Environmental and economic assessment of the service life extension

RDC Environment has evaluated the environmental and economic benefits of extending the service life of consumer products and capital goods.

raising awareness about the need to extend service life

ADEME wishes to raise awareness among the general public concerning the relevance of extending the service life of household equipment, through repair in case of failure and the end of cultural or perceived obsolescence.

With this objective in mind, in 2020, ADEME entrusted RDC Environment with a study aiming to evaluate the environmental and economic benefits of service life extension of consumer products and equipment at the household level.

The categories of products studied

The studied product categories are:

  • equipment featering high proportions of electronic components: television, laptop, smartphone, printer
  • household appliances featuring low proportions of electronic components : washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, dryers, ovens, vacuum cleaners, microwaves
  • DIY, gardening and technical household equipment: lawnmower, jigsaw
  • clothing items: shirts, T-shirts, jeans, dresses
  • furniture: particle board cabinets

an economic and environmental assessment

The economic evaluation was based on a life-cycle cost assessment, taking into account the cost of purchase, use and end-of-life treatment of the equipment, as well as the cost of repairing it in case of failure, and the technical progress of the equipment (especially the improvement of energy efficiency).

The environmental assessment was carried out using the life cycle assessment method.

benefits for the environment and the household wallet

Whether from an economic or environmental point of view, the study showed that the extension of service life after perceived obsolescence is favorable for all the considered product categories. Similarly, the study found that it ispreferable to repair equipment after a failure for the majority of studied products and situations.

Most notably, the study provides estimates of the magnitude of consumer savings and CO2 emissions avoided as a result of extended service life.

These analyses have enabled ADEME to communicate on the economic and environmental benefits of service life extension.

For more information

For more information on ADEME’s recommendations regarding the extension of the service life:


Learn more about our services


Contact us

Phone : +32 (0) 2 420 28 23


Av Gustave Demey 57 – 1160 Brussels

Send us a message