A nice example of problems not so straightforward to resolve but where chain analysis offers a solution is the case of KLM. Because, be honest, do you know what is better for the environment: a thin disposable service or porcelain that has to be washed every time? An LCA reveals the answer and the reason.
If you want to want know the environmental impact of a service, then there are many questions to be answered. Washing up the service takes up energy requiring fuel that causes CO2 emission. But to make plastic you need oil and this also produces CO2 emission. Plus you create plastic waste. How does that weigh up against the oil consumption and CO2 emissions? And for KLM the problem is worse: flying consumes energy. The more weight, the more kerosene is required. In short, a complex but fascinating question. Really something for TNO!
TNO has used an LCA, Life Cycle Analysis, to calculate for KLM the environmental impact of a porcelain dish and a polystyrene, transparent plastic dish. After a comprehensive LCA the conclusion was surprising. Research revealed that the environmental impact of the porcelain dish was six times that of the polystyrene dish.
So the disposable dish is better for the environment. But why? The kerosene used on long-distance flights eclipses the weight effects of the porcelain dish (eight times heavier than the plastic variant). Due in part to this research KLM has opted to use the lightweight service. KLM also introduced from 1 June plastic cutlery for meals on intercontinental flights.
So you see that LCA can straight away tell it like it is. Just as KLM, there are many other companies looking for answers. From the perspective of corporate social responsibility and sustainability, purchasers, product managers and marketers opt increasingly for chain analyses. TNO can help in this.
By involving an independent player like TNO in your chain analysis, you can arrive at new insights and sustainable changes. Thanks to the abundance of expertise we have in house and the combination of knowledge, together with you we can produce good, sustainable results. We're ready. Are you?