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Developing Sustainable Supply Chains from a Raw Materials Perspective: A Life Cycle Assessment Approach

Maru, Palash LU and Rajeevan, Aditya LU (2020) MTTM02 20201
Engineering Logistics
Abstract
In collaboration with IKEA of Sweden, the objective and purpose of this thesis is to create a better understanding of how can IKEA establish a more sustainable supply chain by calculating the climate footprint for Raw Materials in use today across category area (CA) of Comfort, and aid in directing future material development to achieve its future sustainability goals of becoming climate positive by 2030. The methodology used to proceed and complete this project follows an inductive / qualitative approach. The foundation of this study is based on the life cycle assessment (LCA) of raw materials used in IKEA throughout the subset of its life (cradle to gate) cycle chosen for the study. A predetermined list of requirements and the general... (More)
In collaboration with IKEA of Sweden, the objective and purpose of this thesis is to create a better understanding of how can IKEA establish a more sustainable supply chain by calculating the climate footprint for Raw Materials in use today across category area (CA) of Comfort, and aid in directing future material development to achieve its future sustainability goals of becoming climate positive by 2030. The methodology used to proceed and complete this project follows an inductive / qualitative approach. The foundation of this study is based on the life cycle assessment (LCA) of raw materials used in IKEA throughout the subset of its life (cradle to gate) cycle chosen for the study. A predetermined list of requirements and the general guidelines for conducting an LCA study on the raw materials in IKEA is governed by ISO 14064 family. LCA analysis performed on the raw materials as well on the ‘known’ ongoing projects aided in comparing and supporting the material direction targets set by IKEA Range and Supply.Comparative analysis yielded that there exists a maximum reduction potential of approximately 18,5% in the global warming potential as far as the currently used Polyurethane (PUR) foam grade and the best eco-design alternative to it are concerned. The contribution analysis of results revealed that for all the cases analysed, processing and usage of virgin polyol in PUR foams accounts for 50-62%, Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI) accounts for 28-34% and foam production process accounts for 10-12% of the total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions for the respective PUR foam analysed. The what-if scenario analysis of results revealed that for all the cases analysed, the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of the foam reduced as the combined composition of the recyclable and renewable content in the foam increased. This behavior is attributed to the fact that the contribution and benefits of carbon sequestration increase as the content of renewable and recyclable content in the foam increases and thus reduces the global warming potential of the foam (Less)
Popular Abstract
Quantifying the global warming potential of Polyurethane foams using Life Cycle Assessment Methodology in a cradle to gate system boundary

Aditya Rajeevan & Palash Maru
Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Lund University in collaboration with IKEA Range & Supply

The drive to meet the needs of the present without impeding the needs of future generations has become a prime objective for people and organizations across the globe. Organizations are pushing to replace their current practices with sustainable alternatives while consumers are seeking sustainable options for the products that they consume. Given this trend, there is an impending need for companies to closely inspect and measure the environmental impact at... (More)
Quantifying the global warming potential of Polyurethane foams using Life Cycle Assessment Methodology in a cradle to gate system boundary

Aditya Rajeevan & Palash Maru
Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Lund University in collaboration with IKEA Range & Supply

The drive to meet the needs of the present without impeding the needs of future generations has become a prime objective for people and organizations across the globe. Organizations are pushing to replace their current practices with sustainable alternatives while consumers are seeking sustainable options for the products that they consume. Given this trend, there is an impending need for companies to closely inspect and measure the environmental impact at every stage of the supply chain, from raw materials to finished products and subsequently invest necessary resources, time and effort to help them move closer to their sustainability goals. It is important to recognize the environmental impacts of the procured materials by analyzing every step in the procurement value chain in terms of the energy, resource and transport usage. This can be enabled by the International Standards Organization (ISO) defined Life Cycle Assessment methodology which can be used to quantify the global warming impact of materials in question.This quantification enables measurement of the current environmental impact and also aids in identifying the hotspots in the value chain that can be dealt with so as to improve the environmental performance of the material in question.

This thesis quantifies the global warming potential of polyurethane foams based on polyols derived from crude oil, polyurethane foam production wastes, carbon dioxide and soybean oil. This quantification was enabled by a sophisticated Life Cycle Assessment modeling software named Simapro. The material in question is Polyurethane foams which are organic cellular polymers that fall under the broad category of ‘plastics’. These foams have found extensive usage in coatings, foams, fibers, moldings and elastomers and many more applications. It is synthesized by the reaction of chemicals such as Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI) and Polyols. Both these chemicals are derived usually from fossil-based crude oil, but polyols can also be made of natural oils derived from renewable sources.

From the contribution analysis performed on all the four cases, it is seen that Fossil based polyol contributes approximately 50-60% of the total Global warming potential (GWP) of the four types of foams analyzed. Moreover, Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI) which is also a fossil-based chemical contributes to 28- 34% of the total GWP of the four foams analyzed. Hence, it can be concluded with certainty that the only way to reduce the GWP of any foam is to increase the renewable and recyclable content in it such that the content of fossil-based constituents. This quantification shows that the footprint of polyurethane foams can be reduced by up to 18% by switching to soy-based polyols. Additionally, it is also established that the GWP of the PUR foam is a decreasing function of increasing the recyclable and renewable content of foam. This behavior is attributed to the fact that the contribution and benefits of carbon sequestration increase as the content of renewable and recyclable content in the foam increases. Furthermore, this thesis also suggests the synthesis of Non-isocyanate based polyurethane foams as a future research alternative in order to combat the ill effects TDI and also shows a viable path to producing foams with the least usage of the most environmentally burdensome precursors: Polyols and TDI. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Maru, Palash LU and Rajeevan, Aditya LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Developing Sustainable Supply Chains from a Raw Materials Perspective: A Life Cycle Assessment Approach
course
MTTM02 20201
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Life-Cycle Assessment, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Sustainability, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Climate Positive, Polyurethane Foams, Global Warming Potential
report number
5909
language
English
id
9010253
date added to LUP
2020-05-26 12:25:59
date last changed
2020-05-26 12:25:59
@misc{9010253,
  abstract     = {In collaboration with IKEA of Sweden, the objective and purpose of this thesis is to create a better understanding of how can IKEA establish a more sustainable supply chain by calculating the climate footprint for Raw Materials in use today across category area (CA) of Comfort, and aid in directing future material development to achieve its future sustainability goals of becoming climate positive by 2030. The methodology used to proceed and complete this project follows an inductive / qualitative approach. The foundation of this study is based on the life cycle assessment (LCA) of raw materials used in IKEA throughout the subset of its life (cradle to gate) cycle chosen for the study. A predetermined list of requirements and the general guidelines for conducting an LCA study on the raw materials in IKEA is governed by ISO 14064 family. LCA analysis performed on the raw materials as well on the ‘known’ ongoing projects aided in comparing and supporting the material direction targets set by IKEA Range and Supply.Comparative analysis yielded that there exists a maximum reduction potential of approximately 18,5% in the global warming potential as far as the currently used Polyurethane (PUR) foam grade and the best eco-design alternative to it are concerned. The contribution analysis of results revealed that for all the cases analysed, processing and usage of virgin polyol in PUR foams accounts for 50-62%, Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI) accounts for 28-34% and foam production process accounts for 10-12% of the total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions for the respective PUR foam analysed. The what-if scenario analysis of results revealed that for all the cases analysed, the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of the foam reduced as the combined composition of the recyclable and renewable content in the foam increased. This behavior is attributed to the fact that the contribution and benefits of carbon sequestration increase as the content of renewable and recyclable content in the foam increases and thus reduces the global warming potential of the foam},
  author       = {Maru, Palash and Rajeevan, Aditya},
  keyword      = {Life-Cycle Assessment,Greenhouse Gas Emissions,Sustainability,United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,Climate Positive,Polyurethane Foams,Global Warming Potential},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Developing Sustainable Supply Chains from a Raw Materials Perspective: A Life Cycle Assessment Approach},
  year         = {2020},
}