Framework for Comparison of Product Carbon Footprints of Different Manufacturing Scenarios

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Winter, Sven; Quernheim, Niklas; Arnemann, Lars; Anderl, Reiner; Schleich, Benjamin
Series: ICED
Institution: Product Life Cycle Management (PLCM), TU Darmstadt
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 1935-1944
DOI number:


The Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) has been established over the last few years as a new control variable in product design to quantify the sustainable impact of a product. However, the calculation of the PCF is subject to numerous uncertainties and assumptions, which are no longer represented in the stand-alone value. The uncertainties and assumptions arise at different stages of the calculation of the PCF and consequently create a multidimensional problem, which means that the PCF does not provide a trustworthy basis for comparing different production scenarios. To face this multidimensional issue, in this paper, a methodology for categorization of the different issues and, therefore, of the final PCF is presented. Through this methodology, which is divided into five levels mainly based on the origin, the quality, and the uncertainty of the data, an assessment can be made as to whether the values of the PCFs are comparable in different scenarios. The methodology can therefore help to improve decisions in product development with regard to environmental sustainability.

Keywords: Product Carbon Footprint, LCA, Sustainability, Decision making, Uncertainty

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