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9th February 2018, Brussels

EuCIA strengthens sustainability communications

The European Composites Industry Association (EuCIA) will be offering demonstrations of its Eco Calculator online tool throughout JEC World 2018, in Paris, next month. This key component of EuCIA's strategy to communicate the sustainability of composites, enables companies to calculate the environmental impact associated with the production of their composite products.

During the presentations at JEC World EuCIA’s sustainability experts will discuss the tool's objectives and main features and explain how to generate an Eco Report which can be used to support the business case for the selection of a composite product.

Measuring environmental impact

Recognising sustainability as a driver for the future use of composite materials, EuCIA developed the Eco Calculator as an aid to composite companies increasingly facing customer requests for detailed information on the environmental impact of their composite product or component.

Sustainability is becoming an ever more compelling argument in the materials selection process. © EuCIA

The easy to use tool can be employed to calculate the environmental impact of products from cradle to gate, from the raw materials up to the point of sale. Users do not need any in-depth knowledge of life cycle assessment (LCA) techniques and an Eco Report detailing three fundamental environmental indicators can be generated quickly in pdf format. The data generated can also be used as input for further life cycle calculations.

Sustainability

“Sustainability is becoming an ever more compelling argument in the materials selection process and it is a key driver for the use of composite materials. Composite parts are extremely durable and have a long service life combined with low maintenance requirements, and lightweight composites result in lower energy consumption throughout a product's life,” EuCIA explains.

“However, the life cycle assessments (LCAs) frequently used to evaluate the environmental impact of a product are complex, time consuming and expensive, often requiring specialised software and consultancy services. The results are also dependent on the LCA system employed and the data used, which can often be out of date.”

“For small composites companies this approach is not affordable, especially if they produce a diverse range of products in low volumes. To address this issue, EuCIA designed the Eco Calculator as a low cost, fast and easy to use tool which enables composites manufacturers to clearly communicate the environmental impact associated with the production of their products.”

Eco Calculator

The Eco Calculator incorporates a pre-defined set of materials and processes, based on data EuCIA has collected over the past three years. Users are also able to enter their own data to generate a more precise result for their individual products and processes. A report in pdf format can be generated that summarises the impact of the product under study. The materials and processes included in the tool are under continuous review to ensure quality and consistency, and new data is regularly added to extend and improve its scope and accuracy.

The Eco Calculator is constantly evolving. EuCIA encourages users and industry players to contribute to the data collection process and help guide the future development of the Eco Calculator, and further activities in these areas will be announced at JEC World.

www.eucia.eu

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