Analysis of embodied energy and product lifespan: the potential embodied power sustainability indicator

Julian Fernando Ordoñez Duran, Josep M. Chimenos, Mercè Segarra, Paola Andrea de Antonio Boada, Joao Carlos Espindola Ferreira

Research output: Articles / NotesScientific Articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Abstract: In the context of life cycle assessment sustainability indicators, this article proposes a new indicator that is related to the embodied energy, in order to assess the lifespan of products based on their components. The indicator, called “potential embodied power” (PEP), considers that a non-replaceable component with a shorter lifespan will determine the lifetime of the product. The PEP indicator can be considered as an inherent property of the product, and it can be optimized by using a material selection method based on the concept of annualized embodied energy. This indicator can be used for product design decision making, since it determines the impact of product disposal in relation to the lifespan for which the product was designed. Also, a methodology is proposed to contribute to evaluating the environmental impact caused by the energy discarded resulting from the design decisions. A case study was performed on smartphones, and the results show that the variation of factors such as module lifespan or embodied energy allows achieving a lower value of the embodied power. Graphic abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1068
Number of pages14
JournalClean Technologies and Environmental Policy
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Embodied energy
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Potential embodied power
  • Product lifespan
  • Smartphones
  • Sustainable manufacturing


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