A life cycle assessment of two electrical cookers was made for the company Electrolux A/S. A number of valid conclusions can be drawn from the study. The conclusions are supported by a sensitivity analysis covering essential parameter variations and showing that quite robust conclusions can be drawn on many aspects:
• It is evident from the study that the use stage of the cookers by far has the most significant environmental impact
• The surface cooking on plates is the main energy consumer being responsible for around 66% of the total energy consumption during use. Cooking in the oven is less used and therefore less significant.
• It is also evident, however, that significant resource consumption lies in the use and recovery of materials. The use of heavy metals contribute to the most significant resource consumption, and the disposal scenario, recovery and reuse of these is the main issue for the resource consumption of the cookers over their life cycle
• Transportation of the cookers over their life cycle is insignificant
Environmentally, the main perspectives for improvements lie in the optimisation of the use stage, including better efficiency in transformation of the energy to the meal. In terms of resource consumption and to some extent waste, the main perspectives lie in improving the material recovery. This in turn lies in the choice and mix of materials, the structure of the product, and the intelligence in the design for disassembly and recovery. As the cookers are now, they are not designed for material recovery and large improvement potentials can be found in this area.