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Environmental Profile Report
The development of robust and up-to-date generic life cycle inventory data for materials is absolutely crucial for the LCA community since many LCA studies rely on these generic data about materials. However, in many cases, the quality of these data is poor while the methodology and the models used for their development are rarely accessible or transparent.
Fig 1.1 : System boundaries of the various LCI datasets
The environmental data have been collected through an extensive environmental survey, organised among the European aluminium industry, focussing on the year 2010 and covering EU27 countries as well as EFTA countries (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland). From this survey, European average values, i.e. foreground data, have been calculated for the direct inputs and outputs of the various aluminium processes.
Using the GaBi software, the foreground data have been combined within LCI models integrating background LCI data on energy supply systems, ancillary processes and materials. Whenever possible, the updated European averages and the new LCI data are compared with previous results developed from past European surveys covering respectively the years 2005, 2002 and 1998.
For the aluminium processes related to primary production, European averages are also benchmarked against global averages calculated from two worldwide surveys covering the years 2005 and 2010. For the primary aluminium production (smelters), a specific model for the electricity production has been developed and two LCI datasets generated one from the European production perspective and one from the user perspective, i.e including primary aluminium imports into Europe (see Fig 1.1). The methodology for the data consolidation and for the development of the various models is explained as well as the main differences between the new and previous LCI models. Professor Walter Klöpffer, as an independent expert, has critically reviewed this Environmental Profile Report.
The full environmental report, including the critical review report and the calculation of environmental indicators for a pre-set of impact categories, is available for download here.
The full LCI datasets are available in an Excel document on request at firstname.lastname@example.org.