Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


STYLE Report Summary

Project ID: 636771
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - STYLE (Sustainability Toolkit for easY Life-cycle Evaluation)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Public and private sector funding is regularly invested to develop new technologies and/or modify processes/products to bring resource and energy efficiency improvements. However, in order for EU stakeholders and industry to see the true value of these new technologies and modifications, and make informed decisions surrounding their adoption, a consistent approach is needed to assess the sustainability impact across the full value chain. This is particularly challenging when it comes to assessing sustainability across sector boundaries, or in a data lean environment.

For many years, the European process industries have recognised that assessment of sustainability is an essential component of their business management. As such, many sustainability indicators, tools and methodologies (collectively referred to as ‘tools’) already exist. However, these vary widely in their sophistication, applicability, maturity and usability thereby limiting broad cross-sectoral implementation.

The SPIRE Roadmap therefore calls for an industry-focused study of current approaches with the aim of identifying, evaluating and promoting a suitable collection of tools (a ‘toolkit’) for sustainability assessment across the process industries.

Project STYLE has three key objectives:
- To identify best practice in sustainability evaluation, across multiple sectors in the process industries and through value chains, via inventory and classification of established approaches.
- To test and deliver a practical ‘toolkit’ for sustainability evaluation of processes and products, spanning multiple sectors that is easily usable by non-practitioners of sustainability assessments.
- To determine gaps, through critical assessment and validation, and identify future research needs to improve the ‘toolkit’ and ensure broad applicability across sectors.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Summary of work performed on the project to date:

- Survey of existing tools and methodologies (including questionnaire coordinated with SAMT and MEASURE projects)
- Stakeholder workshop run to gather views and experience of using sustainability assessment tools within different sectors and across value chains (Paris, March 2015). The output from this workshop helped in the specification of desired features of tools relevant to STYLE.
- Initial classification of tools suitable for STYLE focus (pragmatic tools, usable by non-specialists)
- Database of stakeholders compiled (including contacts within other H2020/SPIRE projects who are incorporating sustainability assessments into their projects)
- Framework produced for industrial testing of tools
- Demonstration and training of in-house tools (Solvay, Tata, LafargeHolcim, Veolia)
- Three phases of industrial testing
- Second stakeholder workshop run (in conjunction with MEASURE project - Berlin, March 2016). The workshop was used to inform stakeholders about the realities of trying to use sustainability tools in industry and to get input as to what features would make a toolkit suitable for the STYLE scenario.
- Independent academic validation of tested tools
- Establishment of project website and extranet for document sharing and collaboration

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The high level results from the STYLE project to date show that a range of tools are required by industry as they move through Technology Readiness Levels (focus on TRLs 5-7). At the start of investigating a potential process or product improvement, qualitative tools are better for assisting project teams assess options. As more data becomes available, semi-quantitative and quantitative tools can be utilised to inform decision making. At present, most qualitative tools that are in use have been developed in-house by industry, typically through Excel-based systems.

The review of existing commercial tools has indicated gaps in the coverage of social factors and limited applicability for using tools cross-sector and through value chains.

WP5 (Gap Analysis and Research Needs) will bring together the industrial and academic critiques to generate an overall gap analysis, and inform future research needs across short, medium and long term timescales. This will be communicated and verified with stakeholders through WP6- Workshop 3 (scheduled for 6th October, in conjunction with the SAMT project) to build a roadmap of future needs.

Consequently, if preliminary recommendations from the project are adopted by industry and wider stakeholders, expected impacts would include:
- Improvements made to in-house tools to make them more rigorous and suitable for usage in this pragmatic scenario
- Greater uptake of sustainability tools in early phase industrial process developments, leading to more sustainable processes
- More consistent use of sustainability tools through different process sectors and across H2020/ SPIRE projects
- Further development of public/ commercial tools, specifically aimed at organisations that lack in-house sustainability departments (e.g. many SMEs)

Related information

Record Number: 192760 / Last updated on: 2016-12-13
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