Using Eco-Efficiency Analysis to Measure the Sustainability of Packaging Materials
Christopher A. Bradlee, BASF Corporation, 1609 Biddle Avenue, Wyandotte, MI 48192
The sustainability of packaging materials can be measured using Eco-efficiency analysis that evaluates the environmental and economic impacts of products and processes over their life-cycle. Energy consumption, emissions (air, water, solid waste), risks of misuse , health effect potential, resource consumption and land use are assessed to gauge the environmental impacts, and for economic impacts, the total cost of using the packaging materials are evaluated for materials, manufacturing, wastes, energy and EHS program costs. The eco-efficiency analysis methodology was created in partnership with academia and industry and is based upon the ISO14040 standards for life-cycle assessment; but has been further developed by BASF with some additional enhancements that allow for expedient review and decision-making at all business levels. Since its inception in 1996, more than 380 analyses have been completed by BASF on products ranging from vitamins and coatings to building materials and packaging systems.