Dec 17, 2009

Life Cycle Analysis in the building planning

The resources used for a building, the resulting environmental impact and the costs caused during its useful life exceed the costs emerged from its production and construction. In particular, this concerns the expenditure of energy and CO2 emissions.

With the development towards a more intensified sustainability in the building sector, an extreme increase of requirements to buildings came along during the last years. Already in the planning there have to be taken into consideration topics like climate change, preservation of resources, demographic change and monetary stability. Furthermore, the temporal horizon has widened: in addition to the building phase, the whole life cycle of buildings becomes integrated progressively into the process of planning, including maintenance, overhaul and renaturation.

The book “Lebenszyklusanalyse in der Gebäudeplanung”, released by the publishing company DETAIL, imparts necessary knowledge to planners, which they need to react appropriately on the change of requirements. Johannes Kreißig, expert in sustainable building of PE International and his co- authors explain the development of buildings during their life cycle and the influence, the risks of ageing and obsolescence can have in this regard.

They describe the methods of life cycle assessment and life cycle costing and present the most important tools for integral planning. The practical application of the life cycle analysis is illustrated by examples of buildings and these examples furthermore show how environmental impacts and life cycle costs can be taken into consideration already in the phase of planning. The book is an indispensable tool for all those who dedicate themselves to the certification of sustainability of buildings and can be obtained at DETAIL.

Order online:

In case of questions concerning the topic of sustainable building please contact Johannes Kreißig, our expert in building and co-author of the book.

Dec 10, 2009

CO2 - the new currency

1.2 tons of carbon dioxide have been caused by Andreas Große Habuer, Tobias Bayer and Joachim Zepelin through their research for the story „CO2- the new currency“, published in the november edition of the business magazine Capital. PE INTERNATIONAL calculated a carbon footprint of about 1.2 tons as the result of every journey, telephone call and piece of paper, which the journalists needed for their research.

Among others, they communicated with Deutsche Post, one of our SoFi software customers. „Years ago, as we were experimenting with carbon- accounting, we were even sneered“, says Michael Lohmeier, CO2 manager of Deutsche Post. Nowadays, nobody laughs. „Because of the extensive system of numbers we now exactly know how to save CO2 and therefore money“.

The big problem in accounting CO2 is, that Deutsche Post is just able to detect and have an effect on 20 percent of their emissions. The big rest arises from the suppliers, who have to make up the balance for the emission of CO2 for themselves to enable Deutsche Post to provide significant data. „We just started to ask our business partners for their emissions of CO2“, says Lohmeier.

Factoring primary products and supply chains which provoke emissions of CO2 into the own accounting of C02 gains immensely in importance. In the future, the huge trading company Wal-Mart claims C02 data of its 100.000 suppliers, for instance. Therefore, selecting a supplier will become a question of C02 emissions.

„Now, questionnaires are sent back and forth around the world“, says Michael Spielmann, Coordinator Carbon Management at PE INTERNATIONAL. „It will not take much longer and  the smallest companies will have to expose their C02 emissions“, mentions Spielmann. „Soon each company will be affected by the topic of C02 – in effect, carbon dioxide is developing itself into a currency. The sooner companies adapt themselves to it, the better“.

Dec 8, 2009

Towards Zero Waste in Industrial Networks - PE INTERNATIONAL is partner in the EU-project ZeroWin

Waste prevention has been assigned the highest priority under European waste management law. However, the initiatives which have been taken so far have not reduced the regular annual increase in total waste arisings across Europe; we are still some way from achieving sustainable use of resources. That’s why the European Union started ZeroWIN, a project "Towards Zero Waste in Industrial Networks".

PE INTERNATIONAL is a official partner of ZeroWIN and will support the methodological part of the project with its extensive know how in environmental assessment methods and tools.  Also PE coordinates work package 4. Beside this the practical experiences from regularly consultancy with industry and companies makes PE an essential supporter in accompanying some of the case studies including outline definition, case study progress and final assessment and its dissemination. 

With a rising level of prosperity in industrialized countries, an increasing number of products and services are being produced and consumed. This development is reflected in the amount of waste generated. According to Eurostat, the EU27 is annually generating about 4 billion tons of agricultural, domestic and industrial wastes.

The problem here is not only the quantity of waste but also the quality, i.e., the intrinsic hazardous nature of some types of waste, especially industrial waste. Industry today in general uses a wider range of materials and produces more complex products than in past decades. There has also been an overall increase in the quantity and variety of products and services and a continuous creation of new products (Commission of the European Community, 2003).

Idea of ZeroWIN
The main idea of ZeroWin is that waste prevention has to be seen from a holistic perspective to make it work efficiently and effectively.

Expected Results
  • a decrease of at least 30% of greenhouse gases emissions,
  • at least 70% of overall re-use and recycling of waste,
  • a reduction of at least 75% of fresh water utilisation.

More Information
More information about the project and partners is available under

Dec 7, 2009

LaserNetworks – one of the TOP 10 Green Solution Providers

The Canadian Dealer News has selected LaserNetworks as one of the TOP 10 Green Solution Providers. In the last years the company has taken numerous measures internally around power consumption and alternative energy use, packaging, recycling and natural or diesel gas vehicle use. Company’s president, Brian Stevenson, say that although many new printers consume less energy during operation, there is a significant carbon footprint in their manufacture.

That’s why LaserNetworks provides its customers with the ability to use highly-reliable and more environmentally-friendly Reflexion toner cartridges, which Stevenson notes were found in an independent study by PE INTERNATIONAL to provide greater than 50 per cent reduction in carbon emissions, acidification emissions and global warming emissions when compared to fully recycled OEM cartridges.

The research was conducted using the 4345 cartridge, a model representative of the entire Reflexion product range. The environmental information sheet (according to Environmental Product Declaration ISO 14025) by PE INTERNATIONAL analyzed the environmental impact of the complete life cycle of a remanufactured Reflexion cartridge in comparison to similar products and examined the four distinct operational factors that impact the environment: manufacturing or remanufacturing, packaging, logistics, and end of life.