10 reasons to use Eco-Efficiency Analysis as a decision-making tool to quantify the sustainability of products | U.S. Green Building Council
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Published on
Written by
Posted in Industry

The aim of BASF’s Eco-Efficiency Analysis is to compare similar products or processes. The Eco-Efficiency Analysis looks at environmental impact in proportion to a product's cost-effectiveness. It helps BASF and our customers to decide which products are the best choice both ecologically and economically.

Since 2010, BASF has been using the EEA methodology to examine the environmental life cycle of sustainable concrete solutions, beginning with the extraction of raw materials through the production of concrete.  This analysis quantifies the economic and ecological benefits of alternative concrete mixtures.

1. Supports LEED v4 materials and resources

BASF believes in the strength of product selection based on the multi-attribute optimization pathway the USGBC is driving. Our work with Eco-Efficiency Analysis (EEA) further supports the additional layering of information to give design teams significant data for “selecting products from manufacturers who have verified improved environmental life-cycle impacts” to support informed decision-making.

 2. Assesses toxicity potential and occupational accidents and illnesses

In addition to the traditional life cycle assessment categories — energy use, resource consumption, water consumption, land use, air emissions, water emissions and solid wastes, the BASF EEA method includes an assessment of the toxicity potential and occupational accidents and illnesses associated with the life cycle of a product.

3. Evaluates total cost

The environmental burdens calculated in an EEA are balanced with the total costs associated with the product or process to complete the analysis and provide the most eco-efficient solution among alternatives.

4. Compares alternatives

The EEA is a comparative method (multiple products/processes) that assesses alternatives in a holistic manner. 

5. Follows industry standards

The BASF method follows ISO 14045 for eco-efficiency, published in 2012, and the calculation of BASF’s Eco-Efficiency Analysis follows ISO 14040 and 14044 norms for life cycle assessment.

6. Comes with international third-party certification

The EEA methodology has been certified by the German Association for Technical Inspection (TÜV) as well as NSF in the United States.    

7. Recognized worldwide

The BASF EEA has been used in developing over 600 different evaluations worldwide for products and processes.

8. Provides practical equivalents

The EEA report delivers data with practical equivalents that help to illustrate the environmental savings between alternatives. For example, consumptive water saved would be presented not only in gallons or liters, but also in equivalent number of half-liter bottles of water or loads of laundry.

9. Used in real-world projects

The EEA method has been used by BASF - The Chemical Company to quantify the sustainability of over 400 Green Sense® Concrete mixes, including the ones used in One World Trade Center in New York. The selected mix designs resulted in environmental savings when compared to a reference mix of over 34 million pounds of CO2 emissions, 25 million kWh of energy, and 150,000 gallons of water.     

10. Supports development of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs)

BASF has leveraged its expert knowledge associated with Eco-Efficiency Analysis to launch an environmental product declaration (EPD) service to assist concrete producers, and subsequently design teams, in meeting the rigorous materials and resources credits of LEED v4. The final EPD from the concrete producer is externally verified and registered with a Program Operator. This process can also be used to create EPDs for other products once product category rules are developed.

Learn more about Green Sense Concrete and the associated EEA or the new BASF EPD service.