Thomas Broch, Senior Scientist at Fibertex Personal Care (Denmark) described the use of cradle-gate Life Cycle Analysis to determine the impact of white spunmelt nonwovens production on global warming, non-renewable energy use, and multiple impacts such as human and environmental toxicity.
The starting assumptions with regard to the boundaries chosen, transport options, and the raw material data provided by different suppliers are key and can alter the results dramatically. Improving the waste management in the production plant also had a profound effect, reducing the Fibertex emissions from 3348 to 2907 kg CO2 equivalent between 2000 and 2011, while reducing virgin PP resin use by almost 100,000 tonnes. Using natural gas burners for heat generation further reduced C-footprint by more than halving the kg CO2 equivalent compared with electrical heating.
Converters varied in their demands for Environmental Product Declarations, but requests for raw data for calculations further down the supply chain were becoming less common and the focus on CO2 emissions as a key figure is increasing.