Industry Special Session 1

Part 1 & Part 2: Short presentations on each topic will be given, followed by a poster breakout session.  Each topic will be introduced in an approximately 10-minute presentations to the audience.  Following the short presentations, the presenters will move to their posters, and the audience will divide into small groups to visit each poster for small group discussions with each presenter. The small group size will facilitate discussion. This poster breakout session will last 30 minutes.  Each presenter will then summarize the highlights of their small group discussions. Individual attendees will also have the chance to do the same. After the key point summaries, the presenters and interested members of the audience will hold a panel discussion, accepting questions from each other, moderators, and the audience.

  • 14:00 – 14:05 – Introduction by the Session Chair
  • 14:05 – 14:45 – Presentations
  • 14:45 – 15:10 – Breakout Session #1
  • 15:10 – 15:15 – Summarize key points from the breakout
  • 15:10 – 15:30 – Panel/room discussion

The ACLCA Industry Committee has assembled the Industry Special Session consisting of two back-to-back 90-minute sessions at ACLCA LCA XV and designed to showcase stories of industry’s successful implementation of life cycle assessment (LCA) practices and to encourage interaction from the audience. The mission of the ACLCA Industry Committee is to provide a forum for industry members to continuously improve product and process sustainability by collaborating on common industry LCA issues, supporting the advancement of LCA methodology and standard practices, sharing professional knowledge, and further developing the business value of LCA. The  presentations in the Industry Special Session focus on a wide range of topics that are particularly relevant to industry, including incorporation of sustainability into business practice by using life cycle tools, steps to increase internal engagement and organizational acceptance of life cycle thinking, use of life cycle thinking in innovation and process improvement, and value chain collaborations to improve accuracy of life cycle inventory (LCI) data.  The speakers represent several sectors including flooring, infrastructure, manufacturing and chemicals.

14:00 Shaibal RoyCarina AllesSteven De Backer and Mike Sauder

Integrating Life Cycle Assessment into the Product Design of Architectural Coatings

ABSTRACT. Coatings provide both protection and aesthetic appeal. Just a thin layer of paint can extend the useful life of everyday objects and thus avoid the environmental burden that would come with an early replacement. Consequently, the sustainability of coatings should be assessed over the entire product life cycle in order to adequately capture the impact of coatings performance in a given application.

Coatings are formulated products, i.e. they are made from a blend of ingredients such as resins, pigments, filler, and additives. Choosing the right ingredients is essential to achieving the desired product specifications in commonly used performance metrics such as opacity, hiding power, washability, scrub resistance etc. With their embedded environmental footprint, ingredients also influence the environmental impact profile of coatings. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) forms a solid basis for holistic formulation choices, where ingredients are not judged in isolation, but in consideration of their impact on the performance throughout the life cycle of the ultimate article [1].

In this work, a novel formulation tool will be demonstrated that integrates LCA with a predictive model of coatings performance for flat and low sheen interior wall paints. The LCA approach mimics the definitions and assumptions of the CEPE Eco footprint tool [2], which is widely used in the coatings industry. In accordance with the emerging guidelines for the product environmental footprinting of paint, the functional unit for fair comparisons addresses the key aspects of how much surface is coated by a certain quality of paint for how long. Paint properties are estimated with a mixture design model that is calibrated with comprehensive laboratory test data.

This integrated formulation tool drastically reduces the experimental effort to develop new paints. It effectively guides the formulator towards the blend of paint ingredients that delivers the right performance at the lowest overall cradle to grave environmental footprint. As an example, we compared two formulations for the same type of flat interior wall paint across the full range of environmental indicators defined in the CEPE Eco footprint tool [3]. One formulation uses universal TiO2 pigments designed for diverse paint applications, whereas the other uses TiO2 pigments specially developed for this application. Experimentally validated and externally peer reviewed results show that both paints meet the same quality requirements, but the paint with the specialized pigment enables reductions in the cradle-to-grave environmental footprint on the order of 20% across the board.


Iterative Product Life Cycle Inventory for Triple Bottom Line Benefit

ABSTRACT. With the well-established criteria of cost, quality, delivery, and innovation for product and process design, elevation of the business case for sustainability can be a constant challenge for organizations. Life cycle inventory (LCI) may be a powerful tool to add a sustainability lens to an organization that uncovers triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) opportunity, adding value to criteria the business already prioritizes. At Kohler the term LCI is employed and not Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). An inventory of resource use and resulting emissions associated with products is more compatible with the language of business than the effect of this inventory on the environment. Kohler Co. began building product LCI models with unit operations detail in 2011. These models have provided justification for product and process improvement projects that in turn benefit next-generation LCI model results. This iterative process has grown organizational acceptance of LCI as a value-added tool and sustainable design as a necessary competency. With this presentation, the process of building a value-added LCI model will be briefly described, with emphasis on the steps necessary to include detail that allows for an actionable model. This will be followed with a demonstration of results within each life cycle stage for an example product. With each stage, the audience will be engaged via a text message-based polling application to offer opinions on the best opportunities to improve product and process sustainability. The real-time poll results will be followed with an explanation of how Kohler Co. interpreted the results and justified design changes. Kohler Co. recognizes that visibility of these LCI-inspired projects within the organization is critical to broader acceptance of this tool. Together with the individual projects that resulted from this effort, the methods by which Kohler communicates this story- both internally and externally- will be presented. To conclude, the effect of these changes on the overall product life cycle will be demonstrated with an updated LCI model. Remaining time in this session will again engage the audience for their own questions and comments on this process. Product and material samples will be used as visual aids.

14:20 Angela Fisher And Bill Flanagan

Strategies for Internal Engagement & Creating Business Value

ABSTRACT. GE believes that a flexible and customized approach to incorporating sustainability across its different business units is necessary in order to identify important innovation and value creation opportunities. As such, the Ecoassessment Center of Excellence (COE) has developed and applied a variety of life cycle tools and resources, including everything from qualitative assessments to basic screening to detailed life cycle assessment (LCA), which can be tailored for specific product or business applications to drive meaningful outcomes and enhance our leadership position. Over the past several years, GE’s Ecoassessment COE has applied these life cycle approaches to a variety of GE products and processes including gas and steam turbines, aircraft engine components, wind turbines, medical equipment, lighting, additive manufacturing, biopharmaceutical manufacturing, healthcare consumables packaging, thin film solar, aeroderivative gas engines, Jenbacher gas engines, micro LNG, smart meters, membrane ultrafiltration systems for water treatment, Durathon™ energy storage systems, appliances and appliances recycling, locomotives, biomass gasification, advanced metallurgy, jet fuel from bio-oils, and component remanufacturing.

These efforts have provided us with the opportunity to engage with a broad array of internal stakeholders, play a variety of roles, and understand a range of unique business needs. Accordingly, a key goal of the Ecoassessment COE’s engagement approach is to create value through better products, better value proposition for the customer, better competitive positioning, better line of sight to environmental issues and opportunities, better positioning with respect to regulatory trends, enhanced brand image, and more. The value proposition may be different for different business units, different product categories, customer segments, or market regions. This presentation will provide highlights of the strategies, tools, best practices, and accounts of our experiences for successful internal engagement within a large, diverse company.

14:30 Randy Waymire

Moving Up the Curve: Life Cycle Thinking at Eastman

ABSTRACT. This presentation will share the story of life cycle thinking and the evolution of the life cycle assessment (LCA) team at Eastman. At Eastman Chemical Company, we are constantly seeking new solutions to address complicated challenges in the world. As a leading specialty chemical company, we are at the cutting edge of innovative chemicals and technology development. Through the lens of innovation LCA and sustainability can be seen as key drivers for the evolution of the company’s offerings. Eastman’s experience with LCA’s began in 2008 when customer requests required completion of a large number of cradle-to-gate LCA studies. Now the initial investment is paying off, and the LCA team and life cycle thinking have become integrated into innovation at Eastman. Our LCA team made a switch from compliance to proactive innovation about a year ago, and we are currently executing our strategy. This shift in focus required directed effort on the part of the LCA team, and we devoted many meetings to determine who we are as a team and how LCA can create value for our company. Goals and actions which arose from our strategy development include

1. Identifying key stakeholders in the company 2. Developing and delivering presentations for internal and external audiences 3. Inviting external speakers to provide additional valuable perspectives 4. Creating a website and video clips about LCA to be shared internally and externally 5. Developing and following best practices for completion, documentation and communication of LCA studies Because of diligent networking and education, various key groups like business organizations, marketing managers, researchers, regulatory affairs and procurement arms of Eastman now understand life cycle assessment and have begun to apply it in their organizations. LCA studies inform product portfolio assessments that enable intelligent strategic decisions for new realities in a changing world. To support innovation the LCA team performs screening assessments to delineate potential advantages or shortcomings of product and technology concepts from a sustainability and energy efficiency perspective. Case examples will be shared in this presentation.