The Next Steps
The GCC is committed to providing ACMA members with the most transparent LCI data available for the materials and processes under study.At COMPOSITES 2012 in Las Vegas,an educational session titled, “Big Steps Towards a Small Footprint – Development of Life Cycle Inventory Data for U.S. Composites” will be presented by Melissa Huff, senior chemical Engineer and project manager at Franklin Associates. The presentation will focus on the process to develop the data and the results of this project including the data submitted to the U.S.LCI Database.
As previously mentioned, a primary objective of the Composites LCI Project is to enable companies to conduct—at a relatively manageable expense—green product comparisons via the formal methodology of LCA.The GCC will carefully evaluate the many products and markets served by composites and select a few products as a test case for a comparative LCA. From those comparisons, we will finally understand and be able to quantitatively document the sustainability of composites relative to competing materials. However, this process needs to be repeated with many products in different markets.The Committee expects manufacturers of composites products will conduct individual LCAs modeled on this test case on their own and at their expense to determine how well their products stack up environmentally against the competition. None of this would be feasible without a solid foundation – the Composites LCI Project.
The LCI Project is a complex undertaking that requires qualified LCA/ LCI experts to successfully complete. This could not happen without funding. In addition to ACMA, the following composites industry leaders have provided critical funds to execute Phase 1 of this project:
- AOC, LLC
- Ashland Performance Materials
- CCP Composites
- Interplastic Corporation
- PCCR USA, Inc.
- Reichhold, Inc.
- Ershigs, Inc
The entire composites industry has a vested interest in this work and its results. There is more work to do beyond Phase 1 and we ask that many more companies commit to becoming involved and support this critical industry endeavor.