What was once right doesn't always have to be stay right
Products and processes that used to have a bad eco-balance can become better, for example through the material-saving design of packaging or by reducing the energy consumption of electronic devices. The circulation figures for reusable products can increase. Manufacturing processes can be designed with lower emissions through improved exhaust air or wastewater treatment.
But even with completely unchanged products, the life cycle assessment can change significantly if the environment changes, as is the case at the moment. through the increasing expansion of renewable energies. However, caution is required when products or processes are already being made palatable today with the promise of future climate-neutral energy generation. Battery-powered vehicles need green electricity: the same applies to the production of green hydrogen and many other production processes. What sounds good at the product level must also be able to be implemented at the overall system level.
The criteria for evaluating the life cycle assessment can also change.
Acidification or the depletion of the ozone layer used to be central ecological issues. They are still important, but today the focus is on climate change. In a world of renewable energies, however, other environmental impacts will come into focus. For example, water scarcity or land use could gain more attention.
Another factor that can lead to changes in the assessment is the improvement of the LCA methodology. It is conceivable that increasing understanding of biodiversity and ecosystems in connection with new and powerful IT systems will make it possible to quantify biodiversity effects in a reasonably reliable manner in the future.
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