Evaluating Consumer Product Life Cycle Sustainability with Integrated Metrics: A Paper Towel Case Study
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© 2016 American Chemical Society. Integrated sustainability metrics provide an enriched set of information to inform decision-making. However, such approaches are rarely used to assess product supply chains. In this work, four integrated metrics-presented in terms of land, resources, value added, and stability-are applied in a life cycle context, along with industrial process systems assessment and life cycle assessment, to evaluate Bounty paper towels from two manufacturing lines. The results show that the paper towels from the more state-of-the-art manufacturing line and newer facility are marginally more sustainable by the majority of environmental measures. Drivers of impacts from land use, resource use, and externality costs in the product life cycle are largely in the supply chains for raw materials and energy. The integrated metrics point to greenhouse gases, criteria air pollutants, land used for pulpwood, and fossil fuel use as important emissions and resources to manage for improving the sustainability of paper towel production. The metrics employed help to reconcile contrasting results from the life cycle impact assessment, such as water and energy use impacts, and provide a reduced set of practical, yet comprehensive, information to inform product-related decision-making. (Figure Presented).
author list (cited authors)
Ingwersen, W. W., Ceja, M., Weisbrod, A. V., Cabezas, H., Demeke, B., Eason, T., ... Gonzalez, M. A.