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.
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2005. , 42 p.