Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology

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Sandra Vitolo
Technology for Sustainability International Forum - Bologna 2011

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Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology

  1. 1. Dipartimento di Ingegneria chimica, Chimica industriale e Scienza dei materiali Prof. Sandra VitoloBologna, September 20th 2011
  2. 2. Evaluation of Environmental Impact of LeatherProcess Using LCA Methodology Outline Basic concepts Environmental labelling LCA analysis steps Case study Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  3. 3. Basic concepts According to ISO 14040, the Life Cycle Assessment is aquantitative approach to evaluate the environmental burdensassociated with a product/process over its entire life cycle by: Compiling an inventory of relevant inputs and outputs of a product system Evaluating the potential environmental impacts associated with those inputs and outputs Interpreting the results of the inventory analysis and impact assessment phases in relation to the objectives of the study Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  4. 4. Basic conceptsThe basic concept is that the impact an item has on the environment doesnot depend exclusively on the manufacturing process, but begins with thedesign and ends with the final disposal. Raw material Manufacture Use Waste acquisition management • LCA calculates energy and resource use, emissions, environment and health impacts • LCA covers the entire life cycle, from ”cradle‐to‐grave” Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  5. 5. Basic conceptsLCAs started in the early 1970s, initially to investigate the energyrequirements for different processes; emissions and raw materialswere added laterLCAs are considered to be the most comprehensive approach toassessing environmental impactInitially, numerous variants of LCA “methods” weredeveloped/investigated, but today there is consensus that there isonly one basic method with a large number of variantsThe Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC),an international platform for toxicologists, published a Code ofPractice, a widely accepted series of guidelines and definitions.Nowadays, IS0 14040:2006 and 14044:2006 are considered to bethe LCA standard. Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  6. 6. LCA applications Product/process design, development, improvement Public policy Marketing Eco‐labellingLCAs have been used increasingly by industry to help reduce the overall environmentalburdens across the whole life cycle of goods and servicesLCA is also used to improve the competitiveness of the company’s products and incommunication with governmental bodiesLCA is used in decision making as a tool to improve product design, for example thechoice of materials, the selection of technologies, specific design criteria and whenconsidering recyclingLCA allows benchmarking of product system options and can therefore also be used indecision making of purchasing and technology investments, innovation systems, etc Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  7. 7. LCA applicationsLCA is one of the tools to apply life cycle thinking in the implementation of the EU’s thematicstrategy on the sustainable use of natural resources and the thematic strategy on preventionand recycling of wasteIn its Communication on Integrated Product Policy (COM (2003)302), the EuropeanCommission concluded that Life Cycle Assessments provide the best framework for assessing the potential environmental impacts of products currently available. Integrated Product Policy (IPP) seeks to minimise the environmental degradation that a product causes in some way, by looking at all phases of a products life‐cycle (manufacturing, use, disposal) and taking action where it is most effective ques Ecode able techni si n g Bes t avail Integrated Pro Life Cycle curement du ct Policy (IPP) Green public pro Thinking Integrated waste management Environmental labelling Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  8. 8. Environmental labelling The International Standards Organisation (ISO) have developed standards for three types of environmental product claims, termed ISO Type I, II and III.• Type I (ISO 14024): claims are based on criteria set by a third party and are multiissue, being based on the product’s life cycle impacts. The awarding body may be either a governmental organisation or a private non‐ commercial entity. Ecolabel Nordic White Swan German Blue Angel Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  9. 9. Environmental labelling• Type II (ISO 14021): claims are based on self‐declarations by manufacturers or retailers. There are numerous examples of such claims e.g. ‘made from x% recycled material’ Mobius loop• Type III (ISO 14025): claims consist of quantified product information based on life cycle impacts. These impacts are presented in a form that facilitates comparison between products e.g. a set of parameters. Environmental Product Declaration Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  10. 10. Environmental labelling Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) The tool for assessing the potential environmental impacts Product Category Rules (PCR) The Product Category Rules (PCRs) are vital for the concept of environmental declarations and climate declarations.The PCRs enable transparency for the EPD‐development and also comparability between differents EPDs based on the same PCR. Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  11. 11. Environmental labelling EPD Programme Development Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  12. 12. Environmental labelling EPD Programme Development Finished bovine leather UN CPC product class 2912 “Other leather, of bovine or equine animals, without hair on” The PCR document is a living document. If relevant changes in the LCA methodology or in the technology for the product category occur, the document will be revised and any changes will be published on the international website www.environdec.com Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  13. 13. LCA analysis steps LCA Steps: defined in ISO 14040 series I. Goal & Scope Definition ‘the reason why LCA is performed’• II. Inventory Analysis (LCI) ‘quantification of environmental loads’ III. Impact Assessment (LCIA) ‘assess the relevance of flows’ IV. Interpretation ‘interpretation and results analysis’ Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  14. 14. LCA analysis stepsInventory: draw flow chart of product system, build the systemmodel Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  15. 15. LCA analysis stepsInventory: draw flow chart of product system, build thesystem model Collect data of resource use and emissions of all processes Data sources: LCA databases, reports, scientific papers, on‐site investigation, expert knowledge, qualified guesses Calculate resource use and emissions of studied product. Present results in charts and tables. Iterative procedure! Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  16. 16. LCA analysis stepsImpact analysisClassification: each chemical listed in the Inventory is assigned to one or more impact categories Human Health Ozone Layer Global Warming Non renewable Resources Chemicals Eutrophication Ecotoxicity Acidification Waste Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  17. 17. LCA analysis stepsImpact analysisCharacterisation: a connection between the environmental loads and known exposure pathways to humans and ecology is made, in order to assess the effects of each chemicals on the corresponding impact categories.This is made through an equivalence factor that expresses its effects in relation with a reference parameter. Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  18. 18. LCA analysis stepsImpact analysis Relations between emissions and impact categories Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  19. 19. LCA analysis stepsImpact analysis Environmental Profiles The final result of the characterisation step is a list of potential environmental impacts. This list of effect scores, one for each category, is called the environmental profile of the product. Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  20. 20. Case studyLeather Industry: Environmental impact of unhairing process Traditional unhairing Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  21. 21. Case studyLeather Industry: Environmental impact of unhairing process Oxidative unhairing Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  22. 22. Case studyLeather Industry: Environmental impact of unhairing processNormalized Results Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology
  23. 23. Case studyLeather Industry: Environmental impact of unhairing process 1000 100 Oxidative unhairing Traditional unhairing 10 1 Normalized Results 0,1 0,01 1E-3 1E-4 1E-5 Evaluation of Environmental Impact of Leather Process Using LCA Methodology

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