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Challenges 2014, 5(2), 409-429; doi:10.3390/challe5020409

To Which Degree Does Sector Specific Standardization Make Life Cycle Assessments Comparable?—The Case of Global Warming Potential of Smartphones

1
Huawei Technologies Sweden AB, Skalholtsgatan 9, 16494 Kista, Sweden
2
Orange Labs Products & Services, 28 chemin du Vieux Chêne, 38240 Meylan, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 August 2014 / Revised: 28 September 2014 / Accepted: 28 September 2014 / Published: 7 November 2014
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Abstract

Here attributional life cycle assessments (LCAs) for the same smartphone model are presented by two different organizations (Orange, OGE and Huawei, HuW) and the effect of different modeling approach is analyzed. A difference of around 32% (29.6 kg and 39.2 kg) for CO2e baseline scores is found using same study object and sector specific LCA standard, however, different metrics, emission intensities, and LCA software programs. The CO2e difference is reduced to 12% (29.9 kg and 33.5 kg) when OGE use HuW metrics for use phase power consumption and total mass, and when HuW use OGE metrics for gold mass and silicon die area. Further, a probability test confirms that present baseline climate change results, for one specific study object modeled with two largely different and independent LCA modeling approaches, are comparable if both use the European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI) LCA standard. The general conclusion is that the ETSI LCA standard strongly facilitates comparable CC results for technically comparable smartphone models. Moreover, thanks to the reporting requirements of ETSI LCA standard, a clear understanding of the differences between LCA modeling approaches is obtained. The research also discusses the magnitude of the CO2e reduction potential in the life cycle of smartphones. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; life cycle assessment; modeling; smartphone; standardization climate change; life cycle assessment; modeling; smartphone; standardization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Andrae, A.S.G.; Vaija, M.S. To Which Degree Does Sector Specific Standardization Make Life Cycle Assessments Comparable?—The Case of Global Warming Potential of Smartphones. Challenges 2014, 5, 409-429.

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