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DEJONG Hot Water Tanks – LCA Comparative Assertion

Company innovation

DEJONG hot water tanks designs, manufactures, and supplies hot water tanks for domestic use. Quality, customer satisfaction, and innovation are fundamental in the company’s approach, which brought DEJONG from a copper workshop in 1859 to becoming a leading global producer of stainless steel hot water tanks. Keeping this strive at the core of facing the global environmental challenge, DEJONG contacted Ecomatters to assist in screening life cycle assessment (LCA) in order to quantify the impacts of their products and identify improvement opportunities.

The screening study showed among other results that the DEJONG products have significant environmental benefits compared to their enamelled mild steel alternatives. Hoping to enable their customers with better choices, DEJONG decided to release a substantiated claim of better performance. To do so, the company commissioned the detailed LCA for comparative assertion with a critical external expert review. Ecomatters were happy to help DEJONG conduct the study according to the ISO 14040/44:2006 framework and support the company in the review process.

… there is a good result achieved and we hope and expect it will help us in our future business opportunities.” Karel Wilms, Manager Innovation & Engineering of DE JONG

The goal, the scope, and the study

In the first part of the study, a review panel had to be set up. Ecomatters assisted DEJONG in searching and contacting independent experts to represent interested parties in the critical review, defining the main product for the study and the alternative product. DEJONG stainless steel hot water tank was compared to the alternative enamelled mild steel product.

When that was done, DEJONG focused on collecting more detailed high-certainty data as input for the study, while Ecomatters prepared the Goal and Scope report for the review panel to set the basic understanding of the production processes and expected approach within the study. Next, we focused on processing the newly collected data, modelling the main and the alternative product.

The study showed that under the taken assumptions, DEJONG hot water tanks perform better than the main alternative design hot water tank in all considered impact categories. Of particular interest, the carbon footprint of the DEJONG product was found to be less than half of the impact of the alternative product. This came mainly as the result of the DEJONG design that allows significant reduction of the mass of used materials, and elimination of the impactful enamelling process.

Upon the discussion of the results, the final report was prepared for the review. Review processes took a few meetings and iterations of the final report. The panel of experts checked if the data and the methods used to carry out the LCA were valid, justified and appropriate to the goals and scopes of the study. The experts also checked if the given interpretations reflected the goal of the study and the limitations identified, as well as the report in general being transparent and consistent. Upon the review the panel gave the list of the comments to the report, which DEJONG and Ecomatters reviewed together, provided responses, discussed with the panel, and when necessary introduced changes in the report.

Ending on a positive note

As the result of the process, in July 2020 the LCA study was finalized and has a positive final review statement. The LCA report presents the results to all interested partied and providing DEJONG current and potential customers with knowledge to make better environmental choices.

After a good collaboration with all the involved parties, we are happy that we supported DEJONG in this journey with a practical final result.

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