This project was carried out through three main work packages:
- LCM Training Programme: developing and delivering a training programme to LCM Champions in the case-study companies, and additional informal training of students in Life Cycle Assessment techniques.
- LCM Implementation: undertaking focused life cycle studies in each company, and integrating life cycle thinking into product design, environmental management systems, supply chain management, and end-of life management.
- LCM Research Programme: learning about how companies can most efficiently integrate life cycle thinking into their practices, and how these outcomes can be replicated throughout the economy.
The case study companies were:
- AHI Roofing Ltd
- Comvita New Zealand Ltd
- David Trubridge Ltd
- Mastip Technology Ltd
- Nufarm NZ Limited
- Verda New Zealand Ltd
Outcomes and achievements
The research programme of the LCM project addressed issues critical to the successful adoption of LCM in New Zealand:
- Barriers and enablers for LCM in organisations
A model of organisational change developed by Landcare Research has been used to investigate how effectively the case- study companies integrate LCM into their organisations, and the impact of LCM on each organisation’s development.
- Benefits of adopting LCM
Integrating product-oriented environmental management initiatives into a company’s strategy and operations can be time-consuming and costly. The research also investigates the balance between benefits and costs that could justify (or otherwise) the required investment.
- LCM implementation in New Zealand
Understanding the differences for LCM adoption in New Zealand compared with implementation in other countries globally. Delivering a practical understanding of differences in approach to LCM to overcome barriers and promote enablers to account accurately for the benefits of LCM.
Headline examples of the results for the case study companies include
- Securing new market access by highlighting environmental credentials
- Product redesign to reduce energy use during product operation
- Product assembly to reduce export transportation costs and environmental impacts in key markets
- Consideration of upstream environmental impacts beyond the factory gate
- Adoption of the Enviro-Mark® environmental management system as a base for further continuous improvement
- Minimisation of waste and energy use
- Reduction in packaging volumes and costs
- LCM programmes complement other initiatives such as LEAN manufacturing
- LCA and environmental data used in corporate objective setting and reporting