Examinator: Jimmy Ehnberg
Opponent: Safoora Qayyum
The UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) says that human activity is changing the climate change at unprecedented rate (UN IPCC 2021) and this has been described as ‘code red for humanity’ hence it’s important to act now more than ever.
The linear economy narrative of the traditional model based on a ‘take, make, consume, dispose’ is now changed to ‘cradle to cradle’ concept. The growing importance of implementing a more circular approach in terms of products and processes is paving path towards a sustainable society. Sustainability is a key part of ABB’s purpose and of the value created for all stakeholders. ABB’s business unit in Alingsås, Sweden (ABB Kabeldon) develop and manufacture electrical distribution products.
The objective of this thesis to facilitate the use of life cycle assessment method for evaluation and identify environmental footprint of ABB’s LV cabinet system and thereby explore options for circular economy. The LCA was conducted on SimaPro software and the results showed that the use phase was the most contributing factor within the investigated environmental categories and the total climate impact during the whole life cycle of the Cabinet (CDC 440)along with fuse switch disconnector (SLD 1) and connector (ADI 300) is 529 kg CO2 eq.
There were three business models that were evaluated and studied in detail by having discussion and interviews with several experts at ABB. Three models being the product service system model where the product ownership was retained with the company and the function of the product is sold as a function, then the second was refurbishment/ remanufacturing model which emphasized on the take back system,
customer incentives and prolonged use of the product. Last but not the least was the most important model which is the recycling business model partnership, where partnership with Stena recycling was explored in order to complete the circular loop with recycled materials flows back into ABB’s loop and completes it making the process circular. The methods were criticized, strengths were highlighted to get racial view and it can be concluded that a Circular Economy Business Model can bring several benefits.
Welcome to the presentation.