Life cycle thinking: towards the sustainable management of resources in aluminium production

Abstract

Τhe problem of the deterioration of the human environment and natural resources and its consequences for economic and social development have received great interest over the past few decades. To facilitate sustainable development, it has become imperative to manage the use of resources in an environmentally conscious manner. To this end, life cycle management is widely considered to be the only efficient approach enabling sustainable resource management and sustainable development. This paper focuses on the life cycle inventory of aluminium production, which—due to its full recyclability—is an excellent example of “cradle-to-cradle” and life cycle thinking. Life cycle inventory is considered the key but also (in most cases) the most demanding step in the assessment of the environmental impact of a product or process. The quantified life cycle inventory for aluminium described in the present work should provide useful material for environmental managers, product designers and decision-makers in industry when they attempt to integrate environmental considerations into their respective activities.

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On behalf of all the authors, the corresponding author states that no funding was received for the present work.

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Correspondence to Ch. Vlachokostas.

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On behalf of all the authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

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Communicated by D. Vagiona and G. Pozoukidou, Guest Editors.

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Achillas, C., Vlachokostas, C. & Koroneos, C. Life cycle thinking: towards the sustainable management of resources in aluminium production. Euro-Mediterr J Environ Integr 5, 16 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41207-020-00153-3

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Keywords

  • Aluminium
  • Life cycle management
  • Life cycle inventory
  • Resources management
  • Energy resources
  • Waste management