CertainTeed Fence, Railing and Decking ... CertainTeed Fence, Rail and Deck Life Cycle Assessment 1...

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Transcript of CertainTeed Fence, Railing and Decking ... CertainTeed Fence, Rail and Deck Life Cycle Assessment 1...

  • Life Cycle Assessment Report

    Cer ta inTeed

    Fence, Railing and Decking

  • CertainTeed Fence, Rail and Deck Life Cycle Assessment

    i

    This life cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted for vinyl rail, vinyl fence and composite rail products manufactured by CertainTeed Fence, Rail and Deck. The product lines for this study include: Bufftech (vinyl fence), Kingston (vinyl rail) and Panorama (composite rail). Cradle-to-grave impacts are reported per eight feet and illustrate a range of possible impacts. This work was performed by Sustainable Solutions Corporation for CertainTeed. The objective of CertainTeed in commissioning this study was to quantify and understand the environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of the products; as a tool in the product design process of the products; and as an input to the BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) life cycle product database. The data was submitted to NIST for publication in October 2014 and will be found in the database which can be located at http://ws680.nist.gov/Bees.

    LCA is a rigorous study of the inputs and outputs of a particular product which provides a scientific basis for evaluating the impacts throughout the life cycle. LCA is an alternative to the single-criterion decision-making that currently guides many environmental choices. It enables a deeper understanding of the environmental footprint, which benefits manufacturers in improving their product’s environmental performance and their manufacturing processes, as well as enables consumers to make decisions on products and materials in regard to the associated impacts of the particular product.

    Goals

    The goals of this study were to:

    • Provide a baseline LCA in order to understand and evaluate the impacts of the Vinyl Fence, Vinyl Rail and Composite Rail across the product life cycle.

    • As a basis for publication in the BEES product database.

    • Position CertainTeed Fence, Rail and Deck as an industry leader in product stewardship.

    • Prepare CertainTeed for sustainable supply chain requirements, carbon taxes, and other potential policy requirements.

    • Provide competitive analysis and positioning in order to analyze and evaluate claims or LCA/EPD information published in the future by competitors.

    • To meet future requirements for green purchasing programs for the United States Government, corporations, or other businesses.

    Methodology

    This study was conducted according to the life cycle inventory (LCI) and life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) standards established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) life cycle assessment standards ISO 14040 series. The geographic boundary for this study is primarily North America. This is a cradle-to-grave LCA study examining select vinyl rail, vinyl fence and composite rail products from raw materials extraction and processing through end of life.

    For this life cycle assessment, Sustainable Solutions Corporation (SSC) collected specific data on energy and material inputs, wastes, water use, emissions, and transportation impacts for the Buffalo, NY facility. Production data was allocated for these inputs in collaboration with process experts and allocated by pound of production. The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) US LCI database, ecoinvent database, and literature served as the sources of secondary inventory data for energy, transportation, and raw materials processes not directly collected from CertainTeed. Cumulative energy demand and the National institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) BEES 4.04+ (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) factors were the methodologies selected for the life cycle impact assessment.

    Executive Summary

  • CertainTeed Fence, Rail and Deck Life Cycle Assessment

    ii

    Key Findings

    Based on the results from the life cycle assessment, the life cycle impacts for Bufftech and Panorama impacts are driven by the installation phase; raw materials are the main driver for the Kingston railing system. The reduction in electricity impacts from the purchase of hydro-electric energy reduces the overall impacts of global warming, acidification, criteria air pollutants, ecotoxicity, smog, and natural resource depletion in the manufacturing phase for all products. The composite rail has clear advantages in raw materials as the primary ingredient is recycled content obtained from product returns of composite deck product. These factors contribute to overall decreased impacts in most impact categories for the Panorama railing systems.

    Recommendations

    CertainTeed should use the results of this life cycle impact assessment study for reducing impacts and product improvements including:

    • Communicate results of the LCA to R&D personnel and new product development teams. Use these LCA results as a tool during the product development cycle with the intent of evaluating lower impact ingredients, suppliers, and design.

    – Any way to reduce the installation materials required while maintaining product performance would be the best way to reduce environmental impacts.

    • Encourage suppliers to develop life cycle inventories and implement programs to reduce their own operational environmental impacts.

    • Enhance installer training to encourage more efficient product installation techniques.

    • While the contract with the local hydropower facility in which CertainTeed purchases all electricity for the facility greatly reduces upstream impacts from electricity for all products, the results of this LCA can continue to evaluate energy conservation opportunities to reduce energy consumption and related impacts in the manufacturing operation.

    – Sub-metering electricity can help enable conservation analysis.

    • Proceed with the publication of the LCA data in the BEES database, which is maintained by NIST (National Institute for Standards and Technology).

    Executive Summary (continued)

  • CertainTeed Fence, Rail and Deck Life Cycle Assessment

    iii

    Executive Summary ........................................................... i

    List of Figures ...................................................................iv

    List of Tables ......................................................................v

    Introduction ...................................................................... 1

    Background ....................................................................... 1

    Overview of Life Cycle Assessment ................................... 2

    Goal and Scope Definition ............................................. 4–7

    Goal of the Study .............................................................. 4

    Functional Unit .................................................................. 5

    System Boundary .............................................................. 6

    Cut-off Criteria .................................................................. 7

    Data Sources and Modeling Software ......................... 8–13

    Data Quality ....................................................................... 8

    Data Sources ..................................................................... 9

    Heat Stabilizer ................................................................. 13

    Modeling Software .......................................................... 13

    Life Cycle Inventory Analysis .................................... 14–16

    Raw Materials and Product Recipe Overview .................. 14

    Manufacturing Process Overview ................................... 15

    Distribution ..................................................................... 16

    Installation ...................................................................... 16

    End-of-Life ...................................................................... 16

    Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) ............................. 17

    Impact Categories / Impact Assessment ......................... 17

    Selected Impact Categories ............................................. 18

    Manufacturing Process Allocation and Assumptions ...... 19

    Initial Service and End-of-Life Assumptions ................... 19

    Vinyl Fence, Vinyl Rail and Composite Rail LCA Results ..................................... 20–47

    Manufacturing Impacts .............................................. 20-23

    Raw Material Impacts ............................................... 24–30

    Installation and Use Phase ........................................ 31–34

    Overall Environmental Impact .................................. 35–47

    Hydropower Sensitivity Analysis ............................... 48–51

    Recycled Content Sensitivity Analysis ....................... 52–53

    Limitations ...................................................................... 54

    Conclusions .................................................................... 55

    Table of Contents

  • CertainTeed Fence, Rail and Deck Life Cycle Assessment

    iv

    Figure 1.1 – The Four Stages of Life Cycle Assessment .... 2

    Figure 2.1 – System Boundary for Vinyl Fence, Vinyl Rail and Composite Rail ....................... 6

    Figure 6.1 – Life Cycle Stage Control Diagram ................ 20

    Figure 6.2 – Energy Distribution of the Buffalo