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Content archived on 2024-05-30



Executive Summary:
This project was part of Eco-Design for Airframe (EDA), included in the Clean Sky Eco-Design ITD (Integrated Technology Demonstrator). Its main objective was to develop a tool based on a simplified life-cycle assessment (LCA) methodology defined by the topic manager (Airbus) and improved within the project to perform simplified Eco-Statements for aerospace industries and provide support for the ecodesign of airframes.
LEAF was developed with the aim to ease access of the European aeronautical industry to LCA and ecodesign by:
* Building on a simplified and operational environmental assessment methodology. This methodology, based on the main principles of ISO14040-14044 norms on LCA, had been originally developed by Airbus and already tested internally: it proved operational and efficient. BIO and Airbus worked together on enhancing the methodology, making it even more robust; while keeping its practicability intact.
* Delivering a free, Excel-based autonomous application with an intuitive interface and operational and easy-to-understand results. While the software tool is very easy to use, a user’s guide was still developed to ensure that all the information contained in the tool and its methodology are well understood.
This project was performed by Airbus and BIO Intelligence Service which gathered their experience and expertise to combine robustness and efficiency. Also, attention was paid to keep the tool updatable and upgradable, i.e. able to receive new features or new data (developed e.g. in the frame of EDA) by keeping the structure of the tool flexible and providing the necessary documentation for future upgrades.
A comprehensive documentation package was provided.
Also, a full dissemination package was developed to ensure an optimised deployment of the application throughout the European aerospace industry.

Project Context and Objectives:
This project is part of Eco-Design for Airframe (EDA), included in the Clean Sky Eco-Design ITD (Integrated Technology Demonstrator). Eco-Design for Airframe (EDA) concentrates on reducing inputs (raw materials use, energy or water consumptions …), outputs (emissions to air or water, solid waste…) and other potential annoyances throughout the entire life cycle of the aircraft (production, use, maintenance, and disposal), notably
by providing means for eco-design processes. Several projects are conducted in the framework of the Eco-Design ITD, including LCA databases Improvement or Environmental data models and interface development. Those projects aim, among others, at producing life cycle inventories (LCI) of specific processes from the aeronautic sector compatible with the ELCD system.
The main objective of this project was to develop a tool based on a simplified life-cycle assessment (LCA) methodology defined by the topic manager (Airbus) to perform simplified Eco-Statements for aerospace industries and provide support for the ecodesign of airframes.

Project Results:
This project aimed to develop a simple and intuitive ecodesign tool to be used by the aeronautical industry for the design of airframes. The main results of the project are the following deliverables:
* LEAF (standing for “tooL for Eco-designing AirFrame”): the application itself, consisting in an autonomous Excel file, usable from all work stations and PCs with MS Excel 2007 and later versions, without any extra licence cost to whom it is delivered.

* A testing procedure was developed, to be used both during the project (for regular updates of the application up to the release of the final version) and for any future upgrade in the future (to be performed by either BIO (the beneficiary), Airbus (TM) or any authorised person. This testing procedure is to be followed when a new feature is brought to the application, or an existing feature is modified, to ensure that all functionalities run flawlessly.

* A user’s guide was also provided: MS Word document providing guidance to both standard and expert users:
- Standard users will find useful information to perform a new study by filling the questionnaire and analyse the detailed results or comparative results between different design options.
- Expert users will find useful guidance for the import and storage of LCA data and the customisation of aspects of concern (hazardous substances, substances with significant supply risk, etc.).

* A full dissemination package, to ensure an optimised deployment of the application throughout the European aerospace industry:
- A dedicated e-mail address was created to allow users to get assistance whenever needed (
- A LEAFlet: concise, easily understandable brochure, presenting the main features of the tool, to be used for the promotion of the software (it was first used at the Paris air show at Le Bourget in June 2013).
- Two sets of slides were developed to ease the presentation of the software tool at future events, either targeted at a restricted technical audience or a wider, non-technical public:
+ One short presentation of 6 slides to be used to introduce the tool and its main features without going into the details of how to use it.
+ One longer format corresponding to an approximately one-hour long presentation of the tool to be used for trainings.

Potential Impact:
Socioeconomic impact of the project

LEAF, the software application that was delivered at the end of the project, will contribute to providing aeronautic stakeholders with a single, ergonomic, user-friendly and efficient tool. This interface will thus guarantee users a comprehensive and quick understanding of Life Cycle Thinking and Life Cycle Assessment in order to foster a homogeneous and reliable approach of LCA principles and calculations. That will eventually contribute to improving credibility, acceptance and practice of LCA in the European aerospace sector at a large scale.
This project is therefore in line with the ambitious “European Platform on Life Cycle Assessment”, whose global aim is to support the development of Life Cycle Thinking. Life Cycle Thinking appears as a tool for business and public authorities to move towards sustainable production and consumption.
In addition, this project, via the intended promotion of eco-design, is also expected to contribute to innovation in the European aerospace sector. Eco-design indeed leads to think about products differently, based on the service to be provided by the product rather than on the product itself. The use of an eco-design approach, which will be made easier thanks to the tool developed in the frame of the present project, can thus suggest improvements that will increase the overall quality of products besides their environmental performance. Indeed, life cycle thinking allows improving overall performance of products by identifying ways to improve and increase their functionalities.
Furthermore, the developed application, by making companies autonomous on LCA and eco-design, will help them anticipate the development of future regulations and standards for which there is a growing demand among customers.
In summary, the deliverables of this project aim to give the European aerospace sector a new opportunity for differentiation and for future competitiveness.

Societal implications of the project

Working in the area of sustainability that encompasses environmental, economic and social dimensions, BIO Intelligence Service considers gender equality as an important issue. BIO Intelligence Service is proud to display a high female staff rate as the gender balance among employees is 52% women and 48% men (as of September 2013).
Furthermore, during this specific project, a majority of the work was done by female employees.

Several actions were taken to involve other actors and spread awareness:
* A workshop was organised during the 2nd period of the project with all ED partners, to present them the main principles of the tool and train them on how to use it.
* A dissemination package was developed to allow for a good deployment of LEAF throughout the European aeronautical sector.

Main dissemination activities and exploitation of results

A specific work package (WP5) was dedicated to the dissemination of the project’s deliverables, mainly the software package (tool and user’s guide).
The main deliverable to come out of the project consists in “LEAF”, a common ecodesign application based on a common LCA methodology to guarantee homogeneous understanding and practice of LCA and eco-design within the European aerospace sector.
The group of partners of the CleanSky Airframe Eco-Design ITD to which the software tool has already been distributed should be an efficient way of promoting the tool throughout the European aerospace industry.

Here is the expected deployment of LEAF:
* In the short term, LEAF is meant to be provided to the Eco-design partners for the performance of the eco-statements on new technologies applied to demonstrators in the frame of Clean Sky programme. Companies which are expected to receive the tool are: Dassault Aviation, Liebherr Aerospace, Israel Aerospace Industries, Airbus Helicopters, Airbus Group Innovations, Fraunhofer Institute and Stuttgart University.
* In the long term, LEAF is meant to be shared with other companies from the European aeronautical industry in order to provide them with means to implement the eco-design approach. For this reason, BIO and Airbus, as co-owners of the software tool, believe that as many partners as possible should use the tool.

List of Websites:
Airbus Operations Ltd
Environment Integrator
tel: +44 (0) 117 93 66 780

BIO Intelligence Service
Mr. Augustin CHANOINE
Senior Manager
tel: +33 (0) 1 55 61 68 85