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Journal of Energy in Southern Africa

versión On-line ISSN 2413-3051
versión impresa ISSN 1021-447X


MBOHWA, C. Life cycle energy analysis of environmental management reports in the Japanese automotive industry: Learning from the Japanese experience. J. energy South. Afr. [online]. 2008, vol.19, n.1, pp.25-42. ISSN 2413-3051.

This paper discusses the assessment and comparison of the life cycle energy impacts of paper-based and electronic environmental reports in the Japanese automotive industry By January 2007, there were 129 031 ISO 14001 certified organisations and an additional 5389 certified to the European eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS). Energy use and the environmental burdens of environmental reporting by these companies, has grown and can no longer be ignored. Electronic systems are often portrayed as being more environmentally beneficial than traditional ones, for environmental reporting. However there are no known assessment methodologies that address this subject. This paper therefore creates a framework for analysing the two systems. Energy consumption models are developed within a life cycle assessment (LCA) framework and applied to the traditional and electronic systems respectively. A postal system model is developed for energy consumption in traditional mail distribution in Japan under six different scenarios. Data gaps in the Japanese automotive industry are compensated for by the use of justified assumption and sensitivity analysis of the variables concerned. Simulation results are analysed and some decision issues deciphered. A comparative analysis of electronic and traditional environmental reports identifies the necessary preconditions for reducing environmental burdens of the overall environmental management system (EMS).

Palabras clave : Life cycle energy assessment; electronic and paper-based environmental reporting.

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