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Keywords:

  • data quality;
  • industrial ecology;
  • information and communications technology (ICT);
  • life cycle assessment (LCA);
  • ontology;
  • semantic web

Summary

Applications of information and communications technology (ICT) for the management of environmental data, if used during the design and at the end of the product life cycle, can improve the environmental performance of products. This specific application of ICT for data management is called product data technology (PDT) and is based on the use of international standards developed by ISO TC184/SC4. PDT enables the computerized representations of information about products, processes, and their properties that are independent of any proprietary computer system or software application. The standard product data models are designed to integrate the necessary information about materials used in the product, and such information can be accessed and used at any point in the life cycle, from design to disposal. In the article, we present how PDT can support life cycle assessment (LCA) by focusing on a series of standards for communicating data for design and manufacture and standards for business and commercial information. Examples of possibilities for using PDT and semantic web for LCA data are introduced. The findings presented here are based on DEPUIS (Design of Environmentally-Friendly Products Using Information Standards), a project aimed at improving the eco-design of new products and services through the innovative use of new information standards.