Use of Life Cycle assessment in the procedure for the establishment of environmental criteria in the catalan ECO-label of leather

LCA Case Studies

Abstract

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been used to detect the environmental ‘hot spots’ in the chrome-tanned bovine leather industry. We have studied those stages in the life cycle of leather, which occur ‘from cradle to gate’. The production chain studied starts with the agricultural products (fertiliser and pesticide production is also included) needed for cattle raising, it is followed by the slaughterhouse, and ends at the tanning industry gate. Main chemicals and waste flows in and out of this chain have also been included in the analysis. One of the main conclusions is that the tannery is an important stage in most of the impact categories, mainly due to the landfilling of the tannery wastes. Agriculture and — to a lesser extent — cattle raising also play a very important role in most of the impact categories; the former, due to the related energy consumption and use of fertilisers, and the latter due to the emissions associated with animal care. The Autonomous Government of Catalonia is using the results of this study to establish the environmental criteria that a leather product must fulfil in order to attain the Catalan eco-label.

Keywords

Catalan eco-label cradle-to-gate cradle-to-grave descriptive LCA eco-label procedure eco-label environmental criteria impact assessment LCA leather industry leather Life Cycle Assessment 

References

  1. [1]
    Milà i Canals L, Rieradevall J, Domènech X, Fullana P, Puig R. (1998): Anàlisi del Cicle de Vida de la Pell. Aplicació a la definició de criteris per a la concessió de l’ecoetiqueta. Department for the Environment of the Government of Catalonia (in Catalan)Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Rieradevall J, Domènech X, Fullana P (1997): Application of Life Cycle Assessment to Landfilling. Int J LCA 2 (3) 141–144Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    ISO (1997): ISO 14 040:1997 (E): Environmental management — Life cycle assessment — Principles and framework. Switzerland, 1997Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    Baumann H. (1998): Life Cycle Assessment and Decision Making — theories and practices. PhD thesis. AFR Report 183, Technical Environmental Planning, Chalmers University of Technology. Göteborg, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  5. [5]
    Tillman AM (1998): Significance of decision making for LCA methodology. Key-note lecture for SETAC-Europe annual meeting, Bordeaux 14—18 April 1998Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    Wenzel H (1998): Application Dependency of LCA Methodology: Key Variables and Their Mode of Influencing the Method. Int J LCA 3 (5) 281–288Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Frischknecht R (1997): Goal and Scope Definition and Inventory Analysis. In: LCANET, European network for strategic life cycle assessment research and development. Udo de Haes, H. and Wrisberg, N. (eds.), LCA Documents, Vol 1, Eco-Informa Press, Bayreuth, Germany and ecomed publishers, Landsberg, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  8. [8]
    ICAEN (Catalan Institute for Energy) (1993): Personal communicationGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    Vila Badia M (1997): Co-President of Igualada Tanners Guild. Personal communicationsGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    Ekvall T, Tillman A-M (1997): Open-loop Recycling: Criteria for Allocation Procedures. Int J LCA 2 (3) 155–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    Milà L, Rieradevall J, Domènech X, Fullana P, Puig R (1998): Application of Life Cycle Assessment to Footwear. Int J LCA 3 (4) 203–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. [12]
    Radiative Forcing of Climate Change — The 1994 Report of the Scientific Assessment Group of IPCC. 1994. IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change). John Houghton, Meteorological Office, Bracknell, UKGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    Jollier O, Crettaz P (1997): Critical Surface-Time 95. A Life Cycle Impact Assessment Methodology Including Fate and Exposure. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. Lausanne, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    Protocol to the 1979 convention on long-range transboundary air pollution concerning the control of emissions of volatile organic compounds or their transboundary fluxes. 1991. ECE/ EB.AIR/30. UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe). Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  15. [15]
    Heijungs R, Guinée JB, Huppes G, Lankreijer RM, Udo de Haes HA, Wegener Sleeswijk A, Ansems AMMM, Eggels PG, van Duin R, de Goede HP (1992): Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Products. Guide and Backgrounds. CML, Leiden University, Leiden, The, NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  16. [16]
    Finnveden, G, Andersson-Sköld Y, Samuelsson MO, Zetterberg L, Lindfors L-G. (1992): Classification (Impact Analysis) in Connection with Life Cycle Assessments. A Preliminary Study. In: Product Life Cycle Assessment. 1992. Report 1992:9, Nordic Council of Ministers. Copenhagen, Denmark, pp 172–231Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    Milà iCanals L, Rieradevall J, Domènech X, Fullana P, Puig R (1998): Aplicació de l’ACV al Distintiu de Garantia de Qualitat Ambiental de la Generalitat de Catalunya. Department for the Environment of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia (in Catalan)Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    Puig R, Rius A, Hidalgo R, Canela JM, Milà i Canals L, Domènech X, Rieradevall J, Fullana P (1999): Use of LCA for the comparison of different strategies in the tanning process, in 7th LCA Case Studies Symposium. Presentation Summaries. SETAC, Brussels (Belgium), 2 December 1999Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ecomed Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departament de QuémicaUniversitat Autònòma de BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  2. 2.Departament de QuémicaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  3. 3.Departament d’Enginyeria QuémicaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  4. 4.Escola Universitària d’Enginyeria Tècnica Industrial (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya)IgualadaSpain
  5. 5.Randa Group, S.A.Cardenal Vives i TutóSpain

Personalised recommendations