructure. The rail transport sector is generally conceived to be the most environmentally adapted land transport mode. However, this notion commonly only includes environmental pressures from the traffic phase.

The method uses "material related energy use" and CO2-emissions as a proxy to environmental pressures from material use. Furthermore, the robustness of the method is tested by the use of scenarios and sensitivity analysis. In particular, the environmental relevance of the energy indicator is studied.

The approach developed in this thesis can be used to introduce new perspectives, such as upstream environmental pressures, to an organisation's environmental management. It can be employed to identify hot spots in an organisation's material use. Consequently, this new knowledge can be used to influence the design of new products, to set environmental demands for purchasing and to focus further environmental analyses of the hot spots. The approach can also be used to broaden the perspectives in for instance environmental impact assessments, strategic environmental assessment and environmental reviews.

In the studied rail building project, 3 products constituted 99.5 weight-% of the total material use. These products were steel rails, concrete ties and ballast materials. They share the common characteristics of being noncomplex, non-toxic and made out of very few materials.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2005. 42 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1152
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-39460 (URN)48627 (Local ID)91-85297-53-4 (ISBN)48627 (Archive number)48627 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2013-11-29

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textLink to Ph.D. thesis (Svensson)Link to Ph.D. thesis (Roth)

Authority records BETA

Svensson, NiclasRoth, LiselottEklund, MatsMårtensson, Anders

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Svensson, NiclasRoth, LiselottEklund, MatsMårtensson, Anders
By organisation
Environmental Technique and Management The Institute of Technology
Engineering and Technology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

doi
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
urn-nbn
Total: 210 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf