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 credibility. Moreover, an LCA study should always be subject to a peer review by independent researchers.
Genan has invested a considerable sum in providing scientific LCA documentation. To compile these studies, we liaised with renowned, international institutes: FORCE in Denmark and IFEU in Germany.
The Genan LCA studies
Since 2009, four major LCA studies have been finalized, comparing different options for the disposal of scrap tires. Three of these studies (one American, two European) compare the Genan material recycling concept with co-incineration in cement kilns. The fourth study compares the Genan material recycling concept with using scrap tires as filling material, i.e. the so-called civil engineering applications. An executive summary of the most recent study from 2020 is available for download below.
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).