From an ecodesign context, the total value chain of a product starts with the raw materials, and continues with the design of the product, its production, the transportation to the end customer, the usage, the recycling, and the consequential consumption. At each stage of this life cycle, energy consumption and the production of hazardous waste are considered and the impact is quantified. The “unwanted” output consists of emissions such as heat, waste water, greenhouse gases, process chemicals, even more greenhouse gases during transport and usage, and upon recycling even more chemicals and landfill. Quantifying all the impacts in dollars and cents, and summing it all up results in what is called the “lifecycle cost”.

It is obvious that in this case less is more. What can be done?

This article looks at how a lot of the attention must turn to power supplies and electric motors.