Oct 31, 2012

PE expands footprint in France by partnering with Gingko21

PE INTERNATIONAL is pleased to announce its recent partnership with Gingko 21, a French consulting company headed by Dr Ing Hélène Teulon, an experienced LCA and Eco-design expert.

After many successful projects completed together, such as the Car LCA project (comparison of ICE trains vs electrical vehicle) for ADEME, PE INTERNATIONAL partnered with Gingko 21 to respond to the opportunities created by sustainable business market trends and rising customer awareness of the environmental footprint of consumer products following Grenelle II.

The newly established partnership offers French customers an extensive software and services portfolio including PE’s GaBi software, a solution for product life cycle assessment and product footprints in accordance with Grenelle II, and SoFi software, a solution for corporate sustainability reporting according to the French reporting framework Bilan Carbone amongst others.

After more than 13 years working in the field of LCA and Eco-design, Hélène Teulon launched Gingko 21 in 2005 to support large companies such as Orange or Saint-Gobain in the deployment of eco-design policies. Gingko 21 has developed an eco-innovation tool box, OpenGreen® that allows companies to integrate the knowledge acquired through LCA studies into sustainable new product development.

Gingko 21 also maintains a free collaborative website, seeds4green.net, to foster the diffusion of LCA results through industry and society.

Oct 30, 2012

New generation of million-selling VW Golf

© Volkswagen

VW’s seventh generation Golf will soon hit the market. The new model has a weight reduction of up to 100 kg, and is 23 per cent more fuel efficient than previous models.

Volkswagen, a long-term GaBi customer, uses GaBi LCA Software to reduce their cars’ environmental impacts across the entire life cycle – from production to use on the road through recycling and disposal. For the new Golf VII, the company reports a significant improvement in the environmental profile over the entire life cycle compared with the predecessor model. The new VW Golf now weighs up to 100 kilos less. Depending on the weight reduction, better engines and standard equipped fuel and energy saving technologies, the new Golf has reduced its overall Life-Cycle CO2-e emissions by 13 percent for the diesel model and 11 percent for the petrol version.

With every new car model VW publishes a so-called environmental commendation, verified and certified by the TÜV technical inspection authority. It serves to inform consumers about the environmental performance of the cars, and to compare it to the performance of the previous model.

>> Read the environmental commendation of the Golf 7 here.

Oct 18, 2012

Brady’s three pillars of sustainability

PE INTERNATIONAL supported Brady Corporation, a world leader in identification solutions, in launching its inaugural sustainability report. The report gives a comprehensive overview of the company’s sustainability strategy, accomplishments, and future plans. Entitled “Protecting Our Future,” the report focuses on Brady’s three pillars of sustainability: Sustainable Company, Sustainable Customers, and Sustainable Communities.

PE supported Brady in the development of the report by collecting and verifying sustainability performance data, conducting interviews, writing the draft content and preparing the report to satisfy the Global Reporting Initiative's Application Level C. We also worked closely with Brady’s Corporate Communications team to finalize the storyboard, and an external design firm to coordinate the graphics design and layout of the report. The effort was part of the program PE supported Brady for the past 2 years, including the development of its sustainability strategy. Currently we work with Brady’s Customer Council to develop Design for Environment principles and criteria to guide their new product development process.

“Looking for ways to continually improve in general, or more specifically by reducing the Company’s environmental footprint, increasing employee safety and contributing to the communities where Brady team members live and work, have been a part of Brady’s business for years.  However this report reflects a more coordinated effort to promote sustainability,” said Steve Hasbrook, Brady Director of Sustainability.  “The report is designed to provide information to key stakeholders such as large customers and the socially responsible investment sector. It also serves other targeted stakeholders such as our employees, prospective employees, industry associations, governments, suppliers and local communities.

Oct 16, 2012

Credible and Commercial: the success factors of eco-labelling

Eco-labelling schemes are on the rise – customers and environmental experts alike are confused with the booming “industry”. The difference between the two groups is that the customers’ decision for or against a label is the fateful one: it decides the ultimate success or failure of the label.

At the same time the judgment of an environmental expert – the one faithful to some aspect of sustainability – carries the responsibility of steering private and public opinion in the right direction. The presentation discusses a stepwise protocol on “how to create a successful label” using the case study of the EU-funded Life+ project “HAproWine” (EU - LIFE08 ENV/E/000143) aimed at developing an eco-label for wine produced in the Spanish region Castilla y León.

Through the evaluation of some key existing examples and the case study of developing a new label in the food industry based on LCA, the presentation identifies underlying factors of success and failure.

>> Get the full presentation and read more

Oct 12, 2012

Investing in Energy & Sustainability Software

Watch our free webinar replay about how to select and justify an investment in energy, carbon and sustainability software to top decision-makers in the company.

Speakers include Paul Baier of Groom Energy, share insights from his latest Enterprise Carbon Accounting (ECA) & Sustainability buyer’s guide.

Executives from Buckman and METTLER TOLEDO, two companies that have recently purchased software, talk about how they found the right solutions for their product requirements and business needs. Plus, our speakers offer tips for the vendor selection process.

>> Watch the webinar replay!

Oct 11, 2012

Sustainable package design

Companies have a vast number of different package design options available. But today the important question is how sustainable they are? Should they use paper or plastic? When does it make sense to use material combinations and what are their environmental impacts?

Answers to these questions are provided in a Life Cycle Assessment study (LCA) that PE INTERNATIONAL has conducted for Wipak. The Wipak Group is part of the Finland-based Wihuri Group and holds a leading rank in the development and manufacture of multilayer films (in particular barrier films) and high-end packaging solutions in Europe

LCA compared film packages with paper composite solutions

“Energy consumption, ozone production or global warming – material combinations based on paper and plastics can be more sustainable than plastics solutions”, Dr. Annett Kaeding-Koppers, the Wipak Group’s Sustainability Representative explains. On behalf of Wipak, the PE INTERNATIONAL sustainability experts compared film packages, such as used in Germany for sausage and cheese, with paper composite solutions offering identical functionality, including different amounts of paper in the top web and in the tray web.

One result: The use of paper in general has a positive influence on the reduction of carbon emissions. This means that the impact on the greenhouse effect is smaller than it is for the reference systems made of pure plastics that were also examined in the study. There were also clear improvements in terms of ozone production, i.e. the reduction of summer smog.

Paper cannot replace plastics

There is no silver bullet. Paper cannot fully replace plastics since it does not meet the high demands in terms of optimum product protection. The ideal material mix depends on the food products to be packaged as well as on the functions to be provided by a package.

Broad range of packaging solutions

Consumers expect a responsive use of resources. This expectation also influences package development. Using paper composites, the Wipak Group has responded to the trend towards sustainability at an early stage, complementing the product range of high-quality multilayer and barrier films with more innovative paper composites later on. A selection of composite concepts will be presented by Wipak at the FachPack exhibition. The “Paper Top“ version e.g. replaces paper polyester as a print carrier. The amount of renewable resources reaches approximately 35 percent so that the use of fossil raw materials has been reduced by about 30 percent. With the “Paper Bottom“ version, the amount of paper can reach more than 50 percent, depending on the composite structure.

New marketing approaches

While paper composite solutions are still niche products, their market share grows constantly. Paper composites offer new unique selling propositions at the POS. Using the knowledge of how sustainable a packaging really is, companies are able to differentiate themselves from the competition, assuming a more credible position in the customer’s view. It is therefore worthwhile taking a closer look even just for the marketing aspects alone.

Oct 10, 2012

Hybrid buses operating on regular services

© Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr 2012

As part of the support project Hybrids for an eco-friendly transport by the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU), 50 hybrid busses for twelve transportation companies in Germany were procured and operated on regular service.

PE INTERNATIONAL spearheads research work for this regular service project that was intensively analyzed with regard to practicability, acceptance and fuel consumption as well as to emission savings. The result shows that market maturity has already been reached referring to the technical availability. When analyzing fuel consumption, however, it became obvious that further optimizing processes are required for this young drive concept. Hybrid technology is considered positively by both drivers and passengers.

>> Check out the Study - Model Region Electromobility

Oct 9, 2012

Industry Report: PE INTERNATIONAL is again Market Leader

The recently published Enterprise Carbon Accounting (ECA) report, an industry-leading buyer’s guide from Groom Energy, has selected PE INTERNATIONAL as 2013 market leader for the 5th consecutive year.

The worldwide adoption of carbon and sustainability software by large firms continues according to the report. In the past 24 months over 600 large corporations have purchased software - often with extended functionality in environmental reporting, supply chain surveys and energy management - compared to 250 deals in 2010 and 50 in 2009.

The Groom Energy research report especially commended the innovation and continuous development of PE INTERNATIONAL’s SoFi software for sustainability performance management. “Vendors need to serve a diverse market,” according to Paul Baier, author of the report and Vice President at Groom Energy. “Many companies expect basic carbon and environmental reporting in an easy-to-use and proven system. The more mature and advanced firms expect solutions to also support supply chain surveys, energy management, EHS modules and integration with ERP systems,” said Baier. “Currently in its fifth generation, SoFi by PE INTERNATIONAL delivers a convincing software package of energy, carbon, environmental and supply chain sustainability analytics combined with intuitive dashboard reporting that integrates well into existing IT landscapes and has been more than proven through strong growth in customer momentum.”

PE introduces performance to sustainability

Turning sustainability into a competitive advantage sounds good but can be difficult to do. Many companies today still struggle with obtaining reliable data and implementing a central performance evaluation which is the basis for reaping the benefits of higher operational efficiency and reduced cost. This is where SoFi software comes in: the solution streamlines automated and manual data collection and helps visualize, analyze and report on the sustainability performance of the company. Big and complex data is turned into intuitive analytics, reports and planning tools to uncover opportunities for increased energy efficiency and improved sustainability performance.

Growing customer base from Austria to North America

“SoFi software helps us identify the levers for our sustainability initiatives and evaluate the effectiveness of our measures” said Frank Hoelzl, the head of sustainability at the Austrian supermarket chain SPAR, who knows SoFi software from his daily work with over 800 stores and distribution centers. In addition to SPAR, diverse companies headquartered in 14 different countries selected SoFi software in 2012 alone, including Buckman chemicals (U.S.A.), Cleveland Clinics (U.S.A.), Daimler (Germany), Generali Insurance Group (Italy), Rexam packaging (UK) and Uponor heating/ cooling systems (Finland).


>> Download your complimentary copy now!

Oct 8, 2012

Forged aluminum wheels cut carbon footprint - Life Cycle Assessment for Alcoa

PE INTERNATIONAL conducted a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study for Alcoa that concludes that aluminum wheels substantially cut the carbon footprint of commercial vehicles.

In North America, the study found that substituting 18 conventional steel truck wheels with Alcoa aluminum wheels cut carbon emissions by 16.3 metric tons over the lifetime of the wheels. In Europe, replacing 12 steel wheels with aluminum cut 13.3 metric tons of carbon emissions. In addition, the study found that the use of Alcoa forged aluminum wheels over steel wheels can be viewed as an active and highly efficient investment into the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the commercial vehicle sector.

Dr. Christoph Koffler from PE stated "Our findings are based on the full life cycle of Alcoa forged aluminum wheels—from the raw materials, through the production, distribution, use, disposal, and recycling of the product."

Most comprehensive LCA ever conducted on aluminium and steel truck wheels

This analysis is the most comprehensive and transparent comparative Life Cycle Assessment ever conducted on aluminum and steel truck wheels. It analyzed the entire “cradle-to-grave” production process of commercial vehicle wheels—from bauxite mining to wheel manufacturing, through a truck wheel’s use phase and end-of-life, including recycling and land filling.

The study incorporated the latest available information on energy and material consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental releases. Alcoa provided primary data for aluminum wheel production from five facilities: two in the United States (Cleveland and Barberton, OH), one in Mexico, Hungary, and Japan. PE INTERNATIONAL provided upstream data for fuels, raw materials, and steel wheel manufacturing processes, including primary metals and chemicals. The study conformed to ISO methodology and was peer reviewed by respected professionals in the LCA community, including experts from the world-renowned Technische Universitat Berlin and the University of Michigan.

Major findings presented at the LCA XII

Alcoa and PE INTERNATIONAL will present the findings of the LCA at the 12th Annual American Center for Life Cycle Assessment Conference in Tacoma, Washington on Tuesday, September 25, 2012.

>> Download the full study and read more