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ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT - PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE

V. Ryan 2011-2017

 

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All products have a life cycle. It starts when raw materials are extracted from the ground. The raw materials are processed / refined, so that they can be used in a factory to manufacture the product. The product is sold to a customer, who uses it (hopefully for years), until it cannot be used anymore because it breaks or it is no longer useful. The product is then disposed of, or recycled.
Products such as a newspaper has a short life cycle, lasting days or weeks. However, a product such as a car can have a life cycle that lasts many years. A typical life cycle of a car is drawn below. A detailed description is also written below.
 
 
NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT
 
1. Raw materials, recycled materials and components enter the factory at one end of the enormous Manufacturing facility. An enormous amount of electrical energy is required to manufacture each car. Producing electrical energy, often means burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil, producing pollution. Completed cars are driven out of the opposite end of the factory and transported to their owners.
2. The car is driven throughout its useful life time. Using fuel and requiring fluids such as oil. These cause environmental pollution. Tyres, parts / components will also need replacing, using more raw materials and using energy, during their manufacture.
3. Eventually, the car breaks down for the last time and recycling / scrapping is necessary.
 
REDUCING IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT
 
1. Car manufacturers such as Volvo use carbon neutral energy sources such as hydroelectricity and wind power, for their electrical needs.
2. Modern efficient equipment and industrial processes are used throughout the entire manufacturing process.
3. Energy efficient engines have been designed and developed to reduce pollution and CO2 emissions. Efficient engines require less fuel, reducing negative effects on the environment.
4. Up to 85% of the parts/components and materials of Volvo cars can be recycled, with many components are recovered for reuse. Materials such as steel, rubber and plastics and glass are reclaimed.
 
 
 
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