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  • 1.
    Akambih Tajam, Joseph
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Jonsson, Anders
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    SMALL SCALE IN-SITU BIOREMEDIATIONOF DIESEL CONTAMINATED SOIL –SCREENING LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE2010In: ECO-TECH´10, 22-24 November 2010, Kalmar, Sweden: International Conference on Natural Sciences and Technologies for Waste and Wastewater Treatment, Remediation, Emissions Related to Climate, Environmentaland Economic Effects / [ed] FABIO KACZALA, SANDRINE ARZUR, IDA TJÄDER WILLIAM HOGLAND, 2010, p. 827-835Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Spillage of diesel oil and other petroleum products is a commonly creating need for siteremediation of contaminated soils. In Sweden the most common remediation action isexcavation of the contaminated soil and off site biological treatment by composting.However, a number of small sites spread out in rural areas end up low on priority lists, andwill not be attended to within foreseeable future if ever. For such areas a low cost, easy toapply remediation techniques would be of interest. Enhanced bioremediation of dieselcontaminants in soil by whey addition has been demonstrated in lab scale. Whey is a byproductfrom cheese production. A first pilot remediation trial on an actual site in Gäddede,County of Jämtland, was started the summer of 2010. Using this site as a case study ascreening life cycle assessment model has been set up. The goal of the study was toinvestigate the environmental performance of the whey method, to benchmark the wheymethod toward the excavation and composting practice and to identify environmental hotspots in the whey treatment life cycle. The study aims at establishing if further work shouldbe put into developing the method, or if the environmental performance is such that the wheymethod should be abandoned. It should be noted that even with a slightly worseenvironmental performance compared to other remediation alternatives whey treatment couldstill be of interest, since the small scale sites in rural areas we talk about here otherwise mostoften would not be attended to.Results from the screening life cycle assessment indicate a rather good environmentalperformance of the whey method, partly depending on impact category considered. For thewhey method, impacts from farming activities in the milk production chain allocated to thewhey give significant contributions. Transportation gives important impacts from both thewhey method and the excavation and off site composting, thus logistics should always beconsidered and optimized. The whey on-site treatment could be an interesting alternative forbioremediation especially at sites that would not otherwise be treated, due to small size orremote location.

  • 2.
    Arvidsson, Rickard
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Fransson, Kristin
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Palm Oil2011In: Palm Oil: Nutrition, Uses and Impacts / [ed] Palmetti, Maria L., Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2011, p. 159-186Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Palm oil is used for cooking in Southeast Asia and Africa and as a food additive in a number of processed foods world-wide. The production of palm oil is increasing, and it is of special interest from a nutritional point of view due to its high energy content and its significant content of micronutrients. In addition, palm oil is increasingly used to produce various biofuels. Due to large production volumes and diverse applications of palm oil, it is highly interesting and important to study the environmental impacts of its production. This chapter discusses how the environmental impacts of palm oil can be assessed, focusing on the life cycle environmental impacts of palm oil in comparison to similar products. A brief overview of life cycle assessment as a method is given, and results are presented together with suggestions for environmental improvements of palm oil cultivation and production. It is shown that the magnitude of the environmental impacts connected to palm oil in relation to other products is heavily affected by the choice of environmental indicators, which in LCA studies consist of both an environmental impact category and a so-called functional unit. Regarding impact categories, the global warming and acidification potentials of palm oil are lower than those of rapeseed oil per kg oil. The water footprint of palm oil and rapeseed oil are about the same on a mass basis, but for the two land use indicators soil erosion and heavy metal accumulation, rapeseed oil has a lower impact than palm oil. Specific interest is given to the life cycle energy use of palm oil in response to the unclear and diverse definitions of this impact category in different studies. It is concluded that there is a need to carefully define the energy use impact category when reporting on palm oil or similar products, and also to differentiate between different kinds of energy sources. If instead of mass the micronutrient content is applied as functional unit, palm oil still has lower global warming potential and acidification than rapeseed oil when compared on the basis of vitamin E content. However, if β-carotene content is used as functional unit, rapeseed oil is not relevant for comparison due to its negligible content of β-carotene. For that case, palm oil is therefore instead compared to tomatoes on a β-carotene basis, since tomatoes are rich in β-carotene. The tomatoes were shown to perform better then palm oil regarding global warming potential on a β-carotene basis. The effects of time and scale on the environmental impacts of palm oil, which includes changes in technical performance and electricity sources, are also discussed in this chapter. It is shown that combustion of the methane formed from the palm oil mill effluent can significantly reduce the global warming potential.

  • 3.
    Arvidsson, Rickard
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Fransson, Kristin
    Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Molander, Sverker
    Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Energy use indicators in energy and life cycle assessments of biofuels: review and recommendations2012In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 31, p. 54-61Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study we investigate how indicators for energy use are applied in a set of life cycle assessment (LCA) and energy analysis case studies of biofuels. We found five inherently different types of indicators to describe energy use: (1) fossil energy, (2) secondary energy, (3) cumulative energy demand, (4) net energy balance, and (5) total extracted energy. It was also found that the examined reports and articles, the choice of energy use indicator was seldom motivated or discussed in relation to other energy use indicators. In order to investigate the differences between these indicators, they were applied to a case. The life cycle energy use of palm oil methyl ester was calculated and reported using these five different indicators for energy use, giving considerably different output results. This is in itself not unexpected, but indicates the importance of clearly identifying, describing and motivating the choice of energy use indicator. The indicators can all be useful in specific situations, depending on the goal and scope of the individual study, but the choice of indicators need to be better reported and motivated than what is generally done today.

  • 4.
    Arvidsson, Rickard
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Fransson, Kristin
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Molander, Sverker
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    How do we know the energy use when producing biomaterials or biofuels? [Eco-Tech'12]2012In: Proceedings of ECO-TECH 2012, 26-28 November, Kalmar, Sweden., 2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    How much fossil energy that is used in the production of biomaterials or biofuels (e.g. fuel used in harvesting) is a parameter of obvious interest when optimizing the production systems. To use more fossil fuels in the production of a biofuel than what will be available as the biofuel product is obviously a bad idea. With increasing interest in biomaterials and biofuels, a shift from a sole focus on fossil energy will be necessary. Optimized use of energy over the whole life cycle is one important parameter to ensure sustainability. However, to report and interpret values on life cycle energy use is not as straight forward as what might immediately be perceived. The impact category ‘energy use’ is frequently used but is generally not applied in a transparent and consistent way between different studies. Considering the increased focus on biofuels, it is important to inform companies and policy-makers about the energy use of biofuels in relevant and transparent ways with well-defined indicators. The present situation in how energy use indicators are applied was studied in a set of LCA studies of biofuels. It was found that the choice of indicator was seldom motivated or discussed in the examined reports and articles, and five inherently different energy use indicators were observed: (1) fossil energy, (2) secondary energy, (3) cumulative energy demand (primary energy), (4) net energy balance, and (5) total extracted energy. As a test, we applied these five energy use indicators to the same cradle-to-gate production system and they give considerably different output numbers of energy use. This in itself is not unexpected, but indicates the importance of clearly identifying, describing and motivating the choice of energy use indicator. Direct comparisons between different energy use results could lead to misinformed policy decisions.

  • 5.
    Arvidsson, Rickard
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Fransson, Kristin
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Molander, Sverker
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    How much energy is used when producing biofuels?2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Considering the increased focus on biofuels, it is important to inform companies and policy-makers about the energy use for production of biofuels in relevant and transparent ways, using well-defined indicators. The amount of fossil energy used in the production of a biofuel (e.g. diesel fuel used in harvesting) is a parameter of obvious interest when comparing different biofuels or when optimizing the production systems. With increasing worldwide production of different biofuels, a shift in focus from fossil energy to the entire energy use will also be necessary. In that context, not only reducing the use of fossil fuels in biofuel production, but also optimizing the use of all energy sources over the whole life cycle becomes an important to ensure the sustainability of biofuels. However, to report and interpret values on life cycle energy use is not straight forward due to methodological difficulties. The impact category ‘energy use’ is frequently used in life cycle assessment (LCA). But the term ‘energy use’ is generally not applied in a transparent and consistent way between different LCA studies of biofuels. It is often unclear whether the total energy use, or only fossil energy, has been considered, and whether primary or secondary energy has been considered. In addition, it is often difficult to tell if and how the energy content of the fuel or the biomass source was included in the energy use. This study presents and discusses the current situation in terms of energy use indicators are applied in LCA studies on biofuels. It was found that the choice of indicator was seldom motivated or discussed in the examined reports and articles, and five inherently different energy use indicators were observed: (1) fossil energy, (2) secondary energy, (3) cumulative energy demand (primary energy), (4) net energy balance, and (5) total extracted energy. As an illustration, we applied these five energy use indicators to the same cradle-to-gate production system (production of palm oil methyl ester), resulting in considerably different output numbers of energy use. This in itself is not unexpected, but indicates the importance of clearly identifying, describing and motivating the choice of energy use indicator. All five indicators can be useful in specific situations, depending on the goal and scope of the individual study, but the choice of indicator needs to be better reported and motivated than what is generally done today. Above all, it is important to avoid direct comparisons between different energy use results calculated using different indicators, since this could lead to misinformed policy decisions.

  • 6.
    Arvidsson, Rickard
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Fransson, Kristin
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Molander, Sverker
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Towards transparent and relevant use of energy use indicators in LCA studies of biofuels2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of energy has led to resource crises during the history of mankind, such as the deforestation of the Mediterranean during antiquity, and of Great Britain before the 19th century, and the oil crisis in the 20th century and continuing. Considering this, the frequent use of the impact category ‘energy use’ in the environmental assessment tool life cycle assessment (LCA) is not surprising. However, in a previous study, some of the authors noted that the term ‘energy use’ was not applied in a transparent and consistent way in LCA studies of biofuels. In this work we investigate how energy use indicators are applied in a set of life cycle assessment (LCA) studies of biofuels. In the examined reports and articles, the choice of indicator was seldom motivated or discussed and we observed five inherently different energy use indicators: (1) fossil energy, (2) secondary energy, (3) cumulative energy demand, (4) net energy balance, and (5) total extracted energy. These five energy use indicators were applied to the same cradle-to-gate production system of palm oil methyl ester (PME), giving considerably different output results. This is in itself not unexpected, but indicates the importance of clearly identifying, describing and motivating the choice of energy use indicator. All five indicators can all be useful in specific situations, depending on the goal and scope of the individual study, but the choice of indicators need to be better reported and motivated than what is generally done today. Authors of LCA studies should first define the purpose of their energy use indicator (fossil scarcity, energy scarcity, energy efficiency, cost/benefit comparison) and may then make a motivated choice of the energy use indicator.

  • 7.
    Arvidsson, Rickard
    et al.
    Chalmers, SE-41296 Gothenburg, Sweden .
    Persson, Sara
    Chalmers, SE-41296 Gothenburg, Sweden .
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers, SE-41296 Gothenburg, Sweden .
    Life cycle assessment of hydrotreated vegetable oil from rape, oil palm and Jatropha2011In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 19, no 2-3, p. 129-137Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A life cycle assessment of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) biofuel was performed. The study was commissioned by Volvo Technology Corporation and Volvo Penta Corporation as part of an effort to gain a better understanding of the environmental impact of potential future biobased liquid fuels for cars and trucks. The life cycle includes production of vegetable oil from rape, oil palm or Jatropha, transport of the oil to the production site, production of the HVO from the oil, and combustion of the HVO. The functional unit of the study is 1 kWh energy out from the engine of a heavy-duty truck and the environmental impact categories that are considered are global warming potential (GWP), acidification potential (AP), eutrophication potential (EP) and embedded fossil production energy. System expansion was used to take into account byproducts from activities in the systems; this choice was made partly to make this study comparable to results reported by other studies. The results show that HVO produced from palm oil combined with energy production from biogas produced from the palm oil mill effluent has the lowest environmental impact of the feedstocks investigated in this report. HVO has a significantly lower life cycle GWP than conventional diesel oil for all feedstocks investigated, and a GWP that is comparable to results for e.g. rape methyl ester reported in the literature. The results show that emissions from soil caused by microbial activities and leakage are the largest contributors to most environmental impact categories, which is supported also by other studies. Nitrous oxide emissions from soil account for more than half of the GWP of HVO. Nitrogen oxides and ammonia emissions from soil cause almost all of the life cycle EP of HVO and contribute significantly to the AP as well. The embedded fossil production energy was shown to be similar to results for e.g. rape methyl ester from other studies. A sensitivity analysis shows that variations in crop yield and in nitrous oxide emissions from microbial activities in soil can cause significant changes to the results.

  • 8.
    Barthelson, Mats
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Grönlund, Erik
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Linking ecological and economical progress at micro level by Nature-Economy (SDR) model.2013Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Clancy, Gunilla
    et al.
    Swerea IVF.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Peters, Gregory
    Ecolabels as drivers of clothing design2015In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 99, p. 345-353Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent decades, the textile industry has worked to reduce its negative social and environmental im-pacts. Identifying and addressing important sustainability considerations already in the clothing designare of increasing importance in the continuation of this work. Many companies look to ecolabellingschemes as means to set performance criteria and to demonstrate progress to customers. This studyinvestigates the connection between ecolabels and clothing design from the perspective of moving thegarment industry towards sustainability. Information gathered from literature was aligned and con-trasted with interviews conducted with employees of garment companies in Sweden, and the materialwas analysed using a life-cycle perspective. The results reveal that the clothing design process currentlyonly marginally influences clothing's sustainability performance by applying ecolabelling criteria. For amore sustainable textile industry there is a need to expand the expertise and information already in thedesign process regarding sustainability of theirfinished products. Such a change is only possible if thedesigners can be guided by a clear vision of design for sustainability for the company they work in.

  • 10.
    Clancy, Gunilla
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Approach to establish relevant sustainability assessment parameters in product development2011Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 11.
    Clancy, Gunilla
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Changing from petroleum to wood-based materials: critical review of how product sustainability characteristics can be assessed and compared2013In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 39, p. 372-385Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper reports on a literature survey on available approaches for the assessment of product sustainability, with a specific focus on assessing the replacement of non-renewable petroleum-based materials with renewable wood-based materials in absorbent hygiene products. The results are contrasted to needs in a specific material development project. A diverse number of methods exist that can help in assessing different product sustainability characteristics for parts of or whole product lifecycles. None of the assessment methods found include guidelines for how to make a case-specific interpretation of sustainability and there is a general lack of assessment parameters that can describe considerations in the comparison between the use of wood or petroleum as main raw material. One reason for this is lack of knowledge and/or consensus on how to describe and assess impacts of land and water use, e.g. on ecosystem services, different types of resource depletion and social impacts.

  • 12.
    Clancy, Gunilla
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Consequences for wood resource use for incontinence diapers in Europe 2010 to 20502011Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Increasing life expectancy results in an ageing society in parts of the world. The old of tomorrow are also expected to have higher comfort demands. One likely consequence is an increase in the need of such products as disposable incontinence diapers, which are today partly based on cellulose from forestry. A calculation of the potential increase for heavy incontinence care (assuming the use of disposable incontinence diapers) was made based on the demographic trends for Europe and on the yield from forestry performed under Nordic conditions. The calculation is using a parameterisation known from literature: I = i * m * u * P. It expresses the impact (I, in our case, forest area in ha) as a product of four factors that humans have the ability to change, in our case, i = ha Nordic forest area / kg material, m = kg material / service, u = service / population in Europe, and P = population in Europe. The 'service' is to keep a customer with heavy incontinence dry for a year, assuming that the same fraction of the population above 50 years as today will need heavy incontinence protection. Under these assumptions, the forest area needed for heavy incontinence care in Europe will increase with about 75% until 2050. According to the current work in the WooDi research project, aiming at producing a wood-based diaper, if the petroleum-based material in the absorbent core in the diapers were to be replaced by wood-based, this would increase the needed forest area to about 136%, assuming a 1:1 replacement ratio by weight which seems to be a low estimate. This is still a small share of the total European forest area (0.2%). However, such an increase in wood demand for only one product is not without problems, since forests to a large extent are already utilised, e.g. for timber and pulp and paper production, and since there is an expected increase in demand for bio-based fuels and materials for replacement of fossil-based products, thus competing for either the yield from the forests or for the land area. At the same time, there are rising concerns regarding biodiversity and other ecosystem services in connection to forestry.

  • 13.
    Clancy, Gunilla
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Insights from guiding material development towards more sustainable products2013In: International Journal of Sustainable Design, ISSN 1743-8284, Vol. 2, no 2, p. 149-166Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Faced with current challenges in society, many companies will need to develop more sustainable products in order to continue operations in the long term. Therefore, ways of identifying important sustainability considerations already in the early stages of material or product development are of importance. The article is based on action research in a material development project. The article provides a description of activities that were performed in the project in order to guide the material development process to enable more sustainable final products, reflections on the lessons learned from this project, and suggestions to similar projects in the form of an overall process based on team learning with the aim of guiding material development towards more sustainable products. The suggested process emphasises the material or product development team's need to understand which surrounding world and future-oriented considerations will have significant impacts on the specific product's sustainability performance.

  • 14.
    Clancy, Gunilla
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    The ageing society – an example of consequences for biomass use2010In: MFA for Sustainable Future, Tokyo, 2010Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 15.
    Clancy, Gunilla
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    To develop material for more sustainable products: Learning for action2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Since companies have to develop more sustainable products to continue operation in the long term, there is a demand for ways to guide and compare the sustainability already in material or product development. This has been studied through action research in a material development project that aims to develop wood-based materials to replace petroleum-based materials while ensuring a more sustainable product. More sustainable future societies might put very different demands on products compared to the strictest requirements of today. To develop more sustainable products therefore requires future oriented assessment parameters already in early stages of material or product development - where choices determining many of the sustainability burdens of a product are made. Furthermore, the whole life cycle of products needs to be envisaged in order for sustainability to be defined. There is thus, for example, little point in talking about 'sustainable materials' since the sustainability of their use may be strongly affected by the rest of the life cycle, after material manufacturing, thus, the materials need to be seen in a context. A description of important sustainability considerations must be made in relation to the challenges that become visible when looking at a whole product system and in relation to its surrounding world which to complicate this further, are also changing over time, and therefore an appropriate time perspective must be applied. Relevant product sustainability aspects and parameters must be identified and described. Approaches for handling this complex situation has not been found in literature and therefore a team learning approach that deal with these issues has been developed. The proposed approach is aimed for material or product development. It has a specific focus on facilitating innovation towards more sustainable products by translating and integrating significant product sustainability characteristics into each team member’s specific area of expertise and everyday work. The material and product development team members are largely affecting the sustainability performance of the finished product. The approach is an iterative process which should continue until the material or product is available for sale and thus the product sustainability parameters will be modified during the process to include new knowledge. Hence, the assessments will be more exact with time.

  • 16.
    Clancy, Gunilla
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Alänge, Sverker
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Actionable knowledge to develop more sustainable products2013In: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Life Cycle Management, August 25-28, 2013, Göteborg, Sweden., 2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Companies need to develop more sustainable products to fit into more sustainable future markets, and there is need for ways to guide towards and compare sustainability already early in material or product development. How this can be handled has been studied through action research in a material development project aiming to develop wood-based materials to replace petroleum-based materials while ensuring a more sustainable product. A specific focus was put on creating actionable knowledge to facilitate innovation towards more sustainable products by translating and integrating significant product sustainability characteristics into each team member’s specific area of expertise and everyday work. The insights are now used in different other on-going projects in a textile industry setting and in relation to companies’ management systems.

  • 17.
    Clancy, Gunilla
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Peters, Gregory M.
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Environmental challenges when developing renewable materials to replace non-renewable materials - receiving guidance from LCA studies2010In: 9th International Conference on EcoBalance 2010 'Towards & Beyond 2020' 9-12 November,Tokyo, Japan, Tokyo, 2010Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Since the demand for more sustainable products is growing, the pressure on material developers to improve the sustainability performance of the products that they are developing is increasing. As a consequence, the need to move away from a narrow understanding of “product” and “environment” is becoming more apparent. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach has been used to find rough estimates of how much process energy, raw materials etc. are used in the process of transforming a biomass feedstock into a new material. A reference product with a fossil based material intended to be replaced is used as a benchmark for the new product. The new product must perform at least as well as this benchmark and preferably better. We illustrate this LCA based methodology using the example of replacing petroleum-based polymeric material with wood-based material in a disposable consumer product.

  • 18.
    Clancy, Gunilla
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Morgan, Fröling
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Assessing sustainability already in product development2011Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Since companies need to develop more sustainable products to stay in business in the long term, there is a demand for ways to assess and compare product sustainability already in product development. This is studied through action research performed within the “wood based diaper” material development project (WooDi) aiming to develop a wood based material to replace a petroleum based while ensuring a more sustainable product. Approaches for environmental improvement in product development focus primarily on optimisation of the existing product system, e.g. on replacing parts or processes representing large environmental impacts. In some cases, broader system effects and effects of a changing surrounding system is taken into account e.g. by consequential LCA studies. Such approaches will result in marginal improvements compared to the present situation, and cannot fully take advantage of truly innovative ideas that are based on completely different solutions or the fact that a more sustainable future society might put very different demands on products compared to the strictest environmental requirements of today. Based on what was found in relevant literature, most often lists of predetermined parameters are being used without critical reflection on their importance in light of the specific situation. There is a specific lack of parameters describing the sustainability impacts of a shift from fossil to biomass resources in a life cycle perspective, e.g. related to competition for resources. As a result, an approach for establishing relevant product sustainability parameters is presented, emphasising the need to bringing in the diverse knowledge and experiences of the product development team members as vital for a successful result. The parameters are intended to guide product development as well as to be a base for a sustainability comparison of a new product with a current product.

  • 19.
    Danielski, Itai
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Diagnosis of buildings' thermal performance - a quantitative method using thermography under non-steady state heat flow2015In: Energy Procedia, ISSN 1876-6102, E-ISSN 1876-6102, Vol. 83, p. 320-329Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study describes a quantitative method using thermography to measure the thermal performance of complete building envelope elements that are subjected to non-steady state heat flow. The method presumes that thermal properties of external walls, like conductivity, could still be obtained by a linear regression over values of independent measurements. And therefore could be used during fluctuating indoor and outdoor thermal conditions. The method is divided into two parts. First, the convection heat transfer coefficient is measured by heat flux meters (HFM) and thermography. And then, the overall heat transfer coefficient of a complete building element is measured by thermography to include all non-uniformities.

    In this study the thermal performance of a 140 mm thick laminated timber wall was measured. The wall was subjected to the outdoor weather conditions in Östersund, Sweden during January and February. The measurement values were found to have a large disparity as expected due to the rapid change in weather conditions. But still a linear regression with low confidence interval was obtained. The thermography results from a small uniform wall segment were validated with HFM measurements and 4% difference was found, which suggest that the two methods could be equally effective. Yet, thermography has the advantage of measuring surface temperature over large area of building element. The overall heat transfer coefficient of a large wall area was found to be 11% higher in comparison to the HFM measurements. This indicates that thermography could provide a more representative result as it captures areas of imperfections, point and linear thermal bridges.

  • 20.
    Danielski, Itai
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Systems effecting systems when managing energy resources2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Managing natural resources to minimize impacts driving global change requires system understanding. The ecological systems are affected by different human interventions e.g. through the use of natural resources and generation of emissions. The ‘ecological footprint’ of a provided service can differ significantly according to both the choice of technology as well as the interactions of a specific technology option within the overall technical systems. Such interactions within the technical system may have significant impact on the modeling results regarding ecological consequences for a specific technical option. These interactions are important to understand for good decision support and policy making in the context of global change. This will be illustrated by the case of using air-to-air heat pumps for space heating in Sweden.

    In recent years, air-to-air heat pumps have been the most sold technology for space heating in residential buildings in Sweden. Newly produced air-to-air heat pumps can provide heat energy from outdoor air at temperature as low as -20°C. A drawback of air-to-air heat pumps is their reduction in efficiency as the outdoor air become colder. In this study, the use of air-to air heat pumps is compared with other commercial technologies integrated in the Swedish and European energy system.

    Results show that although air-to-air heat pumps are presently very cost effective for the end user and give relatively low final energy demand for space heating by comparison to other commercial technologies, seen integrated in the Swedish and European energy system, air-to-air heat pump are inferior regarding the use of resources and securing peak load power demand. Thus, by modeling the performance of air-to-air heat pumps first by including only its interaction with the building and than by  including its interaction with the larger energy system suggest that there is presently a micro economic driver for the local investor pointing in the opposite direction regarding management of natural energy resources compared to what would be desirable in the context of global change.

  • 21.
    Danielski, Itai
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Joelsson, Anna
    SWECO, Vastra Norrlandsgatan 10 B, Umea, SE 901 03, Sweden.
    Air source heat pumps and their role in the Swedish energy system2012In: Support your future today; Turning environmental problems into business opportunities / [ed] Leo Baas, Olof Hjelm, 2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Newly produced air source heat pumps can provide heat energy from outdoor air at temperature as low as -20°C. As a result they could be utilized during most days of the year even in the cold Nordic climates. The drawback of air source heat pumps is the reduction in efficiency as the outdoor air become colder, resulting in lower heat supply in times when it is most needed. Despite its inverse relationship between efficiency and outdoor temperature, air source heat pumps were installed in 57000 detached houses in Sweden during 2010 alone, which is 3% of the total detached houses stock. That makes air source heat pumps the most sold heating technology for detached houses in Sweden during 2010, 1.6 times more than the number of installations of ground source heat pump and 3 times more than the number of connections of detached houses to district heating during the same year. Similar trends can be found in other Nordic countries.This study compares the use of an air source heat pump with other existing commercial technologies in detached houses and analyzes the impacts on primary energy use, on final energy use, on electricity production and on costs benefits for house owners. It was found that converting existing electric heated Swedish detaches houses to district heating with biomass based CHP or bed-rock heat pump could reduce the use of resources, which could benefit Sweden as a society. Converting electric heated Swedish detaches houses to district heating or pellets stove could reduce power demand and level out the power demand load curve. That would benefit utilities of power supply as it could secure power supply. However cost effectiveness in one of most important drivers for house owners of detached houses to choose energy efficiency measures. For that reason house owners may most likely benefit by the installation of air-source heat pumps.

  • 22.
    Danielski, Itai
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Joelsson, Anna
    SWECO, Vastra Norrlandsgatan 10 B, Umea, SE 901 03, Sweden.
    The impact of the shape factor on final energy demand in residential buildings in nordic climates2012In: World Renewable Energy Forum, WREF 2012, Including World Renewable Energy Congress XII and Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) Annual Conference, 2012, p. 4260-4264Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The shape factor of a building is the ratio between its envelope area and its volume. Buildings with a higher shape factor have a larger surface area in proportion to their volume, which results in larger heat losses in cold climates. This study analyzes the impact of the shape factor on the final energy demand by using five existing apartment buildings with different values of shape factor. Each building was simulated for twelve different scenarios: three thermal envelope scenarios and four climate zones. The differences in shape factor between the buildings were found to have a large impact and accounted for 10%-20% of their final energy demand. The impact of the shape factor was reduced with warmer climates and ceased with average outdoor temperature 11ºC-14ºC depending on the thermal envelope performance of the buildings.

  • 23.
    Danielski, Itai
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Nair, Gireesh
    Applied Physics and Electronics, Umeå university.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Heated atrium in multi-story buildings: A design for better energy efficiency and social interactions2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The shape factor of a building expresses the ratio between the building’s thermal envelope area and its volume, or alternatively to its useful floor area. Buildings with lower shape factors will have lower heat losses through the thermal envelope and lower specific final energy demand. The shape factor of building could be reduced by a compact building shape design, and by increasing the volume of the building. However, the requirement for indoor natural light put a limit on the size of the building and therefore may limit the value of the shape factor. One possible solution to address this aspect is designing building with a heated atrium.An atrium is a large enclosed space within a building, and may have a glazed roof. In a multi-story apartment building an atrium has the potential to increase the social interaction between the residents and, with the right design, at the same time reduce the heating demand of the building due to lower building shape factor. However, the use of atrium in residential buildings in Nordic countries has not yet gained popularity.In this paper the impact of the heated atrium building with cylindrical shape design on the specific final energy is investigated by comparing such building design to conventional design buildings with similar floor area. The Nydalahuset project, in city Umeå in the north of Sweden, which is a multi-story residential building with a heated atrium, is used as a case study to investigate the affect of the atrium on the social interaction among the building occupants.The results show that heated atrium building with cylindrical shape design is a better energy efficient design than the conventional buildings. Such buildings in cold climate could help to reduce the heat losses through the thermal envelope and facilitate to achieve the passive house criteria. Moreover, the Nydalahuset project suggests that the atrium design could improve the social interaction of occupants in residential buildings.

  • 24.
    Danielski, Itai
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Nair, Gireesh
    Umeå University, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics, Sweden .
    Joelsson, Anna
    SWECO AB (publ), Umeå, Sweden.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Heated atrium in multi-storey apartment buildings, a design with potential to enhance energy efficiency and to facilitate social interactions2016In: Building and Environment, ISSN 0360-1323, E-ISSN 1873-684X, Vol. 106, p. 352-364Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The design concept of conditioned atria gains increasing popularity in commercial and service buildings all over the world, but is still not a common building design in the residential sector. This study investigates the potential of such design in residential buildings in Nordic climates as means to enhance both energy efficiency as well as social interaction among residents. Energy modelling was used to compare energy efficiency among designs of residential buildings with and without atrium and to identify important design parameters. Social interaction was analysed, based on a survey evaluating the perception of residents living in an existing multi-storey apartment building designed with a heated atrium in the north of Sweden.

    The results show that heated atrium in Nordic climates have a potential to reduce the total final energy demand while at the same time increase the conditioned space of the building. To positively impact energy efficiency, the atrium should fulfil three requirements: (i) it should be designed to reduce the shape factor for the whole building; (ii) it should have the minimum glazed area that comply with the building requirements concerning natural light and visual comfort; and (iii) adjustable solar shading should be installed in the atrium’s façades to avoid unwanted overheating. The survey results indicate that the additional space created by the atrium has a potential to facilitate and promote social interaction among residents and to increases a sense of neighbourliness and belongingness, which are often discussed as important parameters in relation to social sustainability.

  • 25.
    Danielski, Itai
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Svensson, Michelle
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Adaption of the passive house concept in northern Sweden: a case study of performance2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study analyzes the performance of a case study of low energy house built in Östersund (lat.63°N), Sweden. The building is a semi detached house for two families, with each apartment having afloor space of 160 m2 divided on two floors. The building was constructed during 2010 according tothe Swedish passive house principles with design that meet the requirements for Swedish passivehouses as defined by the Forum for energy efficiency buildings (FEBY) and the Swedish center forzero energy houses (SCNH). The house is connected to the district heating network, which is the mainheat source for domestic water heating, floor heating in the bathroom and water based pre‐heatercoil in the ventilation system. Additionally, a wood stove is installed in the living room for thermalcomfort and convenience of the residents. The two identical residential units in the building wereinhabited in the end of 2010 by families with different characteristics; a family with two youngchildren in one unit and a middle aged couple in the other.A one year energy measurement campaign started in May 2012 for both of the residential units. Themeasurements started after a period of adjustments of the building energy system and include spaceand domestic water heating (separate measurements), household electricity, the amount of fuelwood used in the stove, and indoor thermal conditions. The results show that it is possible to buildpassive houses in the Northern regions of Sweden. The specific final energy demand of the casestudy was 23% lower than the Swedish FEBY‐requirements. Differences were found between themonitored and calculated specific final energy demand. These differences depend to a large extanton the occupants’ behavior and household characteristics. The final energy demand for heating anddomestic water heating found to vary significantly between the two households.

  • 26.
    Fakhari Rad, Mohammad
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Grönlund, Erik
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Including Ecosystem Services in Sustainability Assessment of Forest Biofuels2012In: World Bioenergy 2012 Proceedings / [ed] The Swedish Bioenergy Association, 2012, p. 75-78Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    With increasing demand for forest biofuels the pressures on ecosystem services from forestry practices willincrease. This calls for identification and assessment of tradeoffs between different uses of provisioning and otherecosystem services and establish management practices considering such tradeoffs.

  • 27.
    Fakhari Rad, Mohammad
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Grönlund, Erik
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    More forest biofuels from Jämtland - ecosystem services tradeoffs2012In: Ecosystem Services - From policy to practice, 2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    With increasing European demand for biofuels, the interest for forest biomass from the northernboreal forests of Sweden will increase. Traditional optimization parameters like carbon footprint orlife cycle energy use will not be enough to ensure the sustainability of forest biofuel production inSweden. Impacts on ecosystem services must also be assessed.Swedish forests today have annual volume growth surpassing harvesting. This is partly thebackground to the fact that land occupation parameters has not been considered relevant when itcomes to forestry in Sweden; the general forms of forest management practices used has made alsoproduction forestry seen as ‘nature’ (e.g. about three quarters of Swedish forests are certified byFSC, PEFC or both). With increasing competition for forest resources, harvesting pressure andintensity of forestry will likely increase, and the view ‘forests is nature’ will have to change.In the Swedish county of Jämtland there is 3.4 million ha of forest area, and forestry is an importantindustry. At the same time the county also has a large tourism industry, to a substantial extent forskiing but also for experiences of undisturbed nature, hiking, hunting, fishing et c. The county is alsomarketing itself as a “Quality Food Area” having a focus on traditional, small scale and localproduction of food products and food experiences, with the clean and uncontaminated environmentfor agriculture, game and fish as a cornerstone. More intensive forestry may create conflictsbetween such enterprises related to cultural ecosystem services and those provisioning servicespushed for biofuel production.We need to make possible the inclusion of negative impacts on ecosystem services from biofuelproduction as well as inclusion of tradeoffs between different types of e.g. cultural ecosystemservices in sustainability assessments of increased forest biofuel harvesting and production inJämtland.Before

  • 28.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Integrated assessment for sustainable rural development in the Mid Sweden mountain region2015In: Proceedings of SUSTAINABILITY OF RURAL AREAS IN PRACTICE (SURAP) 2015, 2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Sustainable rural development have partly different challenges compared to urban areas, both in types of challenges and in solutions possible to implement. Ongoing work at Mid Sweden University addresses such issues in the Mid Sweden mountain region (county of Jämtland) through integrated assessment.

     

    The global development has now come to a critical state where humanity act as a new geological force and it is obvious that there are numerous of environmental problems which arise from the present geosphere-biosphere-anthroposphere interactions which urgently need to be addressed. Even though Jämtland is a sparsely populated area with large forests, a lot of hydro power, and only one major city, it is still not obvious how to reach long term sustainability. We can e.g. easily identify tradeoffs between increased biofuel harvesting and development of tourism based on experience of nature.

     

    Regional sustainability can be addressed with an ecological systems model based on carbon and energy balances. The model is supplemented with investigations of ecosystem services in the region, intended to capture additional dimensions of sustainable development. A regional model can serve as a support tool for regional decisions aiming for sustainable regional development.

  • 29.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Introduction to Ecotechnology - Maintaining Possibilities for Good Lives: Introducción a la Ecotecnología - Maintaining Possibilities for Good Lives2015In: Ecotechnology - Living Technology for a Green Future, Managua, Nicaragua, April 17, 2015, 2015Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 30.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    To Really Do What We Know We Need to Do: Can Humanities Help Where Natural Sciences and Engineering Have Reached the End of the Road?2014In: Proceedings of NIES X / ECOHUM Research Symposium, Rethinking Environmental Consciousness, Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, 5–8 December 2014, 2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Globally, we need to significantly increase human well-being for a large part of the world’spopulation. However, if this is done wrong, the potential to worsen global environmentalproblems and overburden planetary boundaries is significant. Technically mankind has atits disposal much of what is needed to solve these problems, but we don’t seem to be ableto use available options in effective ways. System effects resulting from human behavioroften counteract the results of previous efforts when attempts to achieve this dual goalare made. One description of such a problem is the so-called Rebound Effect. To handlethese issues we must go outside the sphere of understanding problems and of findingtechnical solutions to these problems; we need to find ways to change ourselves, ourwants, and what we value. This paper investigates the need for humanities research forsustainability from the perspective of natural science and engineering.

  • 31.
    Fröling, Morgan
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Fakhari Rad, Mohammad
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Grönlund, Erik
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Ecosystem services tradeoffs when striving twoards a biobased future [Eco-Tech'12]2012In: Proceedings of ECO-TECH 2012, 26-28 November, Kalmar, Sweden, 2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    With increasing demand for bio-based materials and forest biofuels the pressures on ecosystem services from forestry practices will increase. This calls for identification and assessment of tradeoffs between different uses of provisioning and other ecosystem services and establish management practices considering such tradeoffs. Traditional optimization parameters like carbon footprint or life cycle energy use will not be enough; impacts on ecosystem services must also be assessed.The UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment concludes that ecosystems and their ability to provide humanity with ecosystem services are under severe stress. Increased use of bio-based materials and biofuels must be furnished in ways not unnecessary worsening the situation, or locally destroy the provisioning of essential ecosystem services.The Swedish county of Jämtland is used as an example, with 3.4 million ha of forest area and forestry as an important industry. At the same time the county has a large tourism industry - for skiing but also for experiences of undisturbed nature, hiking, hunting, fishing et c. The county is also marketing itself as a “Quality Food Area” having a focus on local food production and food experiences, with the clean and uncontaminated environment for agriculture, game and fish as a cornerstone. More intensive forestry may create conflicts between enterprises related to cultural ecosystem services and those provisioning services pushed for biofuel production.We need to make possible the inclusion of tradeoffs between different types of e.g. cultural ecosystem services in sustainability assessments of increased forest biomaterial harvesting and production in Jämtland.

  • 32.
    Fröling, Morgan
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Grönlund, Erik
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Ecosystem services in evaluating value chains when moving toward a bio based society2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A worldwide shift from a fossil based to biobased economy is slowly underway. Even if fossil resources will be still be used in foreseeable future, an increased use of biomass as resources, not least for fuels, can be expected. A systematic, worldwide increase in demand of bioresources will inevitably put larger potential pressures on ecosystems and the environment. To be able to minimize or fully avoid damage, or at least unnecessary damage to human welfare, we among other things need the increased understanding of including ecosystem services into life cycle assessment of products and services. Such a combination of understanding basic responses from impacts on ecosystems by technical systems, and environmental interactions of technical systems over the whole value chain of a product or service will give possibilities to identify important hot spots as well as optimizing technology use to minimize damage to important ecosystem services. Yet we have not achieved this. We argue that important reasons are that we still need to understand how to include ecosystem services in LCA, and that this is complicated by the fact that there are two main paradigms regarding ecosystem services – the donor value approach and the receiver value approach. Approaching the problem through the case of an expected increased forest bio fuel production from the boreal forests of the Mid Sweden region, we demonstrate the different approaches. We argue that for now we will probably need to use the two approaches in parallel.

  • 33.
    Fröling, Morgan
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Grönlund, Erik
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Carlman, Inga
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    From environmental problems to sustainable development and towards resilience: Development over time of a university program inenvironmental science aiming for action competences2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction:During the latest decades society has developed from an environmental awareness, with reactive thinking, of the “preBrundtland age” into having sustainability as the goal for human development after the Rio declaration. Lately, within the environmentalscientific sphere, the concept of resilience is increasingly superimposed on the sustainability paradigm. It is seen as important both forunderstanding of the present situation as well as a necessity for societies to survive in times of rapid change. During this period from “preBrundtland” until today when resilience is in focus, the environmental science program of Ecotechnology started, developed and changed inresponse to changes in society. A goal, from the very beginning of the educational program, has been to empower students to take action.The types of action and how action competence has been perceived, has changed over the three decades the program has been running.

    Objectives: Environmental science and sustainability is often difficult to teach since it demands an interdisciplinary approach stretching overthe traditional faculty division of natural, social, and engineering sciences. At Mid Sweden University these three branches have beenintegrated in Ecotechnology education for 30 years. The purpose of this paper is to describe the interdisciplinary teaching with special focuson the development of the student’s action competence for sustainable development, in the light of how the environmental issues havedeveloped.

    Methods: The paper has a descriptive approach exploring the experiences from the 30 years of interdisciplinary teaching.

    Results: Different teaching methods and strategies have been employed over time, partly in sync with changing overarching societal goals.

    Conclusion: Some observations are 1) a key element to develop action competence is to push students to a self-propelled learning behaviorrather than traditional teaching of facts, 2) to not too easily provide the students with answers will develop problem solving skills, 3) “doingbefore-reading” teaching is more time consuming but seem to give deeper knowledge.

  • 34.
    Fröling, Morgan
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Grönlund, Erik
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Hjortsberg, Sofie
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Jönsson, Johan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Lindblom, Erik
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Scheffer, Linda
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Söderberg, Karolina
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Theorell, Linus
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Bio-CCS - a model based case study from the mid Sweden region2015In: Proceedings of Global Cleaner Production and Sustainable Consumption, Sitges Barcelona, November 1-4, 2015, 2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In its 2014 report, IPCC recommend Carbon Capture and Storage not only for fossil power plants but also for bioenergy to beable to meet the 2 degree target. In a case study, models for CCS applied to a combined heat and power (CHP) plant inÖstersund, Sweden, using wood chips as main fuel was assessed. The goal was to gain knowledge to be prepared to takemore rapid action if policy instruments are implemented in future. More "traditional" technology with absorption inmonoethanolamine (MEA) and subsequent underground storage uses a significant part of produced electricity, and in anenergy system perspective it is not necessarily the most efficient use of a limited wood resource. For processes withcomparatively low net climate impact, like bio-CHP, alternatives significantly more energy efficient per unit of capturedcarbon dioxide but only able to capture part of the total emitted carbon can be considered. One such alternative is to capturecarbon dioxide using microalgae. Key issues for assessment of processes in this case are how to store the carbon captured inthe algae biomass (e.g. in products) and for how long the carbon will be withdrawn from atmosphere with such storage.

  • 35.
    Fröling, Morgan
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Grönlund, Erik
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Kuul, Ivi
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Longueville, Fredrik
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Berg, Claes-Göran
    Jämtkraft AB.
    Pre Study of CCS for a Bio Fueled CHP Plant2014In: Proceedings from the 14th International Symposium on District Heating and CoolingSeptember, 6-10, 2014, Stockholm, SWEDEN / [ed] Anna Land, 2014, p. 511-514Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The environmental performance of a potential carbon capture and storage (CCS) installation at the bio fueled combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Lugnvik, Östersund was studied with screening life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. CCS has lately been discussed for plants using bio fuels since it is one of few possibilities to actively decrease the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The most common process for carbon capture, absorption in MEA, was assumed. Transportation of the captured carbon dioxide to Norway for injection in natural gas fields was the considered storage option.The impacts from transportation of the captured carbon dioxide indicate that alternatives should be investigated, e.g. possibilities for local storage or other types of utilization of the captured carbon. The comparatively high energy use for the MEA capturing process indicates that CCS for bio fueled plants must be carefully considered. Alternative technologies for carbon capture should be further investigated - e.g. if biological methods might give better performance over chemical absorption – as should the consequences of alternative handling of the captured carbon dioxide.

  • 36.
    Fröling, Morgan
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Lorentzen, Lena
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Industrial Design.
    Design Processes Releasing Creativity for Sustainability2016In: Valuing and Evaluating Creativity for Sustainable Regional Development: Book of abstracts / [ed] Daniel Laven & Wilhelm Skoglund, Östersund, 2016, p. 223-225Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    To move toward sustainable societies and achieve the United Nations Global Goals changes are necessary at many levels and in many dimensions of human society. New creative methods in the design approach are necessary. The magnitude of change that is needed can be imagined by the fact that the world is so impacted by human activities that some discuss our present era on earth as the “Anthropocene”. To keep up and expand human wellbeing all over the world, it will be necessary to design new products and processes that are better adapted to fit within the planetary boundaries of the Earth. The ‘squary shape’ of most city components are badly adopted both to human body and our cognitive for stimulation. At the same time, social sustainability requires the development of these new products and processes in ways that are inclusive. In other words, our solutions toned to be available for use by as many individuals as possible worldwide.

    The design stage is when there are many degrees of freedom compared to later production and use phases of products or services. Unsustainable properties included at this stage are often hard or expensive (or both) to correct later on when infrastructure for production has been created.. Thus the design stage is one important area that can help create movement towards more sustainable societies.

    There are several development processes available to create more environmentally friendly products. These processes can be good in some cases but often are the requirement settled before designer are involved.  Therefore they are not inspiring designers, and release of the expertise of designers can not be used in a significant way [1,2]. For example, in the corporate sector there is often a lack of clear vision and goals during specific design tasks, which can hamper leapfrog development.

    To develop products and solutions that are inclusive to large parts of the population is a challenge for sustained and increased human wellbeing, especially with an expected aging population. To meet such challenges design methods and approaches has been developed under the concept Design for All [3]. The Design for All approach is often thought of as handling human ergonomic challenges, but if used correctly this approach can also be helpful for inclusion of individuals facing a wide range of physical or cognitive challenges.

    Since more environmentally adapted design and more inclusive design are two parallel developments that is needed for the future, it is of interest to merge the thinking of such approaches. A widening of thinking regarding Design for All to take into account not only the ‘weakest humans’ but also the ‘weakest links in ecosystems’ could be such a road forward to design that fits in a future sustainable society. It has the possibility to be set up in a way to release and utilize the expertise of designers and thus opens for truly creative solutions for the problems of today and tomorrow.

    A new creative way to solve city, and other design issues by starting from the most demanding peoples and nature species needs instead of re-designing artefacts originated from industrial production indicates hope for sustainable solutions in the future. This is a possible starting point for a new era of creative cites.

    References

    Gunilla Clancy; Morgan Fröling; Gregory Peters (2015): Ecolabels as drivers of clothing design. Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, Vol. 99, p.345-353.

    Gunilla Clancy; Morgan Fröling; Magdalena Svanström (2013): Insights from guiding material development towards more sustainable products. International Journal of Sustainable Design, ISSN 1743-8284, Vol. 2, no 2, p. 149-166.

    Lena Lorentzen; Johan Eklund (2011): Design for All (Published in Swedish: Design för alla: En ny metod för att bedöma produkters, tjänsters och miljöers användbarhet). Design Research Journal, ISSN 2000-3080, Vol. 1, no 1, 46-53 p.

     

  • 37.
    Fröling, Morgan
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
    Nyström, Ingrid
    CIT Industriell Energianalys, Göteborg, Sweden.
    DISTRICT HEATING AS PART OF THE ENERGY SYSTEM: AN ENVIRONMENTAL PERSPECTIVE ON ‘PASSIVE HOUSES’ AND HEAT REPLACING ELECTRICITY USE2010In: Proceedings of 12th International Symposium onDistrict Heating and Cooling, September 5th –September 7th, 2010, Tallin University of Technology, Tallinn, ESTONIA, 2010, p. 202-205Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Energy use for space heating, hot tap water and otherheat use at comparatively low temperature levelsrepresent a substantial part of the total energy use inSweden and countries with similar climate. It is thus ofimportance to meet this demand in a way generating assmall environmental impact as possible. However, it ispossible to create a system with higher environmentalimpacts with energy efficient buildings compared toless energy efficient buildings through choice of lessgood energy carriers. It is not enough that theindividual parts of a system are good and efficient togive a low environmental impact; the parts must beconnected into the system in a good way.From environmental perspective energy efficientbuildings and district heating don‘t oppose each other– good parts connected in a good system will give anoptimal. The results from the study of the three items ofhousehold equipment show possibilities for districtheating to be an alternative with good environmentalperformance, but not under all heat generationregimes.

  • 38.
    Fröling, Morgan
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Tellström, Susanne
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Edholm, Jenny
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Van den Brink, Paul
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Longueville, Anna
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Grönlund, Erik
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Appearances of Ecosystem Services in Environmental Impact Assessment - learnings from two Swedish case studies2016In: Proceedings of Linnaeus Eco-Tech 2016: The 10th International Conference on the Establishment of Cooperation between Companies and Institutionsin the Nordic Countries, the Baltic Sea Region and the World., 2016Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Ecosystem Services is an increasingly used concept to understand and describe the dependencies of socio-technical systems on the ecosystems in which they exist. We have studied to what extent ecosystem services are appearing in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) in two Swedish cases, the improvement of ecological status in a river used for small scale hydropower and the mining operations of the MM mine. In neither of the two cases ecosystem services have been intentionally included in the work with the EIAs. The goal of the studies has been to examine to what extent ecosystem services are appearing anyway in the EIAs, to what extent data in the EIAs are sufficient to perform more structured ecosystem service assessments, and if the use of a more structured ecosystem services review during the EIA process could have contributed positively to the EIA work. 

    Both EIAs in this study holds some information on impacts on ecosystem services, and more information on affected ecosystem functions that could be translated into ecosystems services and probably to full ecosystem service reviews with additional data gathering. Cases of ecosystem functions and services impacting other ecosystem functions and services, sometimes in several stages, were found, indicating that such functions or services could be of special importance to protect and / or support.

  • 39.
    Grönlund, Erik
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Barthelson, Mats
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Englund, Andreas
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Carlman, Inga
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Jonsson, Anders
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    van den Brink, Paul
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Ekoteknik (Ecotechnics / Ecotehcnology) – 30 Years of Experience in Interdiciplinery Education2014In: Proceedings of the 20th International Sustainable Development Research Conference Trondheim 18-20 June 2014: Resilience – the new research frontier, Trondheim: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Product Design , 2014, p. 17-21Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An important part of a society’s resilience is how prepared it is to cope with the changing conditions during the alpha and omega phases according to resilience theory. Lars Thofelt, an academic from the mid Sweden region, early recognized this need for students to develop skills needed for a societal change, and devoted his life to pedagogy suitable for this. The main outcome of his achievement was the interdisciplinary university program in Ecotechnics/Ecotechnology (Ekoteknik in Swedish), at Mid Sweden University. Ecology, economy and technology in cooperation for sustainable development were the original approach, and still are.Thofelt’s ideas had a main focus of helping students develop their inherent capabilities of solving problems and overcome obstacles. After Thofelt’s 12 years at the program his ideas were carried on by former colleagues and students, and the teaching further developed with a mix of the Thofelt tradition and other experiences brought in by new employees. This paper describes this interdisciplinary teaching approach with special focus on development of resilience capacity in students.It was concluded that 1) a key element to develop resilience skills in students is to push them to a self-propelled learning behavior rather than traditional teaching, 2) not too easily provide the students with answers will develop their problem solving skills, 3) doing-before-reading teaching is more time consuming but seem to give deeper knowledge, 4) interdisciplinary teaching will in the long run benefit from having the interdisciplinary team within the department, rather than as a conglomerate of several departments.

  • 40.
    Grönlund, Erik
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Englund, Andreas
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Barthelson, Mats
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Ecotechnics/Ecotechnology in Östersund – 30 years of entrepreneurship focused education2014In: / [ed] Caczala F., Lundström J., Rosenlund J., Hogland W., 2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    1983 was the starting year for an interdisciplinary and sustainability oriented education program at the former university college in Östersund, located in the Mid Sweden mountain region. In this paper – 30 years later - the different phases that the educational program has passed over the years is examined with an entrepreneurial focus. In 1983 the “slogan” for the education was: “Ecology, economy and technology in cooperation for sustainable development”. One of the main ideas was to have a problem solving and entrepreneurial focus in the education. The goal was that the students should be prepared to start their own businesses after graduating, based on ideas they had developed during the education. The first years the program was two years in length, partly based on the idea to not “wear out” eager entrepreneurs with too many study years. Later a third year was added, to fulfill the bachelor’s level. In the late 1990’s the education had become part of Mid Sweden University, which during that period were struggling for full University status. This put pressure towards “academization” of the education program, which had its benefits but also its problems from the entrepreneurship angle. During the first decade after the millennia shift the education took a more international focus attracting students from many countries all over the world.  A Master’s level was also added to the program and the first graduate students received their Ph.D. during this period. The latest development is to split the Bachelor’s program into three “sister” programs: the Ecoengineers with a more traditional engineer focus (but still interdisciplinary), the Ecoentrepreneurs with less chemistry and math, but more social entrepreneur and green procurement courses, and the Ecotechnology students standing in between as the most interdisciplinary students.

  • 41.
    Grönlund, Erik
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Emergy as a measure to assess sustainability2016In: Ecological sustainability: Engineering change, 2016Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Emergy accounting (EA) is one of the methods in the sustainability assessment toolbox. In its use of stocks and flows of energy and matter it has similarities with e.g. Material Flow Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment, but EA also includes stocks and flows of money and information. In its methodological approach of relating to a global baseline of renewable flows EA is similar to Ecological footprints in that it is not just revealing which of two alternatives is using more or less of different stocks or flows but also comparing the use to available renewable flows on a global annual basis.

    This paper address the contribution of three different aspects of EA (emergy analysis, emergy synthesis) to the overarching goal of sustainable development. The discussed aspects were: 1) the Emergy Sustainability Index (ESI), 2) emergy as a normalizing measure, and 3) emergy as a network measure.

    It was concluded that the ESI is an interesting measure but does not catch the full range of the sustainability concept. The EA approach, with the ESI as part of it, has more to say about sustainability than what is captured by the ESI alone. An interesting outcome is that the traditional triple-bottom-line of environmental, economic and social sustainability emerges very easily from the emergy assessment conceptual diagram approach. EA holds a promise to classify the economic, social, and socio-economic domains of sustainability, as well as their connection to the ecological/environmental sustainability. The reason why the ESI captures only a small part of what is interesting from a sustainability point of view in the full EA may be that it has the focus on the traditional load and yield components. Many of the interesting parts from emergy evaluations in the sustainability context may instead come from the capability of EA to capture network properties.

  • 42.
    Grönlund, Erik
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Emergy as a measure to assess sustainable development2016In: Proceedings of 22nd International Sustainable Development Research Society Conference, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, 13 – 15 July 2016, 2016Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Emergy accounting is one of the methods in the sustainability assessment toolbox. In its use of stocks and flows of energy and matter it has similarities with Material Flow Analysis (MFA), Substance Flow Analysis (SFA), and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), but Emergy accounting also includes stocks and flows of money and information. In its methodological approach of relating to a global baseline of renewable flows Emergy accounting is similar to Ecological footprints in that it is not just revealing which of two alternatives is using more or less of different stocks or flows but also comparing the use to available renewable flows on a global annual basis.This paper address the contribution of three different aspects of emergy accounting (emergy analysis, emergy synthesis) to the overarching goal of sustainable development. The discussed aspects were: 1) the Emergy Sustainability Index (ESI), 2) emergy as a normalizing measure, and 3) emergy as a network measure.It was concluded that the Emergy Sustainability Index (ESI) is an interesting measure but does not catch the full range of the sustainability concept. The emergy accounting approach, with the ESI as part of it, has a lot more to say about sustainability than just what is captured by the ESI. An interesting outcome is that the traditional triple-bottom-line of environmental, economic and social sustainability emerges very easily from the emergy assessment conceptual diagram approach. Emergy accounting holds a promise of clarifying the fuzziness often connected to how to classify economic, social, and socio-economic domains of sustainability. These are in practice often difficult to distinguish between, as are their connections to the ecological/environmental sustainability. The reason why the ESI captures only a small part of what is interesting from a sustainability point of view in the full emergy assessment may be that it has the focus on the traditional load and yield components. Many of the interesting parts from emergy evaluation in the sustainability context may instead come from the capability of emergy accounting to capture network properties.

  • 43.
    Grönlund, Erik
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Emergy in the new systems ecology2016In: Ecological sustainability: Engineering change, 2016Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Ecosystems ecology was the dominating branch within the field of ecology during the 1950s and 1960s.  During the 1970s ecosystem ecology was to a large extent replaced by the emerging so called “popcom” ecology, often described as a major paradigm shift in ecology from a holistic approach to a reductionistic paradigm. It is said that more than 90% of the active ecologist switched paradigm during this period. However, during the 1980s and 1990s several new concepts emerged among the remaining ecosystem ecologist and a few new scientist, often coming to the field with other backgrounds than ecology. This effort has the last years produced a more complete theory of what has been called the new systems ecology.

     

    In this presentation the concept of emergy is compared to a selection of the other new concepts within systems ecology. The presentation aims to sum up earlier published comparisons and to add a few new angles to those.

  • 44.
    Grönlund, Erik
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    The use of emergy accounting to assess progress in sustainable urban and regional development2016In: Valuing and Evaluating Creativity for Sustainable Regional Development: Book of abstracts / [ed] Daniel Laven & Wilhelm Skoglund, Östersund: Mid Sweden University , 2016, p. 219-221Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Emergy accounting (also named emergy analysis or emergy synthesis) is a method developed from systems science and systems ecology. Emergy is a measure appearing when applying the energy hierarchy principle to natural (e.g. forests and lakes) or human (e.g. cities, regions and countries) systems. The principle postulates that energies in any system will self-organize in hierarchical patterns given time to do so (Odum 1994, 2007). Emergy is expressed in relation to one type of energy occurring in the hierarchy, almost always solar emergy Joules, seJ. In the context of economy, emergy values can alternatively be expressed in a currency related unit, for example Em€ or Em$ (proportional to values in seJ). The significance is that Em€ or Em$ measures the contribution different items gives to the whole system, rather than how individuals value different items on the market; a donor value approach rather than a receiver (market) value approach (Grönlund et al., 2015).

    Emergy accounting has similarities with ecological footprint (EF) accounting. EF in principle accounts for the area of productive land needed to produce what we consume (measured in a unit called global hectares, a normalized hectare that takes into account different productivity and production methods–agriculture, forestry, and fishing–in different countries). By comparing this to the productive hectares available in the biosphere, the annual overshoot can be calculated. In the latest presentation the annual overshoot is calculated to be at least 50%. The EF method has met some methodological criticism based for example on the problems to include fossil fuels, water use, nuclear power, and toxicity aspects into the calculations. Emergy accounting has solved at least the two first of these problems.

    Similar to ecological footprint (EF) accounting Emergy accounting use a global baseline for comparison. However, when EF uses the productive capacity of biological production in the biosphere (biocapacity), Emergy accounting instead use the renewable energy flows (solar, tide, and deep heat energies) driving the biosphere the investigated year. The comparison with the global baseline has made the two methods useful to evaluate activities covering large land areas as nations and regions, and of course the full biosphere. Cities have also been possible to evaluate since they generally depend on large production areas (EF) in the countryside or use a large share of the annual driving energies of the biosphere (Emergy accounting).

    Many regions have been evaluated with Emergy accounting. For example several counties in Florida (Odum, 1994), the Caribbean island of Bonaire (Abel, 2000), the U.S. National forests (Brown and Campbell, 2007), the regions of  Nyando and Kerisho in western Kenya (Cohen, 2003), the Rolling Pampas in Argentina (Ferreya, 2001), the Siena region in Italy (e.g. Pulselli et al., 2008), the Okavango delta in Botswana ( Lehmensiek, 2004), and the Yancheng Biosphere Reserve in subtropical China (Lu et al., 2006). Some of the evaluation has also explicitly addressed regional sustainability, for example Dan Campbells (1998) “Emergy analysis of human carrying capacity and regional sustainability: an example using the state of Maine”.

    Emergy accounting of urban areas during the period 1971-2015 have been reviewed by Grönlund et al. (2015). They found that sustainability became the main focus from approximately 2008 and up today. Investigated urban areas with a sustainability focus has been Macao (e.g. Lei et al. 2014), Beijing (e.g. Zhang et al., 2011), Rome (Ascione et al., 2009), Shenyang (Liu et al., 2014), and Montreal (Vega-Azamar et al., 2013).

    Central in the sustainability assessment has been emergy indices of different kinds, e.g. Emergy Yield Ratio, Environmental Loading Ratio, Emergy Investment Ratio, Empower Density, Renewability, Emergy Intensity of currency, Emergy Exchange Ratio, Emergy/capita, Emergy-based Urban Ecosystem Health Index, Waste to emergy ratio, Waste to renewable, Emergy use purchased ratio, and Metabolic dependence (Grönlund et al. 2015).

    Emergy accounting delivers something new to science: a quantitative method that claims to be able to handle flows of both energy and matter, sometimes said to represent the economy of nature, and economic flows, said to represent the economy–“living”–of human systems, like e.g. cities. This will open up for creative new ideas. When environmental economics was an emerging field within economics a couple of decades ago, a phase of creativity started with a wide flora of hypothesis’ emerging on how to put value on environmental issues outside of the traditional scope of neoclassical economic theory (“internalize the externalities”). A similar phase is likely to emerge now in the field of ecology, where emergy accounting will open up for new creative applications of how to incorporate economic flows and values into systems including both nature and society.

     

    References

    Brown, M. T., & Ulgiati, S. (2004). Emergy Analysis and Environmental Accounting. In C. J. Cleveland (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Energy (pp. 329-354). New York: Elsevier.

    Campbell, D. E. (1998). Emergy analysis of human carrying capacity and regional sustainability: an exampel using the state of Maine. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 51, 531-569.

    Grönlund, E., Fröling, M., & Carlman, I. (2015). Donor values in emergy assessment of ecosystem services Ecological Modelling, 306, 101-105.

    Grönlund, E., Fröling, M., & Skytt, T. (2015). Energy, Emergy and the City. Paper presented at the Energy and Urban Systems. 9th Biennial International Workshop Advances in Energy Studies, Stockholm 4-7 May, 2015.

    Odum, H. T. (1994). Ecological and general systems - an introduction to systems ecology. Niwot, CO, USA: Univ. Press of Colorado.

    Odum, H. T. (2007). Environment, power and society for the twenty-first century : the hierarchy of energy. New york: Columbia University Press.

  • 45.
    Grönlund, Erik
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    The use of Emergy to assess sustainable development2014In: Proceedings of the 20th International Sustainable Development Research Conference Trondheim 18-20 June 2014: Resilience – the new research frontier, Trondheim: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Product Design , 2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A major problem since long within science has been the gap between social and natural science (described for example by C.P. Snow, 1959: The Two Cultures. Cambridge University Press, London). From a qualitative point of view this problem has been met by creating interdisciplinary groups of specialists from both ‘cultures’. The quantitative outcomes has however stayed within the ‘cultures’ framework. Emergy is a relatively new measure that surprisingly has showed the ability to integrate at least economic flows and physical flows of kilograms and

    Emergy assessment (emergy analysis, emergy synthesis) produces quantitative results on a broad scale covering both ecological and socio-economic systems. In this paper is investigated how such results fits into different views on sustainability and sustainable development.

    Emergy is a measure based on systems science and thermodynamics. From its methodological foundations quantitative values of both ‘natural’ and socio-economic flows are delivered. These quantitative results form an interesting base to view sustainability or sustainable development. Different possible interpretations are discussed in the paper from different sustainability paradigms, as well as the limitations and possibilities of the Emergy method.

    Several authors have used an ‘Emergy Sustainability Index’ in their papers. Although an interesting index, it is considered too narrow to claim capturing sustainability, and it is suggested that this index is renamed.

    Resilient societies need inter- and trans-disciplinary methodological approaches. Quantitative methods covering both economic and ecological flows are rare in this context. Emergy as one of the few measures of this type is therefore interesting.

  • 46.
    Grönlund, Erik
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Wastewater Treatment and Recycling with Microalgae in Cold Climate2014In: Proceedings of the 20th International Sustainable Development Research Conference Trondheim 18-20 June 2014: Resilience – the new research frontier, Tronheim: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Product Design , 2014, p. 317-324Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Resilient societies need technology with high recycling possibilities, as well as possibilities to treat wastewater with local ecosystem services as dominating driving forces.Modern wastewater treatment often suffers from the problem of being a linear system, rather than a recycling system. From a recycling point of view the nutrients in the wastewater is of highest interest.The use of microalgae has been proposed as collection systems for the nutrients, with several potential advantages: 1) they treat the wastewater further from a pathogenic point of view, 2) they produce a sludge of interesting biochemical quality depending on the species present in the treatment ponds, 3) they use the naturally occurring ecosystem services available at the wastewater treatment site in the form of sunlight, wind, and regional biodiversity of phytoplankton.The academic focus regarding microalgae use for wastewater treatment has to a large extent been on the “sunbelt”, between latitudes 35 North and South, respectively. However, a few investigations have been performed on northern and southern latitudes. This paper summarizes experiences from using microalgae for waste water treatment at northern latitudes in Sweden and present suggestions for further research.

  • 47.
    Grönlund, Erik
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Carlman, Inga
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Donor values in emergy assessment of ecosystem services2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    There are currently many definitions of ecosystem services in use. Common is an aim to visualize contributions, assets and costs not traditionally covered by market valuations, thus often giving ecosystems much lower value than their importance to economy. Emergy accounting, with its approach of donor values in contrast to receiver or market values, is one approach to assess contributions from the ecosystems and increase our understanding of the values of ecosystem services.

    Pulselli et al. (Ecol. Mod. 222:2924-2928) have connected the donor-side approach with a user side approach for ecological services. In this paper we investigate the donor-side more in depth, and put up an emergy model with two possible main paths to assess values for the ecosystem services: 1) the emergy values of the natural driving forces  (ES-DF), as sun, rain, wind and land cycle, and 2), the emergy values delivered directly to the human society and economy (ES-PS, environmental production systems). The first approach can be assessed with the common calculation procedure of emergy accounting; the second includes more challenging feedback flows of different types. The implications of these different feedback flows are discussed in the paper. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment terminology of supporting, providing, regulating and cultural ecosystem services relate primarily to the emergy ES-PS flows.

  • 48.
    Grönlund, Erik
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Carlman, Inga
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Donor values in emergy assessment of ecosystem services2015In: Ecological Modelling, ISSN 0304-3800, E-ISSN 1872-7026, Vol. 306, p. 101-105Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There are currently many definitions of ecosystem services in use. Common for them is an aim to visualize contributions, assets and costs not traditionally covered by market valuations, thus often giving the ecosystems much lower value than their importance to economy. Emergy accounting, with its approach of donor values in contrast to receiver or market values, is one approach to assess contributions from the ecosystems and increase our understanding of the values of ecosystem services.

    Other authors have connected the donor-side approach with a user side approach for ecological services. In this paper, we investigate the donor-side more in depth, and put up an emergy model with two possible main paths to assess the values for the ecosystem services: (1) the emergy values of the natural driving forces (DrivEES), such as sun, rain, wind and land cycle and (2) the emergy values delivered directly to the human society and economy (FuncESS, ecosystem function ecosystem services). The first approach can be assessed with the common calculation procedure of emergy accounting; the second includes more challenging feedback flows of different types. The implications of these different feedback flows are discussed in this paper. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment terminology of supporting, providing, regulating and cultural ecosystem services relate primarily to the emergy FuncESS flows.

  • 49.
    Grönlund, Erik
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Carlman, Inga
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Ecotechnology at Mid Sweden University – 30 years of Education in Environmental Consciousness and Entrepreneurship2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    1983 was the starting year for an interdisciplinary and sustainability oriented education at Mid Sweden University. In this paper–30 years later–the different versions of the educational program over the years is examined with a focus on developing the students’ environmental consciousness. In 1983 the “slogan” for the education was: “Ecology, economy and technology in cooperation for sustainable development”. In the first decade after the millennia shift the education took a more international focus attracting students from countries all over the world.  A Master’s level was added and the first graduate students received their Ph.D. during this period. The latest development is to split the Bachelor’s program into three “sister” programs complementing the “old” Ecotechnology students with Ecoengineers, given a slightly more traditional engineer focus (but still interdisciplinary), and Ecoentrepreneurs with more social entrepreneur focus. Is a next interesting step to increase the interdiciplinarity even more over the faculties, towards the humanities?

  • 50.
    Grönlund, Erik
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Fröling, Morgan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Skytt, Torbjörn
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
    Energy, emergy, and the city2016Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In his book “Environment, Power, and Society” (1971) H.T. Odum introduced a picture of the energy metabolism of a city based on Wolman's paper from 1965 (Sci. Am., 213: 179-190). With the development of the emergy analysis--a branch of energy systems accounting--several authors have contributed to develop quantitative measures of HT Odum’s picture, which from many perspectives are diverging from traditional energy studies. In this paper, studies using emergy analysis to study cities are reviewed. The research regarding emergy and cities had during the period 1975-1995 its focus on cities in the United States, e.g. Miami, Jacksonville, San Francisco and Chicago. The research during 1995-2005 was almost exclusively focused on Taipei. From approximately 2006 up till 2015 the research focus has been on Chinese cities; Macao, Beijing and 37 other Chinese cities have been investigated. But there are resent also studies made on Rome (Italy) and Montreal (Canada). Studies up to about 2007/2008 were generally concerned with understanding spatial aspects of the cities investigated. After that, evaluating the sustainability of cities has become a main research focus.

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