||The use of LCA in the industry is mostly limited to big international firms, which have a long term planning perspective, and can invest regardable amounts of money for anticipating the future legislation requirements and the eventual inputs from the market.
This circumscribed scenario is mainly due to three facts:
* The weakness and the scarce number of environmental laws
* The weak and slow response of the market
* The price and the time consuming feature of the tool
The project analyses the causes and the interconnections existing between them, trying to picture a more definite scenario, and to individuate the possible solutions.
The first part focuses on the actual boundaries created by the law, too weak to strongly push the European production towards a more ecological path, and on the uncertain marketing reactions at the introduction of the tool and of the environmental results described with it.
A general and harmonized solution is needed, to orient first the market, by orienting the customers' product selections, an then the industrial production.
The second part gives a possible solution to the time and money investments required by LCA, a strong deterrent for its spreading out.
The integration with the product configuration, represents in this context an useful alternative to the traditional method, as it provides quick and precise results, along with flexibility and dynamicity.
The chest freezer case study, shown as an example, demonstrate that:
* It is possible to integrate environmental information while configuring a product
* The integration provides regardable benefits
* It best suits to the firms with a large scale or customized production.