The Circular Economy – how do blinds fit in?

 

‘According to the Institute of Applied Logistics (IAL) at the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt, a venetian blind will save around 8.5 tonnes of CO2 over its life cycle – and yet creates only 150 kg of CO2 from production to disposal. This means that it saves nearly 60 times its CO2 emissions footprint over a typical 20- year life.’ – The Schweinfurt Institute

 

This impressive statistic could be made even more so if blinds were to be considered within the circular economy methodology.

The circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy of make, use and dispose of.  In a circular economy, resources are used in a way to extract the maximum value from them whilst in use and then at the end of each service life, materials are recovered and repurposed or regenerated.

A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool used to model the environmental impacts of products and can show how a product could fit into a circular economy. In a recent study, Dr. Deborah Andrews of London South Bank University applied this to blinds.

The study, which appears in The Circular Economy book, looked at four different types of manual blind products, with different product life spans, levels of energy consumption and potential savings during the heating season to demonstrate the real benefits of this type of window covering in a UK domestic home.

The stages of a Life Cycle Assessment include extraction of raw materials, bulk materials processing, component manufacture, and assembly, use, treatment at end-of-life (landfill, reuse, remanufacture, recycle) and transport.

Blinds are an effective way of managing energy consumption, whether that’s for heating or cooling, and this research indicates that they are sustainable and a circular economy product.

Download our infographic below to find out more.

Circular Economy

 

Resources:

Venetian blinds are air conditioning with a positive CO2 balance study: https://www.shadeit.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/CO2-Reduction-with-external-shading.pdf

Dr. Deborah Andrews Lifecycle Assessment: https://www.shadeit.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/LCA-Paper-Dr-Andrews.pdf

 

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