Monday, 28 May 2018
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Substantiation

The sustainability evaluation policies, processes, products and actions require addressing this concept in depth to avoid a fragmented vision of this idea. This could be done through the application of the Life Cycle Approach (LCA), which creates an analysis that goes beyond the old-fashioned approach to include a wide variety of impacts such as, environmental, social, and economical throughout the Life Cycle. To adopt a LCA in the industrial sector it doesn’t have to be limited to the processes of the factory itself. Life Cycle starts at the extraction of raw materials from natural sources from the earth and the power generation that involves all the processes (transportation, production, packaging, distribution, use, maintenance, etc.), to the eventual recycling, reutilization, recuperation, or final disposal. 

The Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energies and the National Institute for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energies have performed a key role in spreading the Life Cycle Approach as a priority to meet the challenges posed by technological changes. The health of the economy in the long term is unavoidable, and its subject to resilience maintenance and ecological integrity of ecosystems that encompass the following: the social and economic development will depend in the long run to the appropriate maintenance and support of ecological systems. These systems constitute the natural capital of the planet preserving an idea of sustainability as ecological feasibility, and sustainable development within the limits of the ecosystems.

It is undeniable that the efforts to promote more environmentally friendly practices need to be addressed urgently and with scientific meticulousness. To generate information and identify the different environmental impacts that occurs throughout the Life Cycle processes and activities, from the raw materials acquisition to its final disposal. Consequently, this will help to determine the global environmental performance analysis of actions and policies. The promotion and implementation of policies and practices friendly with the environment require a strategically approach to fulfill two key points in the Ecuadorian context:

  1. The need to increase the availability of environmental information to identify the different environmental impacts that are produced along the Life Cycle processes and activities. The characterization models that have to be applied to tackle and quantify the impacts generated to human health, ecosystem quality, and resource depletion. This requires preceding information about matter balance and energy associated to the different processes and activities, as well as, the adjustment of these models to characterize the Ecuadorian context for a proper assessment of the local impact´s categories.  
  2. The need of scientific training in Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), which requires the partnership with Ecuadorian professionals and the establishment of a network in this area. In this manner, the development of an Ecuadorian Life Cycle Assessment network pursues the enhancement of research. This research is to be analyzed objectively with the most relevant information regarding sustainability projects and its performance, which will reinforce the capabilities of scientists and professionals encouraging the support actions and linkages among all the performers. In parallel, the implementation of an open platform of information that will allow and guarantee the free access to knowledge and the broadcasting of developed work. In conjunction with  Article 387 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador that states: “It will be the responsibility of the state: 1) Facilitate and promote the integration to society of knowledge to achieve development scheme objectives; 2) Promote knowledge generation and advancement of scientific and technological research, enhance the ancestral knowledge to contribute to the implementation of Good Life, to sumak kawsay; 3) Ensure the dissemination of scientific and technological discoveries as well as the access to information, the utility of knowledge and scientific findings under the provisions of the Constitution and the Law.

Towards, the network alignment with international initiatives, it is noteworthy to mention that contact has been established with the most relevant participants: Life Cycle Initiative (LCI) promoted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), the Iberoamerican Lifecycle Network (RICV), and UNESCO Life Cycle and Carbon Footprint Chair.


 

EXCHANGE NETWORK

Space provided to promote the exchange of knowledge in the areas of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

CONTACT

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Beatriz Rivela - beatriz.rivela@iner.gob.ec

Av. 6 de diciembre N33-32 e Ignacio Bossano Edf. Torre Bossano, 2do. Piso.