Loss, Andrea (2017) Development and testing of a new method to combine environmental management tools to improve life cycle management performance at industrial level. [Ph.D. thesis]
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Abstract (italian or english)
Environmental sustainable development topic is increasingly at the centre of international interest.
During the last decades, environmental issues have evolved from pollution and depletion of natural resources towards global issues such as climate change. Industrial organizations are exposed to risks that could undermine their market competitiveness: operative risks, financial risks, compliance risks and Market risks. In this global context, industries need of a robust Environmental Strategy for improving their competitiveness and proactively manage related risks and opportunities. In the last years, the
concept of life cycle environmental management has increased its importance stressing the need of organizations manage all the environmental impacts generate by their activities and products along all
values chains with a life cycle perspective. The management of life cycle performance is a multiperspectives issue and requires the use of multiple Environmental Management Tools (EMTs) to be addressed. The scientific community has responded developing many methods for multiple EMTs
From scientific literature review several limits of current method for multiple EMTs use emerged that are circumscribable in six different critical areas: 1. environmental impact assessment, 2. Resources
consumption assessment, 3. performance evaluation, 4. ecoinnovation (Eco Design, Eco Efficiency), 5. strategic decision making and 6. strategy & management. These limitations do not allow companies to have a robust and complete management of its life cycle environmental performance and therefore limit the opportunity to develop strategies that reduce the environmental impacts of the organization and its
products. The present research focuses on the development and application at industrial level of a new method to combine environmental management tools (EMTs) to improve the life cycle environmental
performance of industries. To do so the specific objectives of the research were the develop of a new method to combine EMTs to overcome identified criticalities and test its applicability and effectiveness to improve life cycle environmental management performance in a real industrial case study.
The methodology of the research took into consideration the Environmental Management Drivers (EMDs), the Environmental Management Barriers (EMBs), the integration/combination mechanisms, the available EMTs, and the limits of already existing methods in the definition of the new method and the single case study method to address and discuss its applicability and effectiveness at industrial level.
The development of the new method Organizational Environmental Sustainability System (OES2) is addressed in the first part of the research. The method has been developed combining seven different
ISO EMTs: Organizational Life Cycle Assessment (ISO/TS 14072), Product Life Cycle Assessment (ISO 14040-44), Environmental Performance Evaluation (ISO 14031), Ecodesign (ISO/TR 14062),
Ecoefficiency (ISO 14045), Environmental Management System (ISO 14001) and Communication & labelling tools (ISO 14025-24-21). In order to face all identified gaps and improve the operatively
implementation of the method the concept of STEM (Supportive Tools to Environmental Management) has been introduced. Eight different STEMs have been implemented by OES2 method giving operative
support to all implemented EMTs: Multiscale LCA (MLCA), a new mathematical model that correlates all the assessment scales (organizational, product, process); the Environmental Inventory Database
(EID) and Environmental Results Database (ERD), that permits to automatize the data collection and the result management processes; the Eco Environmental Keyperformance Analyzer (Eco-EKA), that
permits to perform the performance evaluation and the performance tracking with a multi scale perspective, the EcoDesign Simulation Dashboard (Eco-DSD), that permits to provide a work space to
designers to simulate new ecodesign project and compare the environmental performance, the Indicator of Work Environmental Efficiency (IWEE), that allows to assess the level of ecoefficiency of industrial
processes and provides solutions to improve the process management, the Strategic Environmental Decision Making module (SEDM module), that supports and increases the use of statistical and mathematical approaches to support decision making processes, and finally the Environmental Sustainability Strategy Model (ESSM), that supports the validation of environmental strategy at product and organizational level.
The applicability and effectiveness of OES2 method to improve life cycle environmental management performance, is presented in the second part of the thesis. The industrial application has been conducted
in Acqua Minerale San Benedetto S.p.A., one of the most important player in the beverage sector in the world. Six different tests have been performed in order to stress OES2 method in all six critical areas of
environmental management. Results of the applicability of OES2 method have shown the importance to assess environmental impacts with a multiscale approach, the importance to introduce STEMs in
order to support the operative implementation of EMTs and the importance to combine EMTs in order to achieve a comprehensive environmental management approach. The OES2 methods has improved
the life cycle environmental management performance of San Benedetto S.p.A. in all the six critical areas.
The research activities were carried out at the Department of Industrial Engineering of the Padova University and at the company Acqua Minerale San Benedetto S.p.A. (mainly production site of Scorzè).
The results of the research activities are summarized in 6 chapters.
Introduction: introduces the issues of environmental management and the need to use methods to combine EMTs. The scope of the research, the objectives, the dissertation structure and the research
methodology are described.
Chapter 1: first part of material & methods, it reports on the scientific literature review to identify limits of available methods and required characteristics to be consider for the development of the new method:
Environmental Management Drivers (EMDs), the Environmental Management Barriers (EMBs), the integration/combination mechanisms, the available EMTs, and the already existing methods for multiple
Chapter 2: second part of material & methods, it reports on the development of the OES2 methods and the methodological development of STEMs.
Chapter 3: presents the results of the industrial application tests carried out in San Benedetto S.p.A.
focusing the attention on how the OES2 method permits to solve the identified gaps on life cycle environmental management performance of the organization.
Chapter 4: presents the discussion on the results with reference to already published methods for multiple EMTs use and objectives of the research.
Chapter 5: reports on research contributions and perspectives for future researches.
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