Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Carbon Lifecyle Management 101

Beyond the Black Cloud: Looking at Lifecycles

See more from the Reuters repost.. When you're behind a bus that's belching black clouds of exhaust, you can't help but think about the consequences of environmentally insensitive design. It's easy to be disgusted by what the bus is doing to air quality. It's also easy to miss the fact that the billowing fumes represent only a tiny fraction of the environmental impact of the bus. It's harder still to remember that the bus may also have major environmental benefits, despite its obvious eco shortcomings.

Let's start with the total impact. Think about the individual parts that comprise the bus. Thousands of them, globally sourced from a hundred different manufacturers and suppliers around the world, were brought together to a central location for assembly.

Think of the energy expended and the waste created in the process of obtaining the basic materials and manufacturing each of those parts. Consider the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the cargo planes and freighters and delivery trucks that brought the parts through the supply chain and ultimately to the assembly plant.

Think of the fossil fuels burned by workers commuting to and from that final assembly plant -- and all of the other assembly plants where the subcomponents were built.. See more... http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS80632092720091105

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