Palm Oil Engineering Bulletin No.76 (July - Sept 2005) p21-22, 27-28
The need for life cycle-based environmental initiatives in the Malaysian oil palm industry
VIJAYA, Subramaniam , MA Ah Ngan , CHOO Yuen May

Life cycle-based environmental initiatives involve developing or producing products, which have improved environmental characteristics throughout the product’s life cycle from cradle to grave. In the past, companies have primarily focused on environmental management systems. These systems often focus on the initiatives of the environmental improvements to production processes within a company’s own property and demand continuous improvements. However, currently there is a need for integrating life cycle management or life cycle-based environmental initiatives with environmental management systems. This integration involves the development of products, which have less impact on the environment throughout the product’s life cycle. Life cyclebased environmental initiatives focus on improvements to the product in all phases, from raw material extraction and transport, to production and consumption, until disposal or reuse. The current shift to life cycle-based environmental initiatives is because it has become clear that the most serious environmental problems of present time are not mainly site-related or due to point sources, as such problems have been more or less effectively addressed by the traditional environmental management methods. On the contrary, global environmental impacts such as depletion of ozone layer, emissions of greenhouse gasses, global warming, increased exploitation of raw materials, impoverishment of agricultural land, etc. are not attributed to a few major sources, but are instead a general consequence of the total consumption of goods and services. In order to carry out life cycle-based environmental initiatives, a life cycle assessment has to be conducted.

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