Generalization of Lifecycle Assessment in the case of Photonic Products

Conference: Photonische Netze - 22. ITG-Fachtagung
05/19/2021 - 05/20/2021 at Online

Proceedings: ITG-Fb. 297: Photonische Netze

Pages: 4Language: englishTyp: PDF

Grobe, Klaus (Global Sustainability, ADVA Optical Networking SE, Martinsried, Germany)

Lifecycle assessments (LCA) are a standardized way to calculate various environmental impacts of products. This holds for photonic equipment. Impact categories comprise global warming, Ozone depletion, acidification, eutrophication, toxicity and more. LCAs allow to identify which components and modules contribute to environmental impact the most. However, they do not put a monetary cost on the negative impact. LCAs can be complemented by Lifecycle Costing (LCC) analyses. Next to production and operational cost, damages caused by production and operation are monetized. This includes damages to human health, the ecosystem, and to resource availability. In addition, global warming (emissions) can be monetized, similar to the Carbon tax. As a result, LCC is getting more relevant since customers (here: network operators) are forced to control their emissions and pay related tax. Similar trends are likely to develop regarding, e.g., resource depletion. Therefore, manufacturers and their product developers need to look into these analyses. The LCC analysis of photonic (network infrastructure) equipment reveals that currently, comparatively little added cost results. This is different already, e.g., for a typical flat-panel display. However, this can easily change, e.g., in cases of related tax increase. Then, emissions that are caused by power consumption, get increasingly more expensive. Once more, this leads to the requirement of power-efficient design.