This paper shows how the eco-efficiency concept can be used to evaluate value and environmental performance when considering different scenarios for redesigning extended supply chains (ESCs). Results from a case study on furniture production in Norway are used to illustrate the concept.
An extended supply chain includes all processes necessary for production, use and end-of-life treatment of a product. The environmental performance of the products was assessed using LCA, and value performance was measured as life cycle cost. Instead of calculating absolute values using a traditional eco-efficiency ratio, relative values for different scenarios were calculated and presented graphically in an XY-diagram. This clearly visualises the alternatives that have the best environmental and value performance.
Six different scenarios were developed to assess how the performance of an existing ESC can be improved. The eco-efficiency for each scenario was compared with the present ESC. The results show that there is large and realistic potential for environmental improvements in the extended supply chain without an equivalent increase in life cycle costs.