THE RESULTS FROM THIS HOLISTIC ASSESSMENT CAN IDENTIFY THE MOST LOW-IMPACT AND COST-EFFECTIVE RECYCLING PROCESSES OR TECHNOLOGIES FOR GIGAGREEN, KEEPING IN MIND SOCIAL WELFARE
Interview with Pedro Bertolucci, Project Engineer at INEGI
What does a sustainability analysis consist of? How is the recycling process impacted by it?
A sustainability assessment consists of the analysis of the environmental, social, and economic impacts of a product or system. Several factors can be evaluated in this regard, including energy and resource efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation, economic impact, and total life cycle costs, as well as social and labour conditions.
In terms of recycling, a sustainability analysis can assess the ecological impact of collecting, processing, and manufacturing products from recycled materials. To evaluate the benefits of recycling, this assessment can also consider the conservation natural resources such as lead, zinc, and lithium, the prevention of toxic substances from entering the environment, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the need to extract and refine raw materials and promotion of a sustainable use of resources.
Sustainability assessment provides a comprehensive understanding, from the perspective of three different and complementary domains (environmental, economic, and social), of the potential impacts of different recycling alternatives, it is a helpful tool to inform decision-makers regarding sustainable recycling. The results from this holistic assessment can identify the most low-impact and cost-effective recycling processes or technologies, keeping in mind social welfare, as well as select the target materials or components, while also identifying areas for potential improvement measures.