LCA Issues for Understanding the Environmental Profile of Carpet
Yaros, Bernard R.
Boustead Consulting & Associates, Ltd.
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Environmental expectations for the carpet industry have changed over the years. Suppliers, customers, and investors now expect industry to incorporate environmental concerns into their business practices in an effort to minimize the environmental impacts from raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, shipping, use and end-of-life disposal or recycling. One tool that can provide appropriate environmental understanding is the life cycle inventory (LCI) or the LCI building block known as an eco-profile. A cradle to gate eco-profile using life cycle inventory methods has been prepared for the production of carpet, using the Boustead Model and database. The initial analysis of the environmental aspects of the carpet system can be used a building block by the carpet industry to further understand issues of raw materials consumption, energy use, process and product improvements, and end-of-life disposal and recycling options. An illustration is also provided showing how life cycle data from an eco-profile study can be used by the carpet industry as the basis for constructive environmental discussions with key suppliers, customers and consumers.