12.11 - LOT - Chapter 8 & 9.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry
Willem Vanderburg

Chapter 8 & 9 – Labyrinth of Technology 1. Explain the differences between a business plan based on selling services and one based on a product take back strategy. What are the differences in the consequences for the corporation, its customers and the environment? • Currently corporations derive their profit through selling a max amount of goods (make money using more materials from the biosphere) • Therefore, they make more money by using more materials from the biosphere • By selling services instead of products, this could be reversed o Company would make more money by minimizing the amount of materials that they used o Ex. Want to use recyclable mat’ls that can be remanufactured so that they do not have to keep buying new mat’ls o Ex. Centralized laundry services would be better off if they could find a way to reused detergent and warm water • Currently society over utilizes the biosphere and underutilizes people o Currently mat’ls are much cheaper than labour o If ecological taxes were to be introduced then mat’ls could be made more expensive and the revenues from the ecological taxes could be put into reducing labour related taxes o This would move the economy into a service economy instead of a product economy • Selling services would open up many new job opportunities o Preventative approaches will expand the efforts that go into developing, manufacturing and managing new products o Extending product usage will require highly skilled maintenance, repair and remanufacturing o Closing the loops on mat’ls flow will create entirely new categories of work Chapter 8 & 9 – Labyrinth of Technology • Product take back strategy o This strategy is where the corporation is responsible for a product at the end of its useful life o This encourages the corporation to make the products easy to disassemble and recycle o Many experts do not think that a product take-back strategy is in itself enough to turn the environmental crisis around. 2. Describe a hierarchy of approaches, in decreasing order of expected benefits that companies can use to reduce their ecological footprints and likely increase their competitiveness. • (1) Sell services and not products o Edison and lighting services o IBM and mainframe services o Brings competition in the framework which we want it to do o Brings services with the least environmental harm • (2) Take back arrangements o Produce product, sell it, make arrangement at the end of life o Makes manufacturers retrieve values from end of life products • (3) Design for Environment o Not what economists recommend we do o Add mitigation until costs equal benefits o Not life cycle analysis (LCA – initiation, inventory analysis, impact analysis, improvement analysis) o Streamlined process (LCI) o Simplified LCA o EG GHG equivalent o Get a profile of its impacts (Ex. Automobile and washing machine  use) o And as a designer you know what to focus on (DFE matrix) o Concentrate on how to get rid of the worst things Chapter 8 & 9 – Labyrinth of Technology • (4) Internal recycling o Ex. Dye stamp stamps fenders out of sheet metal o Whatever sheet metal is left is perfectly clean and usable o Melt then use (take materials that is by-products and use again to reduce waste) • (5) Conversion of waste into resources o Done via industrial eco parks o Link industries where the wastes of one industry become the input of another o Ex. First eco-park Kalundborg – a tiny town with a utility, small oil refinery, pharmaceutical company, plastic board company and farming. • (6) Mine waste streams o Take wastes of industries and salvage what can be used from those wastes o Ex. Processing pictures - silver can be recovered from waste chemicals • (7) Open loop recycling o If a mat’l can no longer serve its original purpose, recycle it by using it in a simpler product • (8) Reduce the amount of mat’l that dissipates. If you have residue left, safe disposal o Ex. Hypercar reduces the amount of fluids needed in a car 3. Explain the precautionary and ‘no regrets’ principles. • Precautionary principle: o Mandates that measures must be taken in the design of any new project that will minimize environmental degradation o Burden of proof to prove whether or not something is environmentally harmful shifts from society to the corporation  Now instead of society having to prove that a project is environmentally harmful, the Chapter 8 & 9 – Labyrinth of Technology corporation must prove how its project will not be environmentally harmful  The corporation can no longer use lack of scientific evidence as an excuse to prevent it from taking steps to protect the environment o The precautionary principle has become law in some European countries, such as Germany  This means that a judge can shut down a project if he thinks that it is environmentally harmful  Instead of society having to prove that a project is environmentally harmful, the corporation must prove how its project will not be environmentally harmful  Corporation can no longer use lack of scientific evidence as an excuse to prevent it from taking steps to protect the environment o The precautionary principle is a built in ‘safety factor’ for any project • No regrets principle: o Even if a project will not do any environmental damage, it still must be proven that the project will have a net positive impact on society o Therefore, there are ‘no regrets’ if the project is not allowed to go through, because it wouldn’t have helped society anyways o Even if the h
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