IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

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  • 1.
    Billstein, Tova
    et al.
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Björklund, Anna
    Rydberg, Tomas
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Life Cycle Assessment of Network Traffic: A Review of Challenges and Possible Solutions2021In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 13, no 20, p. 11155-11155Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The climate impacts of data traffic have historically been the least studied part of the information and communication technology sector, and there is currently no consensus on how to correctly assess it. Results show that eight key challenges exist.

  • 2.
    de Jong, Annelise M.
    et al.
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Mellquist, Ann-Charlotte
    The Potential of Plastic Reuse for Manufacturing: A Case Study into Circular Business Models for an On-Line Marketplace2021In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 13, no 4, p. 2007-2007Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The plastic industry is facing increasingly growing social and political demands on plastic recycling and reuse. The resource perspective is essential for plastic production companies. Circular economy is one perspective for how industries could deal with a lack of resources today and in the future. However, there are large challenges in the reuse of plastics waste, predominantly due to concern regarding the quality of the waste material. Our paper focuses on the potential of the exchange of plastic material waste between companies in the production process before it enters into the recycling loop. In this study our aim is to investigate if an on-line marketplace is relevant for the plastic industry for this exchange, the market potential and the potential business model and requirements of the marketplace. Through interviews and benchmarking with five platform providers and two plastic manufacturing companies, we collected information on the business models of international digital platforms and plastic manufacturers concerning the exchange of reusable materials between companies. We also collected data through a survey sent out to plastic manufacturers via two industry organizations in Sweden. This paper will present the results from the study and conclude with a description of draft requirements with particular focus on direct reuse of regrind material, and a potential business model for the on-line marketplace that should be run on a commercial basis. This study shows that there are opportunities for the plastic industry to be at the forefront of a circular initiative that could also be utilized by other industries with adjustments to reflect the specific requirements of each industry.

  • 3.
    Ekvall, Tomas
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    A systemic and systematic approach to the development of a policy mix for material resource efficiency2016In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 8, no 4, p. 373ff-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Increasing material use efficiency is important to mitigate future supply risks and minimize environmental impacts associated with the production of the materials. The policy mix presented in this paper aims to contribute to reducing the use of virgin metals in the EU by 80 percent by 2050 without significant shifting of burdens to other material resources, environmental impacts, or parts of the world. We used a heuristic framework and a systems perspective for designing the policy mix that combines primary instruments designed to increase material efficiency, recycling and substitution of materials (a materials tax, the extended producer responsibility, technical regulations, and environmental taxes) and supportive instruments aimed to reduce barriers to implementing the primary instruments and to contribute towards the policy objectives (e.g., research and development support, and advanced recycling centers).

    Furthermore, instruments were designed so as to increase political feasibility: e.g., taxes were gradually increased as part of a green fiscal reform, and border-tax adjustments were introduced to reduce impacts on competitiveness. However, even in such a policy mix design ongoing ex-ante assessments indicate that the policy mix will be politically difficult to implement — and also fall short of achieving the 80 percent reduction target. Nonetheless, we suggest combining primary and supportive instruments into coherent and dynamic policy mixes as a promising step towards system reconfigurations for sustainability.

  • 4.
    Fridell, Erik
    et al.
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Jerksjö, Martin
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Ruben Pinchasik, Daniel
    Beate Hovi, Inger
    Svendsen Mjösund, Christian
    Erik Grönland, Stein
    Crossing Borders and Expanding Modal Shift Measures: Effects on Mode Choice and Emissions from Freight Transport in the Nordics2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 3, p. 894-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Considering the underachievement on modal shift and environmental objectives for freight transport, scholars and policy makers recurrently ask how more road freight can be shifted to rail and waterborne transport. The current study simulates transport and modal distribution effects for several scenarios in which modal shift policy measures are strengthened, expanded, combined, and harmonized across borders in the Nordics. Found transport effects were then used in an environmental model to assess implications for energy use and emissions of CO2,eq, NOx, and particulate matter, gaining insights into which policy measures are more effective or complement each other, and whether international harmonization might increase effectiveness, and modal shift. From our simulations, a Norwegian ecobonus scheme for rail yields larger modal shift away from road than a similar ecobonus for sea transport. Facilitating longer freight trains yields more modal shift but has high policy costs. Effects of harmonizing policies across Nordic countries vary but can be strengthened by combining different measures. However, even for scenarios with strong policy measures, reductions in CO2,eq emissions do not exceed 3.6% in 2030 while sometimes increasing local air pollution. Modal shift policy should therefore not exclusively be regarded as environmental strategy, although it may contribute to other policy objectives.

  • 5.
    Hansson, Julia
    et al.
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Andersson, Karin
    Brynolf, Selma
    Grahn, Maria
    Criteria and decision support for a sustainable choice of alternative marine fuels2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 9, p. 3623-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To reach the International Maritime Organization, IMO, vision of a 50% greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction by 2050, there is a need for action. Good decision support is needed for decisions on fuel and energy conversion systems due to the complexity. This paper aims to get an overview of the criteria types included in present assessments of future marine fuels, to evaluate these and to highlight the most important criteria. This is done using a literature review of selected scientific articles and reports and the authors’ own insights from assessing marine fuels. There are different views regarding the goal of fuel change, what fuel names to use as well as regarding the criteria to assess, which therefore vary in the literature. Quite a few articles and reports include a comparison of several alternative fuels. To promote a transition to fuels with significant GHG reduction potential, it is crucial to apply a life cycle perspective and to assess fuel options in a multicriteria perspective. The recommended minimum set of criteria to consider when evaluating future marine fuels differ somewhat between fuels that can be used in existing ships and fuels that can be used in new types of propulsion systems.

  • 6.
    Hansson, Julia
    et al.
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Fridell, Erik
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Brynolf, Selma
    Lehtveer, Mariliis
    The Potential Role of Ammonia as Marine Fuel – Based on Energy Systems Modelling and Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 8, p. 3265-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To reduce the climate impact of shipping the introduction of alternative fuels is required. There is a range of different marine fuel options but ammonia, a potential zero carbon fuel, has recently received a lot of attention. The purpose of this paper is to assess the prospects for ammonia as a future fuel for the shipping sector in relation to other marine fuels. The assessment is based on a synthesis of knowledge in combination with (i) energy systems modelling including the cost-effectiveness of ammonia as marine fuel in relation to other fuels for reaching global climate targets and (ii) a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) approach ranking marine fuel options while considering estimated fuel performance and the importance of criteria based on maritime stakeholder preferences. In the long-term and to reach global GHG reduction, the energy systems modelling indicate that the use of hydrogen represent a more cost-effective marine fuel option than ammonia. However, in the MCDA covering more aspects we find that ammonia may be almost as interesting for shipping related stakeholders as hydrogen and various biomass-based fuels. Ammonia may to some extent be an interesting future marine fuel option, but many issues remains to be solved before large-scale introduction.

  • 7.
    Harris, Steve
    et al.
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Weinzettel, J.
    Levin, G.
    Implications of Low Carbon City Sustainability Strategies for 2050.2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, no 12, article id 5417Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cities and urban areas are critical nodes of societal resource flows, responsible for both global and local sustainability implications. They are complex systems and understanding the implications of potential actions by cities is critical for progress towards sustainability. In this paper the future implications of sustainability strategies are assessed for 10 European cities by comparing two scenarios for 2050: a business-as-usual (BAU) and a post-carbon/sustainability scenario (PC2050) (generated by city stakeholders). The effects of the scenarios are assessed using a mixed methodology: a semi-quantitative sustainability indicator analysis, energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (both production-based and consumption-based accounting (PBA and CBA)), land-use spatial modelling, and cost–benefit analysis. The paper highlights the clear benefits of PC2050 with improved sustainability indicator results, reduced land sprawl (which averages 16% in BAU) and positive cost–benefit results. Nonetheless, inequality and segregation are a common concern. In addition, whilst PBA indicates a significant decrease (average decrease from 4.7 to 1.3 tCO2eq per capita) CBA demonstrates rising overall emissions from an average of 11 to 14.8 tCO2eq per capita. This is linked to rising affluence and consumption trends despite local improvements in GHG emissions, which highlights a need for cities to address consumption-based emissions.

  • 8. Hult, Åsa
    et al.
    Perjo, Liisa
    Smith, Göran
    Shared Mobility in Rural Contexts: Organizational Insights from Five Mobility-as-a-Service Pilots in Sweden2021In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 13, no 18, p. 10134-10134Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite a growing interest in using Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) as a tool to address ruraltransport problems, the question of how to organize such a concept remains unanswered. To addressthis knowledge gap, this article explores organizational elements of rural MaaS pilots. The analysis,which is based on participatory observation and interviews with actors involved in five pilots in ruralareas of Sweden, reveals that the motives of the actors involved in rural MaaS both overlap with anddiverge from the frequently stated objectives of urban MaaS developments.

    Both concepts centeron complementing and extending public transport, but while urban MaaS is underpinned by thefight against climate change, congestion, and local pollution, the main objective of rural MaaS is toreduce transport poverty. The analysis, moreover, illustrates that despite the geographic differences,actors involved in rural MaaS pilots face similar organizational challenges as have been reportedfrom urban MaaS developments. In both cases, actors struggle with finding their roles, mitigatinguncertainties, distributing responsibilities, and negotiating business models. Finally, the analysisfinds that rural MaaS puts higher expectations on user involvement than urban MaaS and identifiesa risk that rural MaaS developments might contribute to spatial injustice since the studied pilots onlysupported rural communities with high social capital.

  • 9.
    Ljunggren Söderman, Maria
    et al.
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Ekvall, Tomas
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Sundqvist, Jan-Olov
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Integrated Economic and Environmental Assessment of Waste Policy Instruments2016In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 8, no 5, p. 411ff-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The need for new policy instruments supporting the on-going transition from end-of-pipe waste treatment to resource management has been recognized in European policy. Instruments need to be carefully assessed before implementation to promote the desired changes and avoid problem shifting. Mathematical models may assist policy makers in such assessments. This paper presents a set of soft-linked models for assessing the economic and environmental impacts of policy instruments for both the prevention and management of waste and discusses its strengths and limitations.

    Consisting of a macro-economic model, a systems engineering model for waste management and a life cycle assessment model for waste management, the set is primarily suited to assessing market-based instruments and environmental regulations. Considerable resources were needed for developing and using the set, and there are clear limits as to what can be addressed. However, if only one of the models had been used, neither the range of instruments nor the scope of impacts would have been possible to cover. Furthermore, soft-linked models allow many disciplines to contribute within one harmonized framework. Such integrated assessments may become increasingly useful for continuing the implementation of policy for sustainable governance of society’s material resources.

    To downoad the artickle: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/8/5/411

  • 10.
    Malmaeus, Mikael
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Economic Values and Resource Use2016In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 8, no 5, p. 490-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Absolute decoupling of GDP growth from resource use implies that economic output can be increased without simultaneously increasing input. The essential meaning of this proposition is that the economic values that represent the GDP can be realized by increasing resource efficiency. Given that the GDP is first and foremost a measure of economic activity rather than welfare the possibility of absolute decoupling is theoretically limited.

    This paper demonstrates theoretically and empirically that economic values at the macroeconomic level are fundamentally determined by the use of production factors, primarily labor and physical capital. Technical innovations or efficiency gains increasing utility without raising the costs of production do not add to the GDP unless they stimulate investments in physical capital. Hence the neoclassical notion of productivity is only found to be relevant as a microeconomic concept. In practice, GDP growth is mostly explained by capital accumulation and a key question is whether or not capital accumulation can be decoupled from the use of materials and energy. This will determine the possibility of decoupling of GDP growth from resource use and environmental impact. Alternative measures of progress focusing on welfare rather than economic activity are more likely to achieve absolute decoupling.

  • 11.
    Martin, Michael
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Environmental Consequences of Swedish Food Consumption and Dietary Choices2017In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 9, no 12, p. 2227-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, a growing interest from consumers to know the origins and contents of foods has put alternative choices, such as organic foods and dietary changes, on the agenda. Dietary choices are important to address, as many studies find that activities related to food production account for nearly 20–30% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Nonetheless, while GHG emissions are important, often other environmental impact categories are not considered in the assessment of the sustainability of different foods, diets and choices. This study aims to quantify the implications of dietary choices for Swedish food consumption on a broad range of environmental impact categories using life cycle assessment to provide insight into the impacts, and potential tradeoffs, associated with certain food products and dietary choices. Scenarios are used to assess the implications of diets with reduced meat, increased Swedish food consumption, increased organic foods, vegan and semi-vegetarian diets.

    The results indicate that tradeoffs could be possible with certain dietary choices. Increasing Swedish food production and consumption may lead to lower impacts for all impact categories by reducing imports, although limitations in growing season and availability of foods in Sweden allows only for minor increases. The results also indicate that large reductions of greenhouse gas emissions are possible by reducing meat consumption, i.e., by halving meat consumption and through vegan and vegetarian diets. Nonetheless, an increase in vegetable, legume and fruit products may lead to a potential increase in human and ecosystem toxicity. Diets based on nutritional guidelines, show reductions in all impact categories, as these guidelines call for an increase in vegetables and fruits and a reduction in meat consumption.

    An increase in organic foods showed no significant change in climate impact, although toxicity potential was reduced significantly. Increasing consumption of organic foods may also lead to a reduction in biodiversity damage potential, and if all food is produced organically, it risks increasing eutrophication and land use.

  • 12.
    Martin, Michael
    et al.
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Ekvall, Tomas
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Life Cycle Sustainability Evaluations of Bio-based Value Chains:Reviewing the indicators from a Swedish Perspective2017In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 10, no 2, p. 547-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Policymakers worldwide are promoting the use of bio-based products as part of sustainable development. Nonetheless, there are concerns that the bio-based economy may undermine the sustainability of the transition, e.g., from the overexploitation of biomass resources and indirect impacts of land use. Adequate assessment methods with a broad systems perspective are thus required in order to ensure a transition to a sustainable, bio-based economy. We review the scientifically published life cycle studies of bio-based products in order to investigate the extent to which they include important sustainability indicators.

    To define which indicators are important, we refer to established frameworks for sustainability assessment, and include an Open Space workshop with academics and industrial experts. The results suggest that there is a discrepancy between the indicators that we found to be important, and the indicators that are frequently included in the studies. This indicates a need for the development and dissemination of improved methods in order to model several important environmental impacts, such as: water depletion, indirect land use change, and impacts on ecosystem quality and biological diversity.

    The small number of published social life cycle assessments (SLCAs) and life cycle sustainability assessments (LCSAs) indicate that these are still immature tools; as such, there is a need for improved methods and more case studies.

  • 13.
    Martin, Michael
    et al.
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Lazarevic, D.
    Gullström, C.
    Assessing the Environmental Potential of Collaborative Consumption: Peer-to-Peer Product Sharing in Hammarby Sjöstad, Sweden.2019In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 11, no 190Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Collaborative consumption—through sharing services—has been promoted as an important step in transforming current consumption patterns toward more sustainable practices. Whilst there are high expectations for sharing services, there are few studies on the potential environmental benefits and impacts of sharing services. This study aims to analyze the potential environmental impacts of a peer-to-peer (P2P) product sharing platform and potential integration with a package drop-off/pick-up service in the urban district of Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm, Sweden. A life cycle approach is adopted, taking into account product lifetime and use, the potential replacement of conventional products and services, impacts from digital infrastructure and their impacts on the environment. The results indicate that there is significant potential for these sharing services to reduce environmental impacts associated with production and consumption; primarily through avoiding production and reducing the production impacts of new product purchases. The results also illustrate potential synergies to integrate with the package drop-off/pick up service; where the impacts from shared products are further reduced by reducing transportation impacts through improved logistics. However, the results are dependent upon, and sensitive to, a number of methodological choices and assumptions; highlighting the need for greater knowledge on the use environmental assessments of sharing services.

  • 14.
    Martin, Michael
    et al.
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Lazarevic, David
    Gullström, Charlie
    Assessing the Environmental Potential of Collaborative Consumption: Peer-to-Peer Product Sharing in Hammarby Sjöstad, Sweden.2019In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 15.
    Martin, Michael
    et al.
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Molin, Elvira
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Environmental Assessment of an Urban Vertical Hydroponic Farming System in Sweden2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 11, no 15Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With an expanding population and changing dynamics in global food markets, it is important to find solutions for more resilient food production methods closer to urban environments. Recently, vertical farming systems have emerged as a potential solution for urban farming. However, although there is an increasing body of literature reviewing the potential of urban and vertical farming systems, only a limited number of studies have reviewed the sustainability of these systems. The aim of this article was to understand the environmental impacts of vertical hydroponic farming in urban environments applied to a case study vertical hydroponic farm in Stockholm, Sweden. This was carried out by evaluating environmental performance using a life cycle perspective to assess the environmental impacts and comparing to potential scenarios for improvement options. The results suggest that important aspects for the vertical hydroponic system include the growing medium, pots, electricity demand, the transportation of raw materials and product deliveries. By replacing plastic pots with paper pots, large reductions in GHG emissions, acidification impacts, and abiotic resource depletion are possible. Replacing conventional gardening soil as the growing medium with coir also leads to large environmental impact reductions. However, in order to further reduce the impacts from the system, more resource-efficient steps will be needed to improve impacts from electricity demand, and there is potential to develop more symbiotic exchanges to employ urban wastes and by-products.

  • 16.
    Martin, Michael
    et al.
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Poulikidou, Sofia
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Molin, Elvira
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Exploring the environmental performance of urban symbiosis for vertical hydroponic farming.2019In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 11, no 23Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 17.
    Mattsson, Eskil
    et al.
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Erlandsson, Martin
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Karlsson, Per Erik
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Holmström, Hampus
    A Conceptual Landscape-Level Approach to Assess the Impacts of Forestry on Biodiversity2022In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 14, no 7, p. 4214-4214Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We propose a conceptual approach to assessing biodiversity impacts of forest wood production with a focus on Nordic managed forests at the landscape level.

    The suggested method for the specification of business-as-usual or environmental quality objectives baselines encourages forest owners to choose forest management options with properties that are more favorable to biodiversity over time.

    Using a BAU baseline approach similar to that used for international climate reporting is a simple but novel approach that makes use of approaches that have already been established.

  • 18.
    Pihl-Karlsson, Gunilla
    et al.
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Kronnäs, Veronika
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Karlsson, Per Erik
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Hellsten, Sofie
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Akselsson, C.
    Stadlinger, N.
    Zanchi, G.
    Belyazid, S.
    A Combined Measurement and Modelling Approach to Assess the Sustainability of Whole-Tree Harvesting—A Swedish Case Study.2021In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, no 13, article id 2395Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The demand of renewable energy has increased the interest in whole-tree harvesting. The sustainability of whole-tree harvesting after clear-cutting, from an acidification point of view, depends on two factors: the present acidification status and the further loss of buffering capacity at harvesting. The aims of this study were to investigate the relationship between these two factors at 26 sites along an acidification gradient in Sweden, to divide the sites into risk classes, and to examine the geographical distribution of them in order to provide policy-relevant insights. The present status was represented by the acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) in soil solution, and the loss of buffering capacity was represented by the estimated exceedance of critical biomass harvesting (CBH). The sites were divided into three risk classes combining ANC and exceedance of CBH. ANC and exceedance of CBH were negatively correlated, and most sites had either ANC < 0 and exceedance (high risk) or ANC > 0 and no exceedance (low risk). There was a geographical pattern, with the high risk class concentrated to southern Sweden, which was mainly explained by higher historical sulfur deposition and site productivity in the south. The risk classes can be used in the formulation of policies on whole-tree harvesting and wood ash recycling.

  • 19.
    Roth, Anders
    et al.
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Hult, Cecilia
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Hult, Åsa
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Sprei, Frances
    Frances Sprei, Cecilia Hult, Åsa Hult, Anders Roth2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 5, p. 1744-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Parking management and planning can be used to address several issues related to sustainable urban development. For example, parking availability affects both car ownership and usage, and parking planning can affect both land use and building costs. A tool used in several countries is minimum parking requirements (MPR) and lowering these could be a pathway to more sustainable mobility. However, the actual effects of lower MPR have not systematically been studied. In this paper we present the results of a review of sixteen developments with low MPR in Sweden, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK. Existing research and reports have been analyzed to compare these and draw conclusions on the effect of MPR on mobility patterns and mobility services. In addition, interviews were conducted with representatives from municipalities and developers. Our results indicate that the mobility patterns of individuals in the studied projects are more sustainable than in nearby projects. However, the causality of MPR and mobility is hard to establish due to the risk of self-selection and that all of the studied projects have good prerequisites for sustainable mobility practices. Many of the studied evaluations are also of poor quality with, for example, lack of appropriate control group.

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