Have you ever stopped to think about the entire process required to ensure that the products you use in your daily life reach your hands? You could say each product has its own story.
Life Cycle Assessments, or LCAs, analyze the potential environmental impacts over the lifespan of a product or service, from the extraction of the raw materials used to make them to their final disposal.
Since 2005, Braskem uses the LCA methodology to evaluate the aspects related to sustainability in its value chain. By comparing different products or usage scenarios, it's possible to conclude which alternative presents a more sustainable profile, with this information used to support future business decisions.
Vitopaper® (paper made from plastic): the studied compared the use of biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) films and coated paper. The LCA showed that the impact on climate change from Vitopaper®, for example, is 30% lower than that of coated paper.
Surgical kits: comparative study between kits used in surgical procedures. In a comparison of cotton fabrics (reusable) and nonwoven polypropylene fabrics (disposable), the latter alternative showed a better environmental performance, reducing, for example, water consumption by at least 80%.
Working in the value chain, another highlight is Braskem’s efforts to create the LCA Brazilian Business Network, a forum that brings together companies, which participate voluntarily to discuss LCA concepts and disseminate best practices in the use of this tool in the business environment.
By the end of 2014, 20 companies were members of the LCA Brazilian Business Network: BASF, Braskem, Boticário, Danone, Duratex, Embraer, Embrapa, GE, Klabin, Natura, Odebrecht, Oxiteno, Pepsico, Petrobras, Raízen, Tetra Pak, Vale, Volkswagen, Votorantim Cimentos and 3M.
The Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS) was responsible for coordinating the activities of the LCA Brazilian Business Network in 2014.