Thomas A. Okrasinski, P.E., P.P.
Nokia Bell Labs
Marc S. Benowitz, Ph.D.
In this paper we describe a simplified approach for estimating the environmental impact of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) products. The approach provides a means to more quickly and easily evaluate product concepts and optimize design trade-offs. It uses simplified techniques and algorithms for estimating Global Warming Potential in terms of carbon dioxide equivalents. We will also share the development of the environmental impact estimator, including its applicability, validation, along with current and proposed activities to further advance its capabilities for more general use.
The LCA environmental impact estimator offers a means for product designers and environmental specialists to more easily assess the greenhouse gas emissions of ICT products over their full life cycle – manufacturing, transport, use, and end-of-life treatment. It is vital that the ICT industry collaborates on developing and collecting additional LCIA data and information for the different life cycle stages that are representative of ICT products. In iNEMI’s experience, as well as in LCA studies by others, the “Use” and “Manufacturing” stages of ICT products typically contribute the dominant amount of environmental impact. Consequently, industry emphasis should be concentrated on providing more refined data and information for these two stages.
Initially Published in the SMTA Proceedings