The environmental calculator is based on a comprehensive life cycle assessment which Geberit has undertaken with support from Quantis. Quantis (Environmental Life Cycle Assessment Consultants) is a consulting firm which specialises in assessing the life cycles of products and companies. The environmental calculator represents a selection of the most important decision parameters. The stabilisation of these parameters facilitates the estimation of the environmental impacts and costs of different utilisation scenarios. The results are always to be interpreted in the context of the assumptions explained below. The emphasis is on the relative comparison between the different operating modes.
What is a life cycle assessment?
The life cycle assessment is a method for evaluating the environmental impacts of products and services in a life cycle perspective, i.e. all relevant processing procedures are taken into account, from the extraction of raw materials through production and use and continuing onward to disposal. Starting from this comprehensive approach, life cycle assessment provides a substantiated decision-making basis for the identification and reduction of environmental impacts. The relevant principles, procedures and requirements are established in the international standard ISO 14040:2006.
We analyse the environmental impacts and costs of three operating modes:
Flushed: The flushing of the urinal depends on the user. The precise intensity of utilisation (number of flushes, user days per year, flush volume) can be set.
Hybrid: The flush is time-dependent. Our calculations are based on one automatic flush per hour. The precise flush volume can be set. The urinal is identical in structure to the flushed version. All differences with respect to environmental impacts or costs are therefore to be explained on the basis of water consumption.
Waterless: This urinal is not flushed, thus leading to an increase in cleaning and maintenance costs. The cleaning and maintenance costs can be set. The waterless urinal functions without electronic components – it is for this reason that the environmental impacts and costs of this sanitary appliance are lower.
The environmental impacts and costs of the different operating modes are broken down according to the following results categories.
Sanitary appliance: All material and energy flows that are associated with the production of the urinal components and their disposal.
Flush water: Environmental impacts and costs of the provision and disposal of the flush water. We use the average European drinking water mixture.
Electricity: Electricity consumption during utilisation phase.
Cleaning: Environmental impacts and costs that are associated with the cleaning of the urinal. The cleaning costs include the travel costs (by car) of the cleaning company, the manufacture and use of urinal-specific cleaning agents and the urinal-specific cleaning outlays for the cleaning personnel. The greatest environmental impact driver for this category is the travel costs.
Maintenance: This category covers the environmental impacts and costs that are associated with the maintenance of the urinal. The maintenance outlays cover the travel costs and the production and disposal of the wearing parts. The greatest environmental impact driver for this category is the travel costs.
General: All results are in terms of one (1) year of use. We are assuming an average service life of 20 years per urinal. A utilisation year is accordingly assigned 1/20th of the number of urinals and 1/20th of the associated manufacturing and disposal outlays.
Hybrid flush: We are assuming a utilisation time of 12 hours, i.e. 12 flushes per day and per urinal.
Cleaning: All urinals are cleaned 365 days per year. The urinals with the "flushed" and "hybrid" operating modes are cleaned once per day, the waterless urinal is cleaned twice per day. We are assuming an hourly wage of 20 Euro for the cleaning personnel.
Maintenance: Maintenance is performed on the urinals with the "flushed" and "hybrid" operating modes once per year and three times per year on the waterless urinal. A new trap is installed and the previous trap is disposed of each time maintenance is performed. The travel distance of the plumber is 15 kilometres (to and from). Maintenance is performed on an average of 4 urinals for each (1) travel distance unit.