Environmental and economic decision support methodology for end-of-life products
Many producers are becoming environmentally conscious due to legislative, consumer and business pressures. The proposed EU Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE Directive) sets targets for the reuse and recycling of electrical and electronic products reaching the end of life stage. How a producer determines which is the best strategy for his/her products (reuse, part reclamation, remanufacturing, recycling) is not addressed. Producers must meet targets in the WEEE Directive, consider other environmental regulations, and make sure they are economically efficient. The question then is how to incorporate both economic and environment into their business decisions. A methodology that intends to overcome this difficulty is developed and presented in this thesis. The challenge is to calculate environmental and economic indicators per product for each end-of-life option. A product model and end-of-life option models are proposed to assist in calculations development. An algorithm for calculation of environmental indicators per product is developed and the absorption costs method chosen for calculation of costs per product. However, economic costs and values are expressed in money, environmental impacts in a multitude of units. The difficulty for decision-makers is the comparison of dissimilar criteria (€, kg CO2 equivalent, etc.). The Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) is proposed to support the decision as to choice of end-of-life strategy for electrical and electronic products. Thus, environmental considerations and constraints stated by legislation along with the economic judgements are incorporated in the decision-making process for end-of-life products
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