Environmental Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) case study

Environmental Life Cycle Analysis of a building material – Vinyl siding: The project objective is to determine the footprints of using two different siding materials by carrying out a LCA analysis on each. The first is a standard vinyl siding and the second is an insulated vinyl siding. Vinyl is very popular material used for sidings of single family homes. The report starts with creating a personal household footprint and then using it to create a Normalization and weighting set based on this personal footprint. The analysis is done using Thermal Efficiency of each product as the functional unit. To determine the functional unit a key variable used is the resistance to heat transfer measured in R value of a material. A representative home with an external wall surface area of 2,800 square feet was considered. Since the siding life is 50 years, the data was converted in hours for the 50 years. The temperature difference was calculated in two ways. For winter the HDD (Heating Degree days) information was collated and for summer warm days CDD (Cooling Degree Days) was used. The base temperature was assumed to be 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Social Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) case study

The US ice cream industry is generating over $10bn in revenues. Vanilla flavored ice cream has one of the largest shares of the ice cream industry. This project focuses on understanding the social impacts by performing a Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) on data derived for the Vanilla flavor ice cream sub-sector. It uses the S-LCA technique using to operationalize the assessment and reporting of supply chain social risks, impacts, and benefits. The S-LCA guidelines are in line with ISO 14040 LCA principles and framework and 14044 standards LCA requirements and guidelines. The S-LCA technique helps conduct a “hotspot” assessment process within a supply chain and is useful in determining the most impactful issues for identified hotspot locations. This approach helps in quantifying and evaluating the social impacts of production and consumption and uses Social Hotspot Database (SHDB), a database for social sustainability information by country and sector. This database adopts the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) data that features 140 regions for all 57 commodity sectors. The software used in the project was SimaPro from PRé Consultants. The majority of US ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturers have been in the business for more than 50 years with several family-owned. Majority of ice cream and frozen desserts are marketed regionally and a small percentage marketing nationally. The results of this project help ice cream companies to check their own operations and draw plans to address hot spots, as applicable. While the larger players such as Nestle and Unilever may well be addressing these types of analysis, the findings of this report will be helpful to the large base of smaller ice cream manufacturers who may not be aware of the risks associated with their product supply chains. It is important for businesses to know these risks so their business is in compliance with the UN Guiding Principles captured in the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework.

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Presentation on Business Case - Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

The presentation covers following topics:

  • What impact does industry have on global climate change.
  • What goes into a company';s carbon footprint
  • Threats and opportunities of global climate change
  • Drivers for climate change programs
  • Sustainability Reporting
  • Renewable Energy Credits

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