Research Paper: Management Rationale

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[. . .] To inform the decision makers in non-government or government firms, regarding the importance of priority setting, strategic planning, and process or product design/redesign.

To select the concerning indicators of the environmental performances which also include techniques of measurement.

To market things like implementation on the eco-labelling scheme, environmental claim or the declaration of the environmental product.

LCA, thus, is a tool which helps to improve the efficiency of resources. The organizations and stake-holders are able to recognise the "hotspots" in the supply-chain in terms of opportunities and potential risks. In broader vision, LCA ensures the implementation of the improvements as it will affect the life-cycle thus preventing the burden of other impacts of environment or stages. The design for sustainability and eco-design has the LCA-centred information for the product design tools (Crul and Diehl, 2007).

What is social life cycle assessment?

S-LCA (social life cycle assistance) is used for assessing the social features, and negative and positive impacts of the product throughout the life-cycle. Moreover, it focuses on the processing and the extraction of the raw material, manufacturing, distribution, utilization, reutilization, sustainability, re-cycling and disposal. It also makes use of site specific data and generic, which can be qualitative or quantitative, and accompaniments LCA with social features. Furthermore, S-LCA can be individually applied or in collaboration of LCA.

S-LCA is helpless in providing the answer regarding the production of a particular product, whereas it can provide information to think about and making a decision regarding the product.

As a whole, S-LCA follows the framework of ISO 14040 but there are some common aspects augmented at every stage of study which may differ. UNEP Guidelines for the Social Life-Cycle Assessment (2009; also see UNEP/Sustainability, 2008) of the products offers a methodology for the development of inventories of life-cycle. A life-cycle inventory is explained for the indicators (like number of created jobs) interlinked with the impact classes (local employment) relating to 5 basic stakeholders (workers, consumers, local community, society, and value chain actors).

The impact groups for local community are: access to material and immaterial resources, migration and delocalization, respect of native rights, cultural heritage, healthy and safe living conditions, local employment, security for living and community engagement.

What is life cycle costing?

LCC or life cycle costing is used for the calculation of total cost of any product (services and goods) produced along the life-cycle from the acquisition to the disposal, inclusive of installation, design, maintenance, operation, recycling and disposal.

LCC can be utilized for various purposes including a common use as the selection studies are related to both the optimization and comparisons for various products and trade-off designs. The energy sector mostly focuses on selection of source for many services, whereas the construction mainly utilizes affordable studies. The public sector, on the other hand, utilizes LCC for decision sources and private sector uses it as a support tool for design.

What is environmental life cycle costing?

The extension of traditional LCC is environmental LCC which measures the costs related to the life-cycle of a product and are enclosed by one or many actors. These actors are suppliers, customers, manufactures, end of life actors or end users. Environmental LCC is exclusive of external costs that are irrelevant to the actual monetary flow and analysis or decisions at hand but may include external costs of the social or environmental effects. These external costs thus allow anticipation of the future and help in decisions pertaining to it (Rebitzer and Hunkeler, 2003).

Traditional LCC comprises of costs which are directly borne by the actors involved in the financial transactions and are not complemented by any other social and environmental analyses. These costs are confined only to the economic costs represented by the dotted line in Figure 2. Moreover, only some parts, like excluding end-of-life present in the lifecycle, are addressed.

From the perspective of economic terms, environmental LCC is equivalent to LCA. It revolves around covering core economic aspects regarding product-related sustainability. A traditional LCC is also extended by environmental LCC by acquiring complementary LCA with an equivalent functional unit and system boundary. Due to this, it is referred by the term environmental LCC. In order to represent all facets of sustainability, it could only be used in conjunction with an environmental or possible social assessment such as S-LCA and should not be used alone.

The pivotal purpose is the provision of a comprehensive product assessment system which detects hidden cost drivers, plans technology developments required for new product offerings, compares trade-offs and total costs pertaining to alternative technologies, informs decisions on replacement and upgrade of capital equipment and development of carbon-trading strategy, and much more (Hunkeler et al., 2008). Thus it caters as an effective tool for management accounting, which is also referred as cost management, but is in no relation to the domain of financial accounting.

What is the capability maturity model?

CMM lends a hand to companies in attaining or stepping ahead of the next evolution level in business management. This tool deals with five maturity level while acting as a framework as well. The gradual move of an organization from complaint strategy towards sustainability successfully executes the model to higher levels of capability or maturity.

Company case studies

Leading companies are applying life cycle management for creating value after realizing its importance and significance in making value chains more sustainable.

Life cycle management and related tools were used by Dow, 3M and UTC for preventing pollution and reducing the concern over materials. Risk analyses also used them for maintaining a right for operating under pressure from non-governmental organizations, civil society and demands resulting from the new legislative initiatives.

Life cycle management was also utilized by Eskom, 3M and Veolia Environment with the goals of enhancing efficiency and saving money through the reduction of energy, conservation of water and reduction in the usage of materials.

Life cycle management is used by Veolia Environment for supporting key choices in technology.

It is used by Eskom for supporting core investment decisions

It is used by Alcan Packaging for product development.

Dow, Veolia Environment and Alcan Packaging deal with final consumers and customers and thus consider sustainability as a core competitive advantage.

The idea of partnering with suppliers and customers for attaining minimum impact within complete value chain is beneficial to the society and creates value as well. Life cycle management provides positive bottom-line consequences to each company and benefits them overall, provided it is managed effectively and implemented by considering direct and indirect effects.

Cooperation implies the generation of core systemic approaches which reinforce gains attained through technical and process solutions involved in distribution and production cycles. The adoption of a sustainable value chain approach lends a hand to businesses in meeting challenges pertaining to climate change, water scarcity, poverty, resource depletion, demographic shifts and globalization. This will ultimately be instrumental in reshaping the world and the way of doing business. Thus, business leaders play a central role in ensuring sustainable development.

According to SETAC, UNEP (2007, 2008) and other business partners, in order to facilitate consumers in selecting sustainable products and services, it is important to gauge products from a lifestyle perspective. These must entail information regarding those aspects of the product that are relevant to sustainability, especially on the usage and end stages of the product's lifecycle.

The combination of sustainability aspects put together in research and development, and the consequent maintenance and engineering process, is another key point for cooperation. This includes the entire process of managing a product's properties and description through all stages of its lifecycle, primarily from the business view point in order to enhance the overall end-to-end process of product development to deliver top quality business value.

SETAC, UNEP (2008a) and business partners are working in a collaborative effort to provide solid contribution to business and consumers through highlighting strategies and product criteria that address important lifestyle issues.

The above mentioned organizations propose the following steps for companies to move forward:

Identify your accomplishments - Keep a close eye on other companies and organizations and observe examples that can be most important for your own business environment, such as the markets and culture. Do some internal research and look around for success stories within your organization to strengthen and enhance your value chain. Have a brainstorming session with your colleagues on viable ideas for your organization, classify potential advantages and challenges that you may have to come across from the examples you have chose. Discuss in detail with the top management and carry on to the next step with the chosen option(s).

Increase awareness - Start with increasing awareness within your organization. The integration of lifecycle management based on sustainability internally helps the strategy planning of the company and stakeholder dialogue to come together to match public and customer expectations. It also helps to reflect a good image of the company in the internal programs of the company's work to promote the sustainability of its… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Management Rationale.  (2013, February 27).  Retrieved June 16, 2019, from

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"Management Rationale."  27 February 2013.  Web.  16 June 2019. <>.

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"Management Rationale."  February 27, 2013.  Accessed June 16, 2019.