Product quality-based eco-efficiency applied to digital cameras

J Environ Manage. 2007 Apr;83(2):158-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2006.02.006. Epub 2006 May 12.


When calculating eco-efficiency, there are considerable confusion and controversy about what the product value is and how it should be quantified. We have proposed here a quantification method for eco-efficiency that derives the ratio of the multiplication value of the product quality and the life span of a product to its whole environmental impact based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). In this study, product quality was used as the product value and quantified by the following three steps: (1) normalization based on a value function, (2) determination of the subjective weighting factors of the attributes, and (3) calculation of product quality of the chosen products. The applicability of the proposed method to an actual product was evaluated using digital cameras. The results show that the eco-efficiency values of products equipped with rechargeable batteries were higher than those products that use alkaline batteries, because of higher quality values and lower environmental impacts. The sensitivity analysis shows that the proposed method was superior to the existing methods, because it enables to identify the quality level of the chosen products by considering all products that have the same functions in the market and because, when adding a new product, the calculated quality values in the proposed method do not have to be changed.

MeSH terms

  • Consumer Product Safety / standards*
  • Environment*
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis*
  • Equipment Design
  • Materials Testing / economics
  • Materials Testing / methods*
  • Materials Testing / standards
  • Photography / instrumentation*
  • Quality Control
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Environmental Pollutants