There are many metrics to sustainability assessment
Extensive analyses are indispensable when it comes to evaluating the relevance of replaceability, further use and recycling of the components of an LED luminaire and the influence of individual phases of the life cycle with regard to climate and resource protection. As a typical product, Repro-light therefore examined an LED luminaire from TRILUX and applied a variety of different metrics for sustainability assessment. In addition to
Essential factors for sustainability
|Characterisation Factor||Unit||Environmental Relevance|
Global Warming Potential
|kg CO2 equivalent||Increased positive radiative forcing due to the increase of greenhouse gases at the atmosphere|
Primary Energy Demand
|Megajoule||Increased energy consumption from renewable and non-renewable energy sources|
Abiotic Depletion Potential, Elements
|kg Sb-equivalent||Increased extraction of resources leading to depletion of mineral reserves|
Abiotic Depletion Potential, Fossil
|Megajoule||Increased extraction of resources leading to depletion of fossil reserves|
|kg SO2-equivalent||Increased acidity of soil and water due to proton release from antropogenic emissions|
|kg PO4-equivalent||Increased biomass formation and loss of biodiversity due to release of nutrients|
Components from a sustainability perspective
However, a completely different picture emerged, for example, in the evaluation according to the Abiotic Depletion Potential (ADP elements). Here the influence on the environment is distributed quite differently: 77% are due to the production phase (including precious, limited materials such as gold and copper) and only 23% fall into the use phase (caused by the materials used to generate the energy needed to operate the luminaire). Another fact also becomes clear: at 75%, LED modules have by far the largest share of ADP of the entire luminaire. The remainder is divided between the LED driver (13%), the cabling (8%) and the optics and mechanical components (5% combined).
|5 optics||0 %|
|5 LED modules||75 %|
|LED control gear||13 %|
Example: E-Line LED
Even if these ideas derived from the results of the Repro-light project are not yet practised today, they allow for a core statement: circular economy in the lighting industry is not only possible, it offers enormous sustainability potential. TRILUX has already created initial prerequisites for exploiting these opportunities for climate and resource protection. For example, the company already takes back luminaires from customers after disassembly.
In addition, newer business models such as the TRILUX Pay per Use programme turn luminaires into objects of rental or leasing contracts. They therefore remain the property of the manufacturer. Essential legal requirements for further use, new configuration or conversion are thus fulfilled. The consistent implementation of the principles of the circular economy will certainly bring about many new business models for the lighting industry. One thing is for sure: TRILUX will approach these new possibilities with an open and well informed mind.