Oct 28, 2010

LCA study confirms positive impact of glass packaging and recycling

The North American glass container industry has taken a pioneering step in producing the first complete and thorough cradle to- cradle life cycle assessment (LCA) ever conducted for this industry.

The LCA, coordinated by the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) and conducted by PE Americas, reaffirms the benefits of glass container recycling for the environment. PE Americas was examining each step from raw material extraction to end-use. The closed-looped cradle-to-cradle LCA collected data from 105 furnaces representing 75 percent of North American glass container production.

The use of recycled glass (cullet) in manufacturing results in a decrease in primary energy demand and reduces carbon emissions. A “cradle-to-cradle” LCA includes the entire cradle-to-grave life cycle of a product while factoring in the recycling of the used product back to its original purpose.

“The study shows increased cullet helps reducing energy emissions, conserve raw materials, extend the life of glass manufacturing furnaces, and save energy.” said Joseph Cattaneo, president of the Glass Packaging Institute  

While other industries claim that the transportation of glass bottles has more of an environmental impact because of the weight of the containers, a key finding of the LCA dismisses this claim. The transportation of raw materials and cullet used in glass production represents less than 4 to 5 percent of the total energy used in the production of container glass.

While each glass container has its own carbon profile, on average, existing recycle rates offset the CO2 burden when shipping foods and beverages across America. The 50 percent recycled content rate will only serve to further reduce carbon emissions.

“The North American glass container industry purposely conducted a cradle-to-cradle LCA to obtain a total picture of our industry’s environmental impact,” said Mr. Cattaneo. “We knew that for an LCA to be useful and to serve as an appropriate benchmark, it had to be cradle-to-cradle. For consumers and retailers to be able to compare the environmental impact of one packaging material to another, all industries should consider conducting complete life cycle analyses. Only then will we have clarity.”

To download the complete report enter our resource section on www.pe-international.com

For more information on the North American glass container industry LCA, please visit www.gpi.org/LCA.

Oct 27, 2010

Boom of renewable raw materials - New presentation!

The use of renewable raw materials has seen a boom during the last years. There has been an increasing shift from an economy based on fossil resources towards a sustainable way of using resources from fields and forests. Due to the manifold ways of applications in packaging, half-finished products or formed components, bio-based plastics have a high potential in the field of renewable raw materials.

The new presentation “Life Cycle Assessment as a part of a successful market integration” (german language) from Dr. Sabine Deimling and Torsten Rehl shows the environmental specifications relevant for the introduction of new and innovative products based on renewable raw materials on the market. Opportunities and chances given by environmental assessment using LCAs or Carbon Footprints for your company will be presented by a use of renewable raw materials in material use.

PE INTERNATIONAL can help you in offering approved and well-engineered tools for managing environmental potentials and risks – for instance the Life Cycle Assessment according to DIN ISO 14040, Carbon Footprint calculations according to PAS 2050 or preparation of environmental product declarations (EPDs).

To download the presentation please register in our Resources section.

Oct 26, 2010

New! Whitepaper Recycling Lightweight Automobiles

Lightweight design is an important pillar of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the automotive sector. But using lighter materials does not lower emissions in general. Lighter materials need more energy in manufacturing. So, only a life cycle analysis can show, whether a special lightweight design has an environmental benefit or not.

Oct 25, 2010

Update of PE´s iPhone app "iCarbonCalc"

The update of PE´s  iPhone application "iCarbonCalc" is now available in the App Store. This app allows tracking of the personal carbon footprint by adding a variety of activities (Car/Train/Flight/Life) in different time ranges. The results can be shown either in a 2D Bar or a Table and specific personals goals can be set.  The app increases public awareness of personal carbon footprints and the personal estimate provided by the app can help individuals identify the aspects of their lifestyles that contribute most to global warming.  
The updated “iCarbonCalc” is available for free and can be downloaded here

Oct 24, 2010

GaBi 4.4 released

GaBi 4.4 was released on the 21st of September. The new GaBi 4.4 provides assistance in documenting your processes according to the ILCD format and in preparing the documentation for Environmental Product Declaration certification.  It also takes into account social aspects with the ‘Life Cycle Working Environment’ approach and considers the effects of land use. This update was the first to be delivered completely electronically in the GaBi 4 software family and makes the update procedure much quicker, more reliable and much easier for the user. Find out more about these exciting developments here

Oct 23, 2010

Climate effects of rail and road

Rail and waterway transport are commonly considered better environmental performers than road transport in the carriage of goods. But the validity of such general statements is limited, as a new study of PE INTERNATIONAL shows. Considering the national combined transport road transport is comparable with rail and in some cases even better.
Read more and download the study

Oct 22, 2010

LCA in Design Conference

Pete Girard, Senior Consultant with PE Americas will speak at the Life Cycle Assessment Sustainable Product Design Conference occurring October 26 and 27 in Miami, FL, USA. His presentation will be part of a panel discussion on: Prioritizing Design Efforts. The session is intended to discuss assessing strategies to prioritize sustainability efforts in the product design process to get the best portfolio of green products.

Pete will address several topics with regards to LCA as part of the design process including: Establishing sustainability into the product development process, material considerations, prioritizing environmental impacts and eco-labeling.

PE Academy – Workshops & Seminars addressing the hot topics of sustainability

As part of our Symposium “sustainability 2.0 – from green to blue” to be held on October 27, 2010 the PE Academy is offering a two day workshop and seminar programme.  This will be on Oct. 26 and 28 and will address the ‘hot topics’ in sustainability.

Water Footprint, Corporate Carbon Footprint in the Context of Scope 3, Carbon Management, and Environmental Product Declarations are only some of the topics that will be covered by the PE Academy on these two days. These informative and interactive workshops and seminars will be conducted in conjunction with experts from companies such as Amcor, Corus, Masdar City, Siemens, SCA and Unilever. This will provide a practical approach to issues complete with case studies and encourage direct exchange between participants.

Join the PE Academy and learn about best practices from sustainability leaders across the whole value chain in different industries. Be exposed to cutting edge ideas, know-how and concrete solutions to future challenges.

Space is limited – reserve your seat today!

PE Americas joined the Sustainability Consortium

PE Americas has joined the Sustainability Consortium, a group of independent scientists and engineers working to develop a global database of information on the lifecycle of products.

Managed by the University of Arkansas Applied Sustainability Center and the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University, the Sustainability Consortium will attempt to quantify the lifecycle of various consumer goods. These findings will identify sustainability hotspots throughout the value chain, helping retailers and suppliers move forward on the path to sustainability.

As the first Life Cycle Assessment /Sustainability consulting firm to join the Sustainability Consortium, PEA will be on the steering committee with involvement in the Sustainability Consortium’s working groups.
To quantify product impacts, the Sustainability Consortium will be using our GaBi software that supports the collection, organization, analysis, and monitoring of the environmental performance of products and processes.