Why Environmental Profiles matter
Everyone wants to use sustainable products which minimise harm to the environment – but how can you be sure what the impact to the environment is? And how do you compare different products?
In this blog post we take a look at environmental profiles and what they can tell you about our products.
Firstly, we will define some key terms used:
- Environmental Profile – this is a way of identifying and assessing the environmental effects associated with building materials.
- Green Guide – produced by the BRE, the Green Guide shows the environmental impact of building elements.
- Lifecycle Analysis (LCA) – a lifecycle analysis assesses a product (or system) against a variety of environmental factors over a set period of time, often cradle to gate, or cradle to grave. This method is used for Green Guide Ratings.
For building products the BRE’s Green Guide lists products, including generic and manufacturer’s specific products, with a rating that gives an indication as to the sustainability of that product. These Green Guide ratings are derived from Environmental Profiles of the products and can be used to gain credits in whole building environmental assessment tools such as BREEAM. The Green Guide rating system uses data to classify performance in a number of key environmental areas and awards a Summary Rating on a scale from E (worst) up to A+ (best).
Environmental Profiles can be carried out for specific products which are more accurate than the generic profiles.
As a company we feel that it is important to be open and honest about the environmental impact of our products and the nature of raw materials that we use to manufacture them. To achieve this we have carried out independently certified Environmental Profiles based on Lifecycle Analysis for our products; all Kooltherm and Therma products are certified on ENP500 – Environmental Profile which is available on our website.
By having a Lifecycle Analysis for a product it allows the following factors to be assessed in a logical manner:
- The nature of the raw materials.
- The need to optimise energy and raw material use.
- Prevent or minimise pollution and environmental damage.
The environmental profile can be used to look at the manufacturing process and identify any hotspots or areas for improvement. This allows us to develop more efficient manufacturing processes, and to reduce the amount of waste. It also allows us to look at how the impact of the product has changed over time and if there are any proposed changes to the manufacturing, either in raw materials or process. The impact of these can be assessed prior to making any changes to make sure that any proposed changes are of a sustainable nature. These are reviewed on an annual basis and recalculated every three years.
This allows us to state what the impact of the product is per m3 of insulation or per unit of thermal resistance so that the environmental impact can easily be compared to that of other insulation products. This allows you to make an informed choice, using a standardised, independently verified set of information when choosing insulation. To look at the information we have on this please visit our website.
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