Technology Impact Cycle Tool

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Depending on the technology you are assessing, some categories are more important than others. Here you can indicate how important you think this category is for this technology.
If this category is not applicable for this technology, please select 'Yes.'

(Only the gray shaded text is printed on the Quick Scan canvas)

One of the most prominent impacts on sustainability is energy efficiency. Consider what service you want this technology to provide and how this could be achieved with a minimal use of energy. Are improvements possible?

Go to the crash course:
Section Four - Energy efficiency

(This question is part of the Quick Scan)

What materials are used in this technology? The materials used in this technology have an impact on resource availability and end-of-life recycling options. Could alternative materials be considered?

Go to the crash course:
Section Three - Materials

Designing for “products that last” is an effective sustainable strategy. In what way is this technology and/or its separate modules designed to last or be repaired?

Go to the crash course:
Section Two - Environmental Sustainability

Technology has a direct impact on sustainability (for example, by the energy that it consumes), but quite likely a much larger indirect impact. There is an impact upstream (all the actions by suppliers that are needed to make the technology happen) and downstream (everything that happens after the user is done with using the technology). Together they form the “hidden impact.” What actions could you take to positively influence this “hidden impact?"

Go to the crash course:
Section Five - Ecomodernism

(Only the gray shaded text is printed on the Improvement Scan canvas)

If you think about the direct and indirect energy use and the materials that are used in the technology. If you think about the lifespan of the technology and the hidden environmental impact of the technology. If you think about all that, what improvements would you (want to) make? In the technology? In context? In use? The answers on questions 1-4 help you to gain insight into the potential impact of this technology on the environment. The goal of these answers is not to provide you with a 'go' or ' no go' - decision. The goal is to make you think HOW you can improve the use of the technology. This can be by making changes to the technology or making changes to the context in which the technology is used, or making changes in the way the technology is used.

Go to the crash course:
Section Six - Additional materials

(This question is part of the Improvement Scan)

Are you satisfied with the quality of your answers? The depth? The level of insight? Did you have enough knowledge to give good answers? Give an honest assessment of the quality of your answers.


Infographic about Circular Economy
Website with all current information about Circular Economy

Books / papers / article

BBC Article about the impact of 'planned absolenscece' in tech
Essay on the environmental effects of technology
Article rating programming languages on energy efficiency

Policy documents

EU's Ecodesign Directive, giving rules for improving the environmental performance of products

Videos and podcasts

Online course on "Circular Economy: an Introduction" by TU Delft via EdX
Online course on "Engineering Design for a Circular Economy" by TU Delft via EdX

Example products