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Product environmental footprints assessment for product life cycle

He, Bin, Shao, Yanwei, Wang, Shuai, Gu, Zhuochao, Bai, Kaijian
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.233 pp. 446-460
accounting, data collection, ecological footprint, models, product life cycle, system boundary
As the product environmental footprint (PEF) has a profound impact on the environmental sustainability, it is crucial to estimate PEF in the product life cycle. The existing researches lack the prescriptiveness and environmental footprint-specific accounting guidance to produce consistent PEF, thus most of the existing PEF models fail for product life cycle. The paper is devoted to PEF assessment for product life cycle. After the introduction of PEF, the calculation model for each of the 14 kinds of PEF is proposed. PEF assessment process is then put forward in detail, which includes 10 steps, i.e. functional unit selection, system boundary determination, impact types selection, data collection, impact types classification, impact types characterization, impact types of PEF calculation, impact types standardization, impact types grouping and weighting, PEF assessment result. PEF assessment process of an agricultural picking robot is used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology.