NEWH - Winter 2012 - (Page 14)
Sustainability Point of View
Circle of Life
By Dina Belon
No matter if you are in design, procurement, manufacturing, hotel operations, or any other part of the hospitality industry, Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) can help you create better speci cation and make better procurement decisions. LCAs can be used to create environmental labeling or communicate your sustainability achievements. LCA is more than just using the right materials in the beginning or recycling at the end of a product’s life. It measures the collective impact across the entire life cycle. It also measures the damage (if any) that a product puts on the environment. (see chart 1) Part of comparing products is also to total cost of product, looking at the purchase price, freight costs, carbon footprint, receiving, warehousing, and installation total costs comparatively. See the below example where you would think that the end table from Manufacturer Z cost 22 percent more than Manufacturer X, however when a total Product Cost Analysis is completed the actual cost is only 2 percent more, and would be worth considering for the improved environmental impact. (see chart 2)
4. Regulation Compliance Businesses, particularly manufacturing can expect to deal with more regulatory mandates at local, national, and international levels. Europe, in particular, is pressing ahead with product labeling requirements. Businesses that do not meet those labeling mandates cannot sell their products in Germany already, and France and Japan are moving toward similar initiatives. When you have determined the objectives for the LCA you will need to de ne what level is appropriate. Depending on your particular sustainability goals, you might not need to do a full-blown LCA, which can be time-consuming and costly. Sometimes, an LCA can be streamlined by bringing together stakeholders and forging a consensus using qualitative rather than quantitative evidence. e best place to start is the International Standards Organization (ISO), which created ISO14040 and 14044 standards for conducting LCA studies. Such studies involve four steps: establishing the goal and scope of the study; taking a life cycle inventory; conducting a life cycle impact assessment; and interpreting the results to make a business decision. You can dial the complexity of these four steps up or down depending on the complexity of the product or process you are evaluating.
What are the objectives of a common Life Cycle Analysis?
1. Identify cost savings You may do this by reducing consumption of resources, or by nding value in what was considered waste by recycling/reusing materials. By reducing the impacts, you can also reap cost savings. Sustainability is about e ciency in many of its attributes and a more e cient process creates a more cost e ective (sustainable) product. 2. Sustainable Claims Creating a veri able sustainable report on a product or process is essential and can keep you out of hot water with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). We are all aware of Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits deceptive acts and practices in or a ecting commerce. Marketers must ensure that all reasonable interpretations of their claims are truthful, e FTC Green Guides (www.ftc.gov/ os/2012/10/greenguides.pdf) states, “In the context of environmental marketing claims, a reasonable basis often requires competent and reliable scienti c evidence. Such evidence consists of tests, analyses, research, or studies that have been conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by quali ed persons and are generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results. Such evidence should be su cient in quality and quantity based on standards generally accepted in the relevant scienti c elds, when considered in light of the entire body of relevant and reliable scienti c evidence, to substantiate that each of the marketing claims is true.” 3. Enhance brand value for competitive differentiation In many industries and markets, there is a market advantage if your brand is perceived as environmentally and/or socially bene cial.
is is a great point to also discuss environmental product declarations (EPDs), based on ISO 14025, they illustrate the life cycle environmental performance of a product or service. EPDs have to meet and comply with speci c and required methodological prerequisites. e results can be used to add up LCA-based information in the supply chain and to compare di erent EPDs. To nd out more information check out the Health Product Declaration, a joint project by Healthy Building Network and BuildingGreen, Inc. to create a standard declaration for building products with contents and associated health information (www.hpdworkinggroup.org). is can give you the ability to compare products on an equal environmental footing. Here are some additional places you can go to learn more about LCAs:
• The U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies: www.epa.gov/nrmrl/std/lca/lca.html • The American Center for Life Cycle Assessment, and the Global Environmental Declarations Network (GEDnet) which has a very useful library on PCRs developed around the globe: cr-library.edf.org.tw
Dina Belon is NEWH’s vice president of sustainable hospitality and the energy specialist at the Peabody Orlando. ❙❘❚
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - Winter 2012
NEWH - Winter 2012
Sustainability: Point of View
Q&A: Cynthia Millow
Q&A: Lisa Ghai
Have You Seen?
Product Know How
On the Scene
On the Cover
Project: Hilton and Marriott Prototypes for Latin America
Project: Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa
Save the Date
NEWH - Winter 2012