CO2 Footprint analysis Biopanel

The goal of this study was to initially shed light on the potential environmental benefits of the BioPanel in comparison to mainstream products, and use these results for communication and substantiation in the tender process towards potential clients.

The challenge

AbelLeisure is a company that specializes in developing and realizing recreational route concepts. One of these concepts is the BioPanel; a plastic sheet material consisting of 100% renewable vegetable raw materials (industrial hemp, flax fibers and a thermoplastic biopolymer made from lactic acid (PLA).

AbelLeisure namen contact met ons op om meer te weten over de duurzaamheid van de BioPanel. Zij willen door een uitgebreide CO2 footprint analyse uitzoeken de CO2-uitstoot van de BioPanel in vergelijking met twee andere materialen:

  • The common material made of High Pressure Laminate (HPL) (sold under the name ‘Trespa’, among others).
  • Aluminium

Our approach

Our approach to the CO2 Footprint analysis was based on the LCA methodology of the Greenhouse gas protocol (WBSCD). Based on specific data from AbelLeisure and the remaining suppliers in the chain, in addition to data from leading databases, we conducted an environmental analysis and an assessment of the CO2 emissions from the production of the BioPanel and the two other materials.

The result

With the help of our CO2 footprint analysis, we mapped the CO2 emissions of all three products. We delivered a concise report with the results of the CO2 emissions and our advice/recommendations on the environmental benefits.

Compared to the HPL panel and the aluminum panel, the BioPanel scored very well based on the CO2 footprint. The main reasons are the use of hemp and PLA as raw materials instead of resin and paper (HPL) and aluminum. Moreover, the energy consumption is much higher for HPL and aluminum compared to the BioPanel. This is mainly because of:

  • HPL: the production of the raw materials, with almost 50% and 20% of the energy consumption being linked to resin and paper production, respectively
  • Aluminum panel: the primary aluminum production and in particular the electrolysis process

Moreover, this study shows that it makes sense to recycle the BioPanel after the use phase. It is recommended to further investigate the possibilities of recycling, given its impact on the CO2 footprint.

In addition to communication and substantiation, the results and recommendations of the CO2 footprint analysis are commonly used to determine hotspots within the production chain, and/or as the basis for further investigation of the footprint of AbelLeisure’s products. We also offer this in the form of an LCA.