UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI UPF

Barcelona, Spain

UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI UPF

Barcelona, Spain
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Ros-Dosda T.,Jaume I University | Celades I.,Jaume I University | Monfort E.,Jaume I University | Fullana-i-Palmer P.,UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI UPF
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2017

Purpose: Porcelain stoneware tile (PST) is currently the ceramic tile of greatest commercial and innovation interest. An environmental life cycle assessment of different varieties of PST was undertaken to enable hotspots to be identified, strategies to be defined, differences between PST varieties to be evaluated and guidance for PST manufacturers to be provided in choosing the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) programme that best suited their needs according to grouping criteria. Methods: Analysis of previous information allowed three main parameters (thickness, glaze content and mechanical treatment) to be identified in order to encompass all PST variations. Fifteen varieties of PST were thus studied. The coverage of 1 m2 of household floor surface with the different PST varieties for 50 years was defined as functional unit. The study sets out environmental data whose traceability was verified by independent third parties for obtaining 14 EPDs of PST under Spanish EPD programmes. Results and discussion: The study presents PST inventory analysis and environmental impact over the entire life cycle of the studied PST varieties. The natural gas consumed in the manufacturing stage accounted for more than 70% abiotic depletion–fossil fuels and global warming; electricity consumption accounted for more than 60% ozone layer depletion, while the electricity generated by the cogeneration systems avoided significant environmental impacts in the Spanish power grid mix. The variations in PST thickness, amount of glaze and mechanical treatments were evaluated. The PST variety with the lowest environmental impact was the one with the lowest thickness, was unglazed and had no mechanical treatments. Similarly, the PST variety with the highest environmental impact was the one with the greatest thickness, was glazed and had been mechanically treated. Conclusions: The PST life cycle stage with the highest environmental impact was the manufacturing stage. The main hotspots found were production and consumption of energy and raw materials extraction. Variation in thickness was a key factor that proportionally influenced almost all studied impact categories; the quantity of glaze strongly modified abiotic depletion–elements and eutrophication, while the mechanical treatments contributed mainly to ozone depletion. The study of all PST varieties led to the important conclusion, against the current trend, that differences among them were found to be so significant that declaring a number of PSTs within the same EPD is not directly possible, and it needs preliminary verification to ensure compliance with the product category rule. © 2017 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany


Puig R.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Puig R.,Cyclus Vitae Solutions S.L. | Kilic E.,Usak University | Navarro A.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | And 4 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2017

Tourism is a key industry in the Spanish economy. Spain was in the World top three ranking by international tourist arrivals and by income in 2015. The development of the tourism industry is essential to maintain the established economic system. However, if the environmental requirements were not taken into account, the country would face a negative effect on depletion of local environmental resources from which tourism depends. This case study evaluates, through a life cycle perspective, the average carbon footprint of an overnight stay in a Spanish coastland hotel by analyzing 14 two-to-five-stars hotels. Inventory and impact data are analyzed and presented both for resource use and greenhouse gases emissions, with the intention of helping in the environmental decision-making process. The main identified potential hotspots are electricity and fuels consumption (6 to 30 kWh/overnight stay and 24 to 127 MJ/overnight stay respectively), which are proportional to the number of stars and unoccupancy rate and they produce more than 75% of the impact. It is also revealed that voluntary implementation of environmental monitoring systems (like EMAS regulation) promotes collection of more detailed and accurate data, which helps in a more efficient use of resources. A literature review on LCA and tourism is also discussed. Spanish hotels inventory data presented here for the first time will be useful for tourism related managers (destination managers, policy makers and hotel managers among others) to calculate sustainability key indicators, which can lead to achieve real sustainable-tourism goals. Further data collection will be needed in future projects to gather representative data from more hotels, other accommodation facilities and also other products/services offered by tourist sector in Spain (like transport of tourists, food and beverage, culture-sports & recreation and others). © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Arzoumanidis I.,University of Chieti Pescara | Fullana-i-Palmer P.,UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI UPF | Fullana-i-Palmer P.,Cyclus Vitae Solutions S.L. | Raggi A.,University of Chieti Pescara | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2014

Carbon Footprint (CF) can be of great importance for the dissemination of life-cycle information of products. The use of CF has recently increased, despite some methodology aspects being still not sufficiently addressed. This paper deals with the accounting of biogenic carbon exchanges, focusing on the wine sector, which has been the object of several life-cycle-based studies. A review of guidelines, standards and key papers has shown that there are still unresolved issues to be considered when accounting for exchanges of biogenic carbon, such as forest management, agricultural practices and land use, soil erosion, the inclusion of all parts of a tree, the inclusion of the end-of-life phase, etc. As a result, no clear-cut conclusions can yet be drawn with regard to biogenic carbon exchanges related to the life cycle of wine products. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Lasvaux S.,Joseph Fourier University | Gantner J.,Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics | Wittstock B.,PE International | Bazzana M.,Joseph Fourier University | And 13 more authors.
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2014

Conclusions and recommendations: This paper can be viewed as a contribution to the ongoing efforts to improve the consistency and harmonisation in LCA studies for building products and buildings. Further contributions are now needed to improve building LCA guidance and to strengthen links between research, standardisation and implementation of LCA in the construction practice.Purpose: The objective of the paper is to discuss the role of a new guidance document for life cycle assessment (LCA) in the construction sector available as an online InfoHub.Methods: This InfoHub derives from the EeBGuide European project that aimed at developing a guidance document for energy-efficient building LCA studies. The InfoHub is built on reference documents such as the ISO 14040-44 standards, the EN 15804 and EN 15978 standards as well as the ILCD Handbook. The guidance document was filled with expertise and knowledge of several experts. The focus was put on providing scientifically sound, yet practical guidance.Results: The EeBGuide InfoHub is an online guidance document, setting rules for conducting LCA studies and giving instructions on how to do this. The document has a section on buildings—new and existing—and a section on construction products. It is structured according to the life cycle stages of the European standards EN 15804 and EN 15978, covering all aspects of LCA studies by applying provisions from these standards and the ILCD handbook, wherever applicable. The guidance is presented for different scopes of studies by means of three study types. For the same system boundaries, default values are proposed in early or quick assessment (screening and simplified LCA) while detailed calculation rules correspond to a complete LCA. Such approach is intended to better match the user needs in the building sector. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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