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Improving the Sustainability of Office Partition Manufacturing: Balancing Options for Reducing Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds

Author

Listed:
  • Frank S. Luisser

    () (Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, Ontario, L1H 7K4, Canada)

  • Marc A. Rosen

    () (Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, Ontario, L1H 7K4, Canada)

Abstract

Options are examined to improve the sustainability of office partition manufacturing by reducing volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions. Base VOC emissions for a typical plant are estimated using a mass balance approach. Pollution prevention and sustainability measures are assessed using realistic criteria and weightings. Sustainability has been considered from an industry perspective, considering factors like economics, environmental impact, quality, health and safety. Through a case study, it is demonstrated that several advantageous options are available for reducing VOC emissions in manufacturing office furniture partitions, and thereby enhancing the sustainability of that industrial operation. The measures deemed most viable include implementing several best management practices, not painting of non-visible parts, switching gluing processes, recycling solvent and modifying attachments. The results are intended to be balanced so as to improve their acceptability and adoptability by industry. It appears that it would be advantageous for manufacturers of office panels to evaluate the feasibility of these measures and to implement the most appropriate. The results are likely extendable to other operations in the wood furniture industry, and would improve their sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank S. Luisser & Marc A. Rosen, 2009. "Improving the Sustainability of Office Partition Manufacturing: Balancing Options for Reducing Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(2), pages 1-20, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:1:y:2009:i:2:p:234-253:d:5116
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Parikka-Alhola, Katriina, 2008. "Promoting environmentally sound furniture by green public procurement," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 472-485, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    sustainability; volatile organic compound; manufacturing; furniture; office partition; pollution; emissions;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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