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This sophisticated tool is more detailed and is aimed at groups of A2 students. It involves some qualitative analysis of products or designs allowing you to calculate their environmental and social impacts.

Ask your teacher if some assistance is required for the mathematical calculations involved. This activity takes into account human health, ecosystem quality and use of resources. The impact that different stages of the life-cycle (production, use and disposal).

The activity
The Eco-indicator is a table listing the material or process, the amount, the Eco-indicator value and the eco-points for each aspect of the life-cycle

It is split into three sections:

1) Production raw materials, processing & manufacture (e.g. polystyrene and injection moulding)
Transportation of product
, energy in use & consumables in use (e.g. shipping, electricity and paper)

Produce a list of component parts by disassembling a product and identifying materials & processes and weight (in kgs) for each part
Add each component to the correct section in the table
The product components are each quantified in relevant units (raw materials in kgs, electricity in kWh, shipping in tkm etc) and these figures can be filled in on the table
Find out the Eco-indicator value for each product element. Then multiply the weight of each of the components by its Eco-indicator value to give its eco-points
The higher the points, the worse the environmental impact of that element

The total number of eco-points can then be calculated for each life-cycle stage and graphs can be drawn
Discuss which components and stages of the products life-cycle cause most impact. This will help highlight areas for improvement when redesigning

Download the Eco Indicator Worksheets (Word Document, 242 kB)

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