1998-11-30

Life Cycle Analysis of a Complex Product, Application of ISO 14040 to a Complete Car 982187

The Japan Automobile Manufactures Association (JAMA), in pursuit of their goal of “creating products that put a minimum of load on the earth's environment”, have been carrying out an LCA Study related to motor vehicles. At the time of the previous TLC, for a single car taken as a collection of parts, an LCI study of the carbon dioxide emissions and consumption of energy only was carried out. It was based on 17 basic categories of materials and 13 basic manufacturing process categories. At the time of this study, the data obtained was limited to the total material consumption and energy consumption related to the manufacture of a typical 2000cc Japanese passenger car.
The current study was focused on a 1500cc gasoline engine 4-door passenger sedan model, and we reclassified into approximately 140 classifications. The production process data was limited to the target model. With regard to the LCI data categories, they included not only factors related to global warming, but also factors concerning other environmental impact, so that a much more detailed LCI was carried out. The reason that a 1500cc passenger sedan was chosen was to obtain results to be used for a detailed LCI Study concerning a typical passenger sedan in Japan. As a result of this approach, it was possible to combine data from the eight companies which assemble this classification of vehicle in Japan.
The study carried out this time was mainly an LCI study based on more refined categories. To achieve more accurate results, we are considering several improved methods data collection. However, in the case of Japan, the degree of reliance on parts made by outside suppliers is relatively high so that we think it will be necessary to exchange data with the related materials and parts makers.

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