Behind the numbers in 2014: Life cycle analysis of products | Virgin Media

 

Sustainable growth

Behind the numbers in 2014: Life cycle analysis of products

6th July 2015

 

19 February 2016

 

 


Target:
Undertake a product life cycle analysis for our SuperHub broadband products.

How we did:
In August 2014 we conducted a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of our latest WiFi box – the Super Hub 2.

The detail:
The goal of the LCA was to equip our product teams with the knowledge they need to make well-informed decisions about the environmental aspects of our products.

The LCA looked into four different stages of a product’s life cycle:

  • Making (pre-manufacture and manufacture)
  • Transporting (logistics and packaging)
  • Using (use in the home)
  • Disposing (end of life)

The main findings from the project show that the footprint of the Super Hub 2 in its first year is 143 kgCO2 per person. As our products are typically in a customer’s home for four years, we also worked out that the carbon impact over the full product life cycle (four years) is 366 kgCO2 per person, per Super Hub 2.

We conducted the LCA across the four life cycle stages of the Super Hub 2, so we were able to calculate the exact carbon impact of each stage individually. The figure below shows each stage’s carbon impact, over one year.

 

Overall carbon footprint of the Super Hub 2 per year

Stage Transporting Disposing Making Using
Global warming potential (kgCO2) 0.02 0.27 69.04 74.13

 

Breaking down our research into the four key stages of the Super Hub 2’s life cycle, from making through to disposing, gave us a much better understanding of the stages that have the most impact – the making and using stages. In fact, these two stages account for over 99% of the total carbon impact.

The LCA project has enabled our teams to better comprehend the environmental impact of our products. In the future, we’ll be using this information to decide where and how to focus our efforts.

Find out more about our new product goal here.


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