1. Many concepts have been covered in the life cycle management unit. These include the following: -
Cleaner production is a planned approach to reduce or eliminate waste generation by the hybrid framework and general operation models to achieve sustainable development. It increases the efficient use of energy, water, resources and human capital. It encompasses environmental practices to recover by-products, increased productivity, improve environmental performance and reduces energy consumption.
Life cycle assessment can be defined as a step by step systematic analysis of the environmental impact of a product or a service which is launched in the market for business purposes(Hauschild et al. 2017). It covers all the upstream, downstream and disposal process in the entire product development life cycle.
To analyze the environmental impact of the organization's firms, it is important to integrate tools that can help evaluate the processes undertaken during the production stage. Some of the tools that can be used by the organization include prioritization tools, improvement tools, management tools and different matrixes like eco-compass matrix, product summary matrix and so on.
Sustainable energy is that form of energy which meet’s today’s demand without affecting the needs of the future generation. This form of energy does not cause any harm to the environment and is available at free cost.
Risk management can be defined as a process by which risk is identified, assessed, reported, managed and monitored. It plays a very important role in determining the risks in the environment and identifying how to manage the risk.
Sustainable target method evolved as a developed model to access the relationship of the economic value of the product or service to that of the environmental impacts. It assesses the if and end of life options available for the product or service. It is a perfect indicator of resource productivity and eco-efficiency.
An environmental management system is a framework that helps an organization to achieve their environmental goals by continuously analyzing the process taken by it through consistent reviews, evaluation and improving environmental performances(Moumen and El Aoufir 2017)
Hydrogen energy should be promoted to be used as an automotive fuel in vehicles to decrease greenhouse emission in the environment. The chemical power plants convert hydrogen into mechanical energy to run vehicles. It is one of the best alternatives to diesel and petrol so far.
Life cycle sustainability assessment evaluates economic, social and environmental aspects to move towards sustainable development. It is a recognized method to assess the environmental impact of product and services and benefits of decision-making processes for the environment. It has developed fast for protecting the environment from negative impacts.
Sustainability measurement can be defined as a process to assess a program and project-based on best practice. Sustainability measurement metrics consist of various indicators for accessibility. These include indicators, benchmarks, audits, indexes and accounting. It also assesses praise and reports other systems used.
2. Sustainability implications of each of the concept discussed above are given below: -
It is a very beneficial concept as it will help in reducing the waste that is generated during the production of a product in the market. It will help to realize energy efficiency and increase the use of green products for both economic performance and environmental potential.
Life cycle assessment is a scientific technique to access the resource consumption and overall impact of the product or services on the environment from the process of extraction and manufacturing to water and land inputs and releases in the environment.
Cleaner production, life cycle assessment and environmental management system are of no use if there are no tools to integrate each one. Cleaner production tool will reduce the waste and increase the use of energy while life cycle assessment tools would give an analysis of the product and environmental management system would restrict the company from harming the environment.
The sustainable energy management system emphasis on the use of renewable sources of energy as it has no impact on the environment and health of the pubic. These energy resources do not produce greenhouse emissions and thus will help the concerned organizations to reduce the carbon footprint of the world. It will also help to conserve the use of fossil fuels to meet the needs and demands of the future generation.
Risk management is a very important aspect as many times risk remains unidentified which result in huge losses for both environment and humans(Artz et al. 2018). To manage the risk beforehand this system is very important. Various kinds of risks need to be addressed. These include human risk, environmental risk and so on.
A new product that is going to be launched in the market can be tested through sustainability scoring. The product is analyzed from scratch till the end it to check whether the residual can be further used or not. It will benefit both the firms as well as the environment.
The benefit of an environmental management system is that protects the health of the people and the environment by limiting the release of harmful gases and substances(Salim et al. 2018). It is identified in a study that every organization affects the environment in some way or the other but it needs to get curb.
The main benefit of hydrogen energy as an automobile fuel is that it reduces the emission of greenhouse gases which is caused by the use of fossil fuels like diesel and petrol.
Life cycle sustainability is useful in quantifying the extraction of resources and emission of the product system on land, water and air. It is used in industries to maintain the sustainability of the natural resources in the entire life cycle of the product.
Analyzing sustainability is important because it will help the firms and the organizations to improve the environmental policies and strategies at various stages like the global chain and so on.
3. Industries currently are facing energy and material crises as the demand for the product is increasing with an increase in the population day by day. It is found in research that the current population of the world is 5.5 billion and it will soon reach 12 billion in the next decade. To feed such a large population it is very difficult for the industries with limited material to produce a product that supports sustainable development goals. The key challenge for the industries is to innovate a method by which they can turn their production into sustainable or greener products by minimizing the use of non –renewable sources and thereby increase the use of renewable ones (Swain et al. 2017).World bank in its newly published report announced that if the condition remains same then the global waste production will increase by 70 per cent and it would become difficult for the countries to manage such a large amount of waste. Currently, the world produces 2.1 billion metric tons of waste out of which only a few percentages of it is recycled it is dumped and openly burned out (Kandachar and Halme2017). Most of the waste produced is from the industries which are hazardous for the environment and mankind. It is seen that companies today are mainly concerned to meet the needs of the customer. They have forgotten their responsibilities for the future generation.
It is due to these reasons the responsibility of industries towards cleaner productions is increased. The industries have to invest more in the prevention of the waste generation which increases pollution in the environment. They need to research and develop sustainable products for their customers and ensure that the company is completing its corporate social responsibilities (Morioka et al. 2017).The company need to find alternative methods to decrease the carbon footprint caused by them in the environment. It can be done by adopting various techniques like ensuring the use of renewable sources of energy and by developing more resilient sustainability programs. It is found that sustainability must be ingrained in the industry culture and the companies need to ensure that all the managers take sustainable decisions.
In addition to this, the industries must plan activities to develop, implement, achieve and review the environmental policy. Industries must involve themselves in solid waste diversion. They must start improving environmental compliances. The industries must indulge more in reduce, reuse and recycling activities. It can be done by reducing the use of resources like water and so on. Besides, they can reuse the materials used in office supplies and recycle products like batteries, paper, electronics, metal cans, metal scraps, glasses, plastic containers, toner cartridges, fluorescent bulbs and so on. The industries can also adopt pollution prevention techniques like waste exchange programs, environmentally preferable purchasing, alternating cleaning processes, improving inventory management, spill prevention and so on(Pratt and Burgard 2016). These steps by the industries can help in overcoming the sustainable development challenges and improving profitability and productivity all at the same time.
4. There are many sustainable development challenges faced by the industries these days but it is important to overcome them by finding some potential management ideas that not only help the industry to grow in the economic front but also help them to achieve sustainable targets such as the company must use energy efficiently and make use of the renewable sources (Chowdhury et al. 2017). It must adopt the process of product such that it does not have any negative impact on the environment. The companies must keep a track on the water efficiency because water is the most precious resource on Earth which is required for various activities. The industries must organize sustainable development programs for its employees so that they can also understand their social responsibility and try to find out ideas by which they can innovate a sustainable product. The training would help in achieving sustainable targets defined by the company. Sustainable development goals of the company must include waste recovery, efficient use of energy and measurements to reduce greenhouse emissions in the environment. The industries must involve more in the greener projects like they must start establishing solar panels and try to minimize the hazardous substances in air and water. The climatic condition of the entire world reveals that the environmental policies of the companies are not taken care of.
The industries must engage in conservation plans. It must try to eliminate the waste by opting waste reduction plans like all the scrap materials dumped by the industry must be recycled and the other substances must be used. The industry must embed the sustainability criteria in procurement and other processes. They must find an alternative to the resources like companies can replace the automobile fuel with hydrogen (VinothKanna and Paturu 2018). It will help in reducing the carbon footprint of the environment. Also, they must reduce exposure to climate-related events. Besides they must adopt invest in newer technologies like 3D printing. It will help reduce waste generated through long production and prototyping. The companies must also accelerate the transition of renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, geothermal and biogas.
It must create some strategies to reduce methane emission in the environment. The industries must also build a research and development environment where they can study and explore ideas and other alternative materials which will not harm the environment. They must reduce contamination of air and water pollution (Pratt and Burgard 2016). The industries must engage with other stakeholders like a non-governmental organization that aim to help companies achieve sustainable development goals. The safety innovations and best practices of the industry stakeholder will help in reducing the risk of illness caused due to hazardous chemicals, increased greenhouse emissions, air pollution, mine collapses and other industrial accidents like fire in Chevron refinery, Chernobyl gas leak and so on. Industries must also reduce routine flaring in the oil refineries. Besides this, the industry must make sure to maintain all its environmental policies. All these steps will help in overcoming sustainable development challenges experienced by the industries in the long run.
5. After completing the life cycle assessment unit, I was surprised to realize that become a critical thinker of the issues and key challenges experienced by the industries to reduce the negative environmental impact. I introspected all the concepts again to find methods which can be adopted by the industries to launch a suitable product in the environment without generating waste in tons. The life cycle assessment helped me in keeping a track starting on planning, production and launching phase of the product. I realized if the industry is unable to meet the sustainable development goals at least it must involve itself in reducing the waste generated through various integrating tools and operational models. Initially, I found it difficult to understand the relationship between economy and sustainability but later I realized that a company's economic growth as well as meeting the sustainable development goals to reduce negative environmental impact is important (Rodrigues and Henriques2016). If any of these goals are not met by the organization, then it will have to suffer in the business market where there are a lot of competitors available to take advantage. To check and manage there are various sustainability target methods which can help to determine whether the development of the new product is affecting the environment or not. Like life cycle assessment, sustainability measurement, environmental management system, risk management and so on.
Earlier, I used to believe that technology is the main cause of emission in the environment but I realized that it, not just technology, there are other things as well in the market which increase pollution and waste in the environment. When I heard the statists of the World Bank I was shocked to know that in a year we produce 2.13 billion metric tons of waste. It is a huge number and other than this I also realized that the natural resources of the world will get depleted if the industries continue to use them in running machines to develop the product (Holt 2018). I understood that the need of the hour is to become eco-friendly only then the companies will be able to meet their sustainable development goals. The most important need is to make people aware of the greener products so that they stop purchasing the ones which are not sustainable.
Many companies have already adopted practices to recycle electronic items by purchasing it from customers and producing a new electronic item from the recycled material. Even the fashion industry has also taken a step in this direction. I was really happy to find that companies are taking their sustainable development goals and their corporate social responsibilities seriously. These steps will help in accessing reliable and sustainable energy for all(Farret and Simões2017). I also comprehended that not only non-renewable sources like fuel, petrol and dieselthere is a need to conserve the ocean and marine resources as well for the sustainable development and create innovative products by minimizing the use of these resources. The new products and services which are going to be launched in the market must ensure environment safety.
Artz, J., Müller, T.E., Thenert, K., Kleinekorte, J., Meys, R., Sternberg, A., Bardow, A. and Leitner, W., 2018. Sustainable conversion of carbon dioxide: an integrated review of catalysis and life cycle assessment. Chemical reviews, 118(2), pp.434-504.
Chowdhury, R.B., Moore, G.A., Weatherley, A.J. and Arora, M., 2017. Key sustainability challenges for the global phosphorus resource, their implications for global food security, and options for mitigation. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140, pp.945-963.
Farret, F.A. and Simões, M.G., 2017. Integration of renewable sources of energy. John Wiley & Sons.
Hauschild, M.Z., Rosenbaum, R.K. and Olsen, S.I., 2018. Life cycle assessment. Springer.
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Moumen, M. and El Aoufir, H., 2017. Quality, safety and environment management systems (QSE): analysis of empirical studies on integrated management systems (IMS). Journal of Decision systems, 26(3), pp.207-228.
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Salim, H.K., Padfield, R., Hansen, S.B., Mohamad, S.E., Yuzir, A., Syayuti, K., Tham, M.H. and Papargyropoulou, E., 2018. Global trends in environmental management system and ISO14001 research. Journal of cleaner production, 170, pp.645-653.
Swain, P., Jagadish, S. and Mahesh, K.U., 2017, July. Integration of renewable sources of energy into power grid. In 2017 IEEE Region 10 Symposium (TENSYMP) (pp. 1-5). IEEE.
VinothKanna, I. and Paturu, P., 2018. A study of hydrogen as an alternative fuel. International Journal of Ambient Energy, pp.1-4.
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