Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a state-of-the-art, advanced scientific tool that is used to describe environmental and climate-related impacts of a given choice for a product from cradle to grave. While the waste hierarchy offers general recommendations, LCA provides detailed and very solid scientific documentation that quantifies the environmental and climate-related impacts of a certain choice.
LCA studies are widely used by politicians and environmentalists to provide the best possible information for environmental and tax legislation. Detailed LCA studies must meet strict international standards to avoid “greenwash” and manipulation by commercial or political interests. A set of ISO standards, ISO 14040 and ISO 14044, secures a high level of scientific reliability and peer review by independent researchers.
Genan has invested a considerable sum in providing scientific LCA documentation. We used the best international institutes to compile the studies, e.g. Franklin Associates (USA), IFEU (Germany) and CRI and FORCE in Denmark.
The Genan LCA studies
Three major LCA studies have been finalized in the last decade, comparing different options for the disposal of scrap tires. Two of these studies (one American, one European) compare the Genan material recycling concept with co-incineration in cement kilns. The third study compares the Genan material recycling concept with using scrap tires as filling material, i.e. the so-called civil engineering applications. Executive summaries of all these studies are available to download.
All the studies show that there are significant benefits for the material recycling route for all environmental and climate-related impact categories in comparison with other options. Greenhouse gas savings are considerable, as scrap tire recycling saves the climate for 1.1 tons of CO2 emissions per ton when tires are recycled rather than incinerated. When material recycling is compared to filling operations, savings are even greater (1.8 tons of CO2-emissions per ton of scrap tires).