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In the old days, a product was good if it was fit for purpose and the price was right. Today, its sustainability profile also has to be considered.
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Road markings are designed to enhance road safety. They contain tiny glass beads that reflect headlamps when it is dark and the roads are wet. Recently, increasing attention has been paid to environmental aspects as well as to safety.
After all, the rising volume of traffic means that more and more road markings are needed. But which road marking system performs best in this respect? In other words, which has the best sustainability profile? That’s something Evonik wants to know. After all one system of cold plastic road markings is based on its DEGAROUTE® reactive resin. That is a good enough reason to compare this product with three other commonly used road marking systems—thermoplastic, solvent- and water-based systems—and to analyze the environmental impact of all four systems with the aid of life cycle assessments (LCAs). As the name indicates, life cycle assessments involve monitoring and assessing the entire life cycle of a product, from extraction of the raw materials and generation of the necessary energy, through production, transportation and use of the products, right up to recycling or final disposal. As a consequence of climate change, carbon footprints have become a central element of LCAs. As a measure of the greenhouse gas emissions over the entire life cycle of a product, they are a suitable way of determining, evaluating and communicating the impact that goods and services have on the climate. At Evonik, life cycle assessments and carbon footprint analyses are performed by Life Cycle Management (LCM). LCM is an interdisciplinary team of eleven scientists and engineers from Process Technology & Engineering. Since 2009 the team has been working on projects associated with the climate and energy megatrends at the Eco2 Science-to-Business (S2B) Center run by Creavis. Dr. Elmar Rother, who heads the team, explains that its task is to develop Group-wide LCA standards to evaluate the sustainability and climate relevance of Evonik’s products and processes. It also provides support for LCA experts within the business units by conducting internal process analyses and customer-focused studies
Read the full story in our CR Report 2012more