WIT Press


DEVELOPING PROCEDURES AND GUIDANCE FOR PERFORMING AN ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF US WOODEN PALLETS

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/EID180041

Volume

215

Pages

9

Page Range

37 - 45

Published

2018

Author(s)

SEVDA ALANYA-ROSENBAUM, RICHARD BERGMAN, BRAD GETHING

Abstract

Because of the increasing demand for sustainable products and services at a global level, manufacturers are encouraged to document the environmental performance of their products and services. This helps to enhance efficiency of supply chain and create value for stakeholders. Declaration of environmental performance supports manufacturers’ claims for products such as wood products, which many stakeholders consider more environmentally benign than other products. Through the internationally accepted life-cycle assessment (LCA) tool, many wood products have been shown to be less energy intensive and generate less greenhouse gas emissions than their non-wood alternatives. However, until now, solid wooden pallets have not been studied in detail. This is the first study of this type because of the complexities of wooden pallet production, sizing, usage, reparability, and durability. For this project, the LCA analysis will provide a comprehensive understanding of environmental performance especially from the wooden pallet recovery side and thus can be used to identify potential improvements in the sector as well. The project goal is to conduct a cradle-to-grave environmental assessment of wooden pallet production throughout the whole life cycle of pallets using the LCA tool. The study will investigate the current state of wooden pallet manufacturing in the United States using up-to-date sectoral data from at least 20% of the production of the US wooden pallet industry. The resultant source data will be used to model the life cycle of wooden pallets and perform the life-cycle impact assessment that will underpin a sectoral environmental product declaration (EPD) for wooden pallet manufacturing in the United States. This paper presents the methodology development for standardization of LCA in wooden pallet manufacturing, which will provide the basis for development of the first wooden pallet product category rule (PCR) and the subsequent EPDs for wooden pallets. The objective is to provide guidelines and enhance development of environmental EPDs in US wooden pallet production for the shift toward more sustainable manufacturing.

Keywords

life-cycle assessment, wooden pallet, environmental performance, product category rules