Environmental concerns are gaining increasing importance among public and private entities. European citizens have defined environmental topics as one of the main priorities to be tackled in the coming years. The signing of the European Green Deal has strengthened the push to become greener for all industries, including the space sector, while the ESA Green Agenda, has reiterated the importance of making ESA a greener organisation.
ESA is a pioneer in the field of Ecodesign, having actively worked on understanding and finding ways to decrease the environmental footprint of space missions, from their design to their disposal, for the past decade. This process started with the adaptation and application of the environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to space activities and progressed with the development and publication of the Space System Life Cycle Assessment Guidelines and the ESA LCA Database. The LCA allows the identification of environmental hotspots or areas of environmental improvement and the development of innovative solutions to decrease environmental impacts.
While other international and European guidelines for LCA exist, ESA’s guidelines are the first and only ones worldwide dedicated to space systems. In order to be consistent with other European LCA methodologies, ESA aims to align the Space System Life Cycle Assessment Guidelines with the European Commission’s Product Environmental Footprint (PEF)  method as much as possible, while ensuring that the specificities of the sector are well covered.
Applying Ecodesign to space missions means considering their environmental impact on Earth during the design process and fostering the use of green materials and manufacturing processes.
Currently, the word “green” is used with different meanings that can lead to different conclusions. Sometimes, it refers only to the reduction of CO2 emissions, others it refers only to environmental regulation compliance. But is this enough to call a product green?
ESA is working to define green systems and technologies. For this, it is believed that a methodology which allows for the quantitative assessment of the environmental improvement is necessary. This would avoid greenwashing of our space products and services and would ensure a harmonised understanding and use of the word green.
If you want to know more about the definition and discuss it with us, please join this webinar.
The Clean Space team would like to invite European Space stakeholders with an interest in sustainability applied to the space sector to join this webinar. The event is open to entities from ESA Member States, Cooperating States and Associate States.
Participants will receive confirmation and connection details prior the event.
If you have any question, feel free to email us: firstname.lastname@example.org