This Project was funded within the EU-Program GROWTH and will focus on the product-service life cycle of electr(on)ic products, and involve key players in the electronics and automotive industries in all of the various stages of the product-service life cycle – from component suppliers and product manufacturers, to service and logistic suppliers and End-of-Life processors. The main activities of the Network will focus on the environmental and economic aspects of product design, functional and service-system innovation.
Selected items will be discussed within a small group of experts with an industrial or scientific background in order to exchange their experiences and define possible strategies for each single item. At the end of the ECOLIFE II project all strategies will be brought together and a final best practice guide on Eco-efficiency, a Green Paper on Sustainable Service Systems, guidelines, etc. will be elaborated.
29 organisations are already participating to ECOLIFE II as “Associated Members”. They are producers, research centres and recyclers coming from 10 European countries.
The following project partners are Associated Members of the ECOLIFE project and receive funding from the European Commission:
SAT (AT), APPLE (FR), ARÖW (DE), Bay Zoltan (HU), CFSD (UK), Electrolux (SE), ENSAM (FR), FEBE Ecologic (IT), FhG-IML (DE), GAIKER (ES), Merloni (UK), Fujitsu Services (UK), Stuttgart University (DE), Indumetal (ES), IVF (SE), Motorola (DE), Philips (NL), ReUse (AT), RNC (FR), Schneider (FR), Rohm & Haas (UK), SINTEF (NO), Sony (DE), Szinva (HU), Continental (DE), TU Cottbus (DE), Flextronics (HU), EUES (FR), CRSA (FR).
The following working groups and subjects have been defined:
Area I: Product Re-Design
Task 1.1: Design methods for sustainable products
The aim of this task is to illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of each design approach and to allow each project partner to evaluate their own design approach in a comparative context.
Task 1.2: Design tools
Eco-design checklists and tools
Guidelines and tools for design for disassembly
Supply chain analysis
Task 1.3: Eco-efficient Technologies
Energy efficiency with focus on renewable energy resources and energy savings during a products life
Dematerialization (material variety and intensity)
Substitution of hazardous materials
Sustainable production of service oriented products
Extended product durability and use-time
Area II: Function Innovation
Task 2.1: Technology Shift
Identification of current and future functions and customer needs
Analysis of functions and technologies regarding environmental impact and reduction potentials using different technologies
Task 2.2: Product – Service – Shift
How can eco-efficient product services systems be systematically developed?
How can unexpected innovations be handled?
What are the obstacles/risks in bringing product- service systems to market?
Task 2.3: Eco – efficient materials and processes
Benchmark of eco-efficient materials and processes and their applications
Discussion of current and further applications of these materials and processes and estimation of the environmental impact and life cycle costs
Task 2.4: Network of companies / Virtual Factory
Functions and possible institutionalisation
Dynamic organisational structures
Information flow and management
Product responsibility and product life cycle quality
Area III: Service – System Innovation
Task 3.1: Legislation and Service System Innovation
Scrutinising the development of Member State legislation that implements these EU Directives will be one of the main issues within this task. Another key topic will be whether the EU and national legislation facilitates or hinders the development of service systems.
Task 3.2: Consumer needs
Products and services both provide functions to consumers that fulfil their needs. This Task will concentrate on the investigation of consumers’ needs and the related technical and organisational aspects.
Task 3.3: Business model
The change in consumer demands requires new business models which involve the customer, the content provider (of a service), the producer of the equipment and the provider of the infrastructure. The aim of this task will be to clarify interactions between them.