Title: Consumer Footprint: Basket of Products indicators on household appliances
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2019
JRC N°: JRC116704
ISBN: 978-92-76-05003-2 (online),978-92-76-05004-9 (print),978-92-76-14155-6 (ePub)
ISSN: 1831-9424 (online),1018-5593 (print)
Other Identifiers: EUR 29758 EN
OP KJ-NA-29758-EN-N (online),KJ-NA-29758-EN-C (print),KJ-NA-29758-EN-E (ePub)
URI: https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC116704
DOI: 10.2760/964701
Type: eBook
Abstract: The European Consumer Footprint is a set of life cycle assessment (LCA) indicators aimed to measure the environmental impact of an average EU citizen. The Consumer Footprint encompasses 5 areas of consumption, namely food, mobility, housing, household goods, and appliances, and for each of them a basket of products (BoPs) has been defined. This report is about the assessment of the environmental impact BoP on household appliances. The BoP on appliances covers a number of representative products, selected in terms of economic value and diffusion in households such as television, washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, and laptop. The list of appliances has been selected with DG ENV with the aim of strengthening the link with several product policies, allowing comparison of the baseline scenario and eco-innovations ones, including - where relevant - consumer behaviour scenarios. The BoP appliances has been developed in order to help policy makers to evaluate the improvement potential of the household appliances sector in a life cycle perspective. This includes an analysis of the environmental savings potential, relevant measures related to the BoP on appliances when relevant policy measures are taken via the use of Ecodesign, Energy labelling, etc. Overall, more than 15 scenarios have been elaborated, and results calculated using the impact assessment methods as in the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) and in Environmental Footprint (EF). A comparison of results between the Methodology for Ecodesign of Energy-related Products (MEErP), used in Ecodesign, and LCA methodology has been conducted as well. The hotspot analysis done with ILCD and EF 3.0 impact assessment methods confirmed the high relevance of the use phase of energy-related products, due to electricity use. Within the use phase, the energy efficiency of products and consumer behaviour (i.e. intensity of use) are the two factors that determine the impact. Large appliances, such as TV screens and lighting, are the product groups that contribute the most to the overall impact of the BoP appliances. This is partially due to their specific impact per unit and partially to the high number of those appliances owned by European households combined with the use patterns. As expected, the impact from the investigated appliances on resource depletion, and specifically on energy carriers, is the most relevant one among the impact categories considered in the two methods. The scenarios on improved energy efficiency of the representative products (i.e. in line with the requirements of the Ecodesign directive) showed that there is a good potential (around 10%-20% savings) for most of the impact categories considered. The greatest potential appears to be on the reduction of the ozone depletion from the use of refrigerants in air conditioning units. Scenario 11 can be considered as an overall summary of the effects of all the measures and changes tested on the BoP appliances. The result of all these intervention is a significant reduction of impact for most of the impact categories (up to -65% for ozone depletion and around -35% for climate change). However, the impact on land use, freshwater ecotoxicity and resource depletion (minerals and metals) is larger than in the baseline. Notwithstanding the uncertainties and limitations coming from the modelling assumptions and the impact assessment methods used, the main conclusions drawn from the results obtained are considered reliable and potentially relevant in support to several policies acting at the product level, such as the Ecodesign directive (2009), and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive (2012), but also for policies with a broader scope, such as those related to resource efficiency (EC, 2011b), critical raw materials (EC, 2011a), energy efficiency (2012) and certain aspects and action steps contained in the circular economy action plan (2015,2017). Moreover, the structure of the BoP and the possibility to build scenarios acting on user behaviour can be useful in light of the currently increasing interest in behaviour- oriented policies.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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