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New book published on Sustainable Product Development: Tools, Methods and Examples

9 October 2020

A book entitled “Sustainable Product Development: Tools, Methods and Examples” was published by Springer in May 2020. This book is edited by Professor Daizhong Su, the coordinator of the CIRC4Life project. He is the Head of Advanced Design and Manufacturing Engineering Centre at Nottingham Trent University and has been working in product design and manufacture for more than 35 years and conducts research in sustainable product development for the last 20 years.


Amongst the sixteen chapters of the book, the following four chapters were written by the CIRC4Life project team members:

  • Chapter 3: Review of life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) methods and inventory databases. In this chapter, a wide range of LCA methods, new initiative for reducing emissions and improving resource efficiency, and Product Environmental Footprint are examined, in order to introduce the research tendency in this filed and clarify the differences among these LCIA methods. The LCIA methods are broadly categorized as resource based and emission based. Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) database are also investigated, and the features of the generic LCI database are presented. The data formats of the ecoinvent database are deeply examined, with the aim of clarifying the attributes, types of each data components to help users to understand the role of inventory database in the practices.

  • Chapter 5: Eco-Accounting Infrastructure. The eco-accounting infrastructure presented in this chapter includes ‘eco-debit (or eco-cost)’ to show the customer’s negative ecological impact resulted from the products purchased, ‘eco-credits’ to credit customers’ positive behaviour of recycling end-of-life products, ‘eco-shopping’ for consumers to gain the ecological information of the products to be purchased, and ‘consumer eco-account’ to record consumers’ ecological footprints.

  • Chapter 6: Application of Information and Communication Technologies for Eco-accounting. To implement the eco-accounting framework presented in Chapter 5 requires to process and manage a large amount of dynamic data. To achieve this, the related information and communication technology methods are presented in this chapter to collect the dynamic data for the calculation of eco-cost and eco-credits, and then make them accessible for all stakeholders along the value chain, from one operation model to another, for example, from material extraction to product manufacture and from supplier to customer.

  • Chapter 12:  Environmental Impact Assessment of Farming with Combined Methods of Life Cycle Assessment and Farm Carbon Calculator. This chapter presents an approach of combining the life cycle assessment (LCA) and Farm Carbon Calculator (FCC) to assess the environmental impact of farming. The approach is applied in an organic vegetable farm as an application scenario. The scope of the investigation is presented first, followed by assessing the environmental impact of farming by utilizing the LCA and FCC methods respectively. The assessments were conducted regarding key aspects of farming, including fuel/energy consumption, fertility improvement, materials, distribution, and waste/disposals. According to the assessment results, suggestions for reducing the environmental impact of farming are proposed.

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