This free online resource is being used by companies to support the business case for the selection of a composite product based on its overall life cycle performance.
The Eco Impact Calculator was launched in July 2016. The number of users of the tool – including designers, manufacturers and end-users of composite products, materials suppliers and researchers – has been steadily increasing and feedback has been extremely positive. The new survey will assist EuCIA in identifying future industry needs and direct its long term development programme for the tool. The
EuCIA developed the Eco Impact Calculator as an aid for companies increasingly facing customer requests for detailed information on the environmental impact associated with the production of their composite product or component. The easy to use tool can be employed to quickly calculate the environmental impact of products from cradle to gate, from the raw materials up to the point of sale. Users do not need any in-depth knowledge of life cycle assessment (LCA) techniques and an Eco Report detailing three fundamental environmental indicators can be generated. This data can also be used as input for further life cycle calculations.
EuCIA strongly believes that sustainability is a key driver for the future growth of the composites industry.
“Communicating the sustainability of composites is a long term strategy for EuCIA and the Eco Impact Calculator is an important component of this,” states Roberto Frassine, EuCIA’s President. “It is a ‘living’ tool which must continue to develop as composites technologies advance and business and legislative landscapes evolve. We encourage all interested parties to submit their feedback and opinions so that we can determine the future path for this resource and further increase its value to the composites industry.”
Jan Verhaeghe, Business Development Manager at VDL Fibertech Industries, the Netherlands, supports EuCIA’s sustainability initiatives and believes the Eco Impact Calculator has a valuable role to play in a broader LCA approach.
“VDL Fibertech is developing ISO shipping containers based on Acrosoma composite sandwich panels,” he explains. “Lightweight composite containers offer significant benefits such as lower fuel consumption or higher load capacity over steel alternatives. We intend to employ the Eco Impact Calculator in determining the LCA of our composite container for comparison with the LCA of a steel ISO container, with the objective of demonstrating that composites offer the better material solution.”
The survey is available here: