Life cycle assessments

In the old days, a product was good if it was fit for purpose and the price was right. Today, its sustainability profile also has to be considered. At Evonik, that is the task of the Life Cycle Management (LCM) team, which conducts life cycle assessments to systematically analyze the environmental impact of products and processes.

Road markings are designed to enhance road safety. They contain tiny glass beads that reflect headlamps when it is dark and the roads are wet. Recently, increasing attention has been paid to environmental aspects as well as to safety.

After all, the rising volume of traffic means that more and more road markings are needed. But which road marking system performs best in this respect? In other words, which has the best sustainability profile?

That’s something Evonik wants to know. After all one system of cold plastic road markings is based on its DEGAROUTE® reactive resin. That is a good enough reason to compare this product with three other commonly used road marking systems—thermoplastic, solvent- and water-based systems—and to analyze the environmental impact of all four systems with the aid of life cycle assessments (LCAs). As the name indicates, life cycle assessments involve monitoring and assessing the entire life cycle of a product, from extraction of the raw materials and generation of the necessary energy, through production, transportation and use of the products, right up to recycling or final disposal. As a consequence of climate change, carbon footprints have become a central element of LCAs. As a measure of the greenhouse gas emissions over the entire life cycle of a product, they are a suitable way of determining, evaluating and communicating the impact that goods and services have on the climate.