Product life cycle

Three phases: production, use and disposal

Partly as a result of its social responsibility to protect the environment, DAF considers the complete life cycle of a product during all its activities. 

Three phases

There are three phases to this life cycle: production (including product development and purchasing), use and disposal.
The impact on the environment is greatest during  operation of the truck; mainly as a result of fuel consumption and the associated emissions of harmful substances. During the production and disposal phases, the impact on the environment is considerably less. This is why DAF is focusing mainly on the truck operational phase to reduce the environmental impact.  


see ISO 22628 "Road Vehicles - Recyclability and recoverability - Calculation Method" and Directive 2000/53/EG on end-of life vehicles

Ability of component parts, materials or both that can be diverted from an end-of-life stream to be recycled.

Reprocessing in a production process of the waste materials for the original purpose or for other purposes, excluding processing as a means of generating energy.

Ability of component parts, materials or both that can be diverted from an end-of-life stream to be recovered.

Reprocessing in a production process of the waste materials for the original purpose or for other purposes, together with processing as a means of generating energy.



Since 1998, EcoDesign is one of the focal points in Product Development. Each product engineer gets an EcoDesign training and has the task to elaborate ’green’ options during the development of products and components: technical possibilities for minimizing environmental impact. EcoDesign stands for Ecology + Economy. This means that DAF not only looks for solutions that are good for the environment but that also further improve the efficiency of the truck.

Product Developers at DAF make use of the ’EcoDesign Tool’: an electronic tool for designing with the environment in mind. This tool, for example, specifies the factors the engineer must consider to optimise the recyclability of the products, how weight-reduction can be achieved or how environmental aspects can be influenced in the production phase.

DAF’s production facilities in Eindhoven and Westerlo

The most important environmental aspects of the production processes relate to: air, water and energy consumption, raw materials, additives and residual substances and noise. 
A compulsory assessment of the environmental aspects is carried out with all planned investments. Targets or limits are set for all these aspects, based on legal requirements, PACCAR requirements or requirements from DAF itself. 
Continuous measurements are taken to analyze whether the targets and limits are being observed. The results of DAF’s environmental policy are proof of the work put into the policy: compared with 2011, the environmental performance has improved significantly in 2016: emissions of refrigerants (HFC’s) by filling air-conditioning systems in trucks are reduced by more than 50%, the amount of chemical waste per built truck in Eindhoven is reduced by more than 20% and the total amount of drinking water is reduced by almost 18%. And these are just a few examples.


DAF Trucks N.V. has a strong focus on reducing the environmental impact in the supply chain by encouraging suppliers to improve their environmental performance.
During the selection of suppliers for production goods, DAF uses clear environmental selection criteria. Suppliers are required to hold an Environmental Management Certificate (ISO14001) or the ‘Eco Management and Audit Scheme’ (EMAS) Directive of the European Union. Suppliers must comply to applicable environmental legislation and obligations as prescribed by DAF Trucks. All products supplied must be fully REACH compliant.

DAF rates the environmental performance of its suppliers through an annual ‘Vendor Rating Environment (VRE)’ survey. Suppliers are encouraged to invest in their facilities to reduce their environmental footprint by minimizing energy consumption and waste. Transparency of the supplier achievements by means of public environmental or sustainability reporting is also encouraged.

DAF’s contracts with its suppliers include an environmental clause, in which the supplier declares that the supplied product complies with the legal environmental regulations in force. The environmental clause is also meant to initiate or maintain a continuous process of improvement on the supplier’s part.
In addition to the purchase of production goods, services on the DAF site can have an important environmental impact. DAF applies strict selection criteria for these suppliers based on official legal recognition or certification. Contract requirements pertaining to the environment form an integral part of the relationship between DAF and its suppliers. These must ensure that the requirements contained in the environmental permit issued to the DAF site are observed during execution of the service.


Development of lower impact engines

About 95% of the total impact on the environment occurs during the truck’s usage phase. This is mainly due to the NOx, soot particles, hydrocarbons, CO2 and CO that are emitted by the exhaust gases of a diesel engine. Engine design is therefore an extremely important part of the product development phase. In the sixty years that DAF has been building its own engines, it has built up a worldwide reputation with regard to efficient engines that have as little impact on the environment as possible.


DAF also aims to keep the environmental impact to an absolute minimum during maintenance and repairs. This is why the 10,000 km service has been eliminated for various types of DAF trucks. In addition, the service interval of a some of the newest trucks has been extended to 200,000 km. Not only is this beneficial to the customer (lower maintenance costs), but it also has a reduced impact on the environment because less oil is used during the truck’s service life.


Recycling policy

DAF also takes account of the environmental impact of trucks during the disposal phase: more than 90% of all materials of a DAF XF can be re-used.

DAF has had an official ’Recycling policy’ since 2002. This policy is based on both DAF’s Environmental Policy (complete product life cycle), and the European Directive relating to car wrecks (2000/53/EC End of Life Vehicles). DAF’s recycling policy comprises the following points:

  • Possibilities for re-use and recycling are included in the product development process. 
  • With regard to re-use and recycling, DAF follows the developments in the market economy. 
  • When assessing the environmental effects of materials, the entire life cycle is considered. 
  • Sorting guides are used to inform dealers and customers of the types of plastic used for each vehicle type.

Sorting guides for plastics

DAF promotes the re-use of materials through innovative designs and the provision of correct information. For example, the plastic parts of a DAF truck can easily be separated during dismantling. Special sorting guides for each truck type play an important part in this.

Overhaul of parts

DAF has been active in the recycling and reuse of components since 1970. In DAF’s Overhaul Workshop in Eindhoven, an annual total of more than 40.000 parts are overhauled and supplied for re-use. These parts include starter motors, fuel pumps, gearboxes and even complete engines. These ’exchange parts’ are of a similar quality to new parts. They are literally ’as good as new’.

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