Jun 5, 2010

PE INTERNATIONAL confirms the advantages of the disposal system for agricultural packaging

The disposal system for agricultural packaging PAMIRA is not only more profitable than alternative ones; it also causes the least ecological damage in the overall perspective. This is certified by a comprehensive eco-efficiency analysis, whose result was reviewed by PE INTERNATIONAL.

“The results of this analysis demonstrate that we are following the right way with PAMIRA. The German plant protection industry considers itself responsible for its products and the disposal of the packages is an important aspect in this regard”, comments Volker Koch-Achelpöhler, chief executive officer of the industrial association Agrar, on the survey.

The eco-efficiency analysis on PAMIRA was ordered to evaluate possibilities of system improvement and estimate alternative approaches concerning logistics and further processing. In the course of this analysis, six hypothetical alternative models were compared with the actually realised collections of the years 2007 and 2008 and were examined by BASF SE with regards to costs and environmental impact. Afterwards, the results were reviewed by PE INTERNATIONAL.

The actually applied PAMIRA system includes the possibility for farmers to return their packages to the 273 collection points, which are established within the trade sector, once a year for four days. Within the eco-efficiency analysis, the data which was collected in the course of these collections was compared with alternative scenarios, such as two collection dates in a year, collections throughout the year and two models which contain that disposal companies fetch the packages from the farmers, etc. But the eco-efficiency analysis revealed that, by applying these alternative models, not only the system costs would almost increase fivefold due to a great number of additional trips, but that the environmental impacts would seriously aggravate as well.

PAMIRA is a voluntary redemption system which is successfully applied nationwide by the German plant protection industry in collaboration with the trade sector since 1996. Through PAMIRA, the industry wants to ensure that its packages only get into controlled disposal channels. In this way, in 2009, a total amount of 2400 tons of package material was redeemed through the system and led to further processing. The rate of return of the packages sold accounted for approximately 75 percent.

Jun 4, 2010

Infinitely recyclable aluminum can more sustainable than ever, shows LCA

New life-cycle analyses from PE Americas for the Aluminum Association shows a carbon footprint reduction of 44% over the last 17 years.

PE Americas has recently completed “one of the most comprehensive and transparent life-cycle analyses (LCA) ever conducted by an industry group for the Aluminum Association.” The independent study of aluminum cans, carried out by PE Americas, part of strategic consultancy PE INTERNATIONAL, was undertaken in part to respond to Walmart’s packaging scorecard, which calls for its suppliers in all sectors to reduce their carbon footprint.

The results confirm major reductions in the aluminum can’s product carbon footprint and energy use over the last 17 years and have been provided to both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Walmart. Major findings include:
• Reduction in overall carbon footprint of the aluminum can by 44%
• 30% less energy usage
• Reduction in package weight of 15%
• 68% total recycled content, the highest of any beverage package material

“The data shows that we are using significantly less material and less energy to produce same-size beverage cans as compared with 17 years ago,” says Steve Larkin, president of The Aluminum Association. “The aluminum industry has made tremendous gains in sustainability. The aluminum can is more sustainable than ever.”

The comprehensive life-cycle study analyzes the entire production process—from bauxite mining to can manufacturing. The study incorporates the latest available information on energy and material consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and other environmental releases. The study examines the can manufacturing process using both the cradle-to-cradle closed-loop approach and the recycled-content approach. It conformed to ISO methodology and was peer-reviewed by experts from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry and the EPA.

Says Larkin, “The aluminum industry has made every effort to ensure the integrity and transparency of this important project.” In addition to being posted on the association’s website, the results and supporting data have been provided to the EPA, where they will be used to update the existing Life-Cycle Inventory database and the agency’s Waste Reduction Model.

“The study also confirmed our belief that the key to continuing to improve the carbon footprint of the aluminum can is to increase recycling rates,” says Pat Persico, manager of corporate communications for Novelis and chair of The Aluminum Association’s Can Committee. She notes that the aluminum industry is committed to a goal to increase the recycling rate to 75% by 2015, up from it’s current rate of 54. %.

The study is publicly available at www.aluminum.org/lca.

Jun 3, 2010

Sustainable buildings awarded for the first time in Austria

The first real estate projects received the DGNB-certificate for sustainable building in Austria. The The Austrian society for sustainable real estate economics (ÖGNI) prices nine office and trade buildings and one kindergarten. In four projects the ÖGNI founding member PE Central and Eastern Europe carried out the audit for the certification.

With the help of the detailed planning, PE accomplished a pre-certification of the „SPAR climate protection supermarket“ (Murau), which reached the gold status. PE continues to conduct the project and after completion, PE is going to examine the SPAR climate protection market again, according to the sustainability criteria of the DGNB certification. Furthermore, PE CEE audited the kindergarten Guntramsdorf as well as the two Viennese office buildings BIZ ZWEI and RUND VIER of the IC project development, which all has been certified or pre-certified with silver.

With the DGNB certificate, buildings are examined and assessed for their sustainable method of construction according to about 50 criteria in six topics (ecology, economy, socio-cultural and functional aspects, technology, processes and location). ÖGNI took over the proven system of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) and adapted it to the Austrian market.

Jun 2, 2010

PE and Tata Consultancy Services partner for integrated sustainability management

PE INTERNATIONAL launched a partnership with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading IT services, business solutions and outsourcing organization. We will collaborate on the further development of our corporate sustainability solution SoFi and jointly implement integrated corporate sustainability management solutions for customers worldwide.

Michael Betz, CEO of PE describes the partnership: “We are delighted to partner with TCS. As a pioneer in the area of information technology, TCS has a large global client base in the IT space as well as access to very well trained professionals who will be instrumental in scaling the deployment of SoFi around the globe.”
The partnership will blend TCS’s IT services, business solutions and outsourcing expertise with PE’s 20 years of experience in helping client’s understand and improve sustainability performance. “With this unique combination we can offer our clients a leading corporate sustainability management solution coupled with world class IT services” said Betz.

Lakshminarasimhan Srinivasan, Head of Eco-Sustainability Services at TCS, explains:”SoFi is the most flexible corporate sustainability solution to manage complex business requirements on the market today. We currently are deploying SoFi for our own operations and have found that SoFi significantly increases the efficiency of corporate sustainability information management within TCS.”

Jun 1, 2010

Brochure Sustainable Building 2010 released - Becoming a supplier to Masdar City

Are you interested in supplying products in the construction and operation of Masdar City? In order for Masdar City to reach its ambitious goals of being one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments, Masdar City encourages suppliers to find out the carbon footprint for the products they sell and join in on taking actions towards improving sustainability throughout their production processes and supply chain.

As LCA consultants to MASDAR City, we at PE INTERNATIONAL are looking forward to helping you better position your products with Masdar City as well as in the global sustainability market. Please download our 2010 Sustainable Building brochure wherein you will find information on several developments in the construction arena that should convince you that a sustainability is the only way forward for businesses who want to be competitive in today’s marketplace.