The Saint-Gobain Group company has become the first glass processor in the UK to complete Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) on a core range of products.The rigorous and comprehensive tool, based on international ISO standards, scientifically measures the ecological footprint at every stage in a product’s life by studying all environmental impacts such as CO2 emissions, energy and water consumption, air pollution and waste generation.The assessment evaluates the manufacturing process and also takes into account the impacts and benefits of products in use as well as their recyclability at their end-of-life.
Mike Butterick, Marketing Director at GLASSOLUTIONS, said: “Lots of companies talk about being green and being committed to working in a more sustainable way – and LCAs provide the structure to test that commitment. The strength of this new approach is that it is a complex analysis of multiple criteria across the entire life cycle in order to avoid simply transferring impact from one area to another.
“It has taken a huge amount of work, time and investment to complete the LCA and this is a significant achievement of which we are immensely proud. Once again we are leading the way and investing in sustainable solutions for the benefit of our customers – generating genuine points of differentiation that add value to their business proposition.
“Our commitment to the environment helps our customers in commercial markets by enabling them to do their own LCAs, for example, or to obtain other eco-labels such as BREEAM ratings. It helps customers working with local authorities and housing associations who need to demonstrate they are doing the right thing, and are measured as such. And it helps domestic installers in the home improvement market - it will be the next big differentiator.
“The assessment also confirmed that our glass gives more energy than it takes – 128 times more. The researchers found that it takes 2000kWh of energy to produce a low-E double glazed sealed unit yet 257,000kWh is saved over a 30 year period.
“Life Cycle Assessment is just one aspect of a progressive sustainability programme, and using LCAs to design greener products is an integral part of our long-term corporate sustainability objectives.”
Once an LCA is completed the results are then independently verified, also in accordance with an ISO standard. The data is then published in an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) on the Glassolutions EPD website. http://epd.glassolutions.eu/ The ‘EPD verified’ logo confirms this important independent verification.