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Chapter 5

Minimising Resource Consumption

5.1 Introduction Minimising resources means reducing material and energy consumption of a certain product; it is better if it is at every life cycle stage and of the entire service offered by the product; that is, corresponding to the functional unit. This strategy concerns a quantitative saving for the environment and in sustainability terms has two implications. First, with regard to the input flow, it helps to save natural resources for future generations1. On the other hand, with regard to the output into nature, the reduction of resource consumption, which is trivial really, overrides the environmental impact of what is not consumed. Using up fewer materials diminishes the impact not only because fewer materials are extracted, but also because it avoids fewer processing, transportation and disposal costs. Analogically, smaller energy consumption diminishes the impact otherwise caused by its production and transportation2. Materials and energy have their economic costs as well as their ecological ones; thus, minimising their consumption is an overall source of saving, though currently consumption reduction during use is not necessarily among the goals of companies and therefore it can not be claimed that it translates into highly efficient product design. It is especially true in a sales-based economy, but, as will be demonstrated in the following paragraphs3, it is also possible to develop a more integrated product service system in which the user does not necessarily own the product. This new form of supply carries some interesting intrinsic values with regard to ecoefficiency. 1

Cf. definition of sustainable development in Chap. 1. Methane is an excellent energy source for heating and domestic consumption, but losses occurring during transportation are highly polluting; this gas more than any other is the cause of global warming. 3 Cf. Chap. 10. 2

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Design for Environmental Sustainability  

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Design for Environmental Sustainability  

Download: versi pdf [http://www.ziddu.com/download/12569881/DesignforEnvironmentalSustainability.pdf.html] versi zip [http://www.ziddu.com/...

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