Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - GREAT PETER (Green Product Development and Resource Efficient Production Assigned Training in St. Petersburg area, Russia)

Russia faces a strong demand for modernisation and greening of their industrial sectors. Life cycle analysis (LCA) is a well-tested methodology to assess the environmental impact from production processes and from these of the products. In Russia, there is a need for both theoretical and practical training of the target groups (researchers, governmental people and industrial companies) to increase the building capacity for technology transfer.

A number of initiatives were undertaken by the GREAT PETER project to deal with this demand. The first step was the creation of a number of seminars. A total of 10 participants took part in two training seminars lasting one day each. The first seminar was held on 27 January 2005 under the title 'Green product development - Principles, tools, practical applications'. It gave an overview of methods for green product design and for environmental assessment of products and processes. The seminar concluded with a presentation and discussion of three prepared exercises based on real cases.

The second seminar on 16 February was spearheaded under the banner 'Green product development - Resource efficient production'. It consisted of a rehearsal of the LCA methodology, which was then practically demonstrated with the results from three life cycle assessments carried out on products from three St. Petersburg companies. The LCA demonstration was followed by a lecture on cleaner technology for improved sustainable production.

Both seminars were organised by ICIC and conducted jointly by the IVL and the ICIC in St. Petersburg.

As a result of experiences drawn from a previous project the original outline of the training material was modified. The version used at the seminars contained more practical case discussions (cases arranged as text book ones and real cases) and less theoretical lessons. The training material is available in English and a Russian.

To develop truly sustainable products, the companies must be able to assess which design solution is environmentally preferable. The project provided them with reliable tools to measure the environmental consequences of their design decisions.

Results of this task have been strategically linked to evolve eco-efficient policy and management measures for the company that decided to improve environmental performance of their products to achieve market benefits.

The weakest points in the technology chain were the wheat growing and transport stages and may still be affected by a special procurement policy and optimisation of transportation. Different alternatives for transportation of wheat from the farm to the company were investigated by ICIC and presented to the company.

The company decided to use eco-labelling to promote its products in the market. Environmental product declaration (EPD) was recommended to the company as a good starting point. An EPD provides quantified environmental data of a product with pre-set categories of parameters based on life cycle assessment. It is verified by a qualified third party. During the project, the company was advised how to properly prepare an EPD and formulate a marketing strategy.

A website has been designed in frame of the web-portal It is accessible by the success stories subsection. The website is interactive allowing the exchange of information about the project and its results, but also more generally about eco-design and sustainability issues.

A concluding seminar was arranged with specialists from JSK 'Leningradskii kombinat hleboproductov SM Kirova', representatives of companies from Environmental Partnership Association of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg State University of Refrigeration and Food Technology specialists. The aim of the seminar was to present to a wider audience results of pilot case study. Participating companies from the food industry declared their interest in EPD labelling as a tool for the promotion of their products.

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