Policy / Systems / Technology

February 17, 2009


AIST Releases Software that Analyzes Product Life Cycles for Environmental Impact

Keywords: Environmental Technology Reduce / Reuse / Recycle University / Research institute 

Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) announced on October16, 2008, that it has developed what it calls "total performance assessment software" that evaluates and analyzes the value, environmental impact, and cost of a product throughout its entire life cycle. The software is available for free download from a website (listed below), and will contribute to optimizing design, manufacturing, and diffusion of more environmentally conscious products.

To calculate the overall life cycle environmental impact of a product, AIST developed something called the Total Performance Index (TPI). The TPI is based on a calculation of the utility value (benefits and satisfaction gained by using the product) divided by the geometric mean of the environmental burden and cost (product price, electricity cost, disposal cost). A higher TPI value indicates a lower environmental impact. The gradual decrease in product value due to physical deterioration and performance obsolescence is also incorporated into the utility value.

In a trial calculation performed to evaluate an old notebook computer, the TPI improved by about 8 percent by reusing the case and liquid crystal display, and by reusing or recycling the main circuit board. AIST is planning to conduct case analyses for various manufactured products to verify the effectiveness of this method, and also plans to organize its findings in an open database in order to make them available for users.

- Total Performance Analyzer
- Software that Analyzes and Evaluates Total Performance throughout the Life Cycle of a Product

Posted: 2009/02/17 06:00:15 AM