Eco-profiles represent a sub-system of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). While LCA is focused on all phases from “cradle to grave” of a product or a service, Eco-profiles investigate only a sector of the full life cycle, namely the phases from “cradle to gate” (where “gate” means the factory gate). Thus, extraction and refining of raw materials, energy production and supply, and all necessary processes until the product under investigation are covered by the Eco-profile. All resource inputs and all emissions to air and water are investigated along this production chain. Downstream processes like further processing, manufacture of secondary products, the use phase, and the end-of-life treatment of the product are not covered by Eco-profiles.

For simple problems, analysis and/or comparison of Eco-profiles can deliver answers, for example if different production processes shall be compared for the same product. It is also possible to identify the influence of single process steps on the total resource demand or on environmental impacts of the total process chain. Concerning more complex problems to be investigated, Eco-profiles provide the basis for a full Life Cycle Analysis. Eco-profiles contain all necessary information to prepare Type III Environmental Declarations according to ISO 14025, commonly called Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).


Eco-profile for PlasticsEurope

The Association of European Plastic Manufacturers (PlasticsEurope) commissioned ifeu to produce Eco-profiles and EPD. These are based in part on primary data provided by European companies, and in part on public databases and specialist literature. ifeu is responsible for the following monomers and polymers in these profiles:

  • Ethylene, propylene, monoethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, triethylene glycol (Steam Cracker products)
  • Benzene, toluene, xylene (aromatic compounds)
  • Polyethylenes (HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE) and polypropylenes
  • Terephthalic acid (PTA)
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET, bottle grade)
  • Chlorine, soda lye and hydrogen (chlorine/alkalies electrolysis)
  • Vinyl chloride (monomer)
  • Polyvinyl chloride (S-PVC and E-PVC)

The reports and LCI data are published on the PlasticsEurope website (free registration required).


Eco-profiles for companies and products

We create individual Eco-profiles for companies and their products. They represent an interesting opportunity to analyse the environmental impact of their production and associated chain, and to derive options for improvement. Under certain circumstances, it is also possible to compare the individual results with the European average for the same product.

Selected references:

  • Eco-profile of terephthalic acid and p-xylene commissioned y BP Aromatics Ltd, Geel, 2016
  • Consultancy and creation of Eco-profiles in the petrochemical and plastics sectors for Borealis AG, Vienna, 2014-2016
  • Greenhouse gas balance sheet for a new type of procedure for the generation and use of hydrogen commissioned by BASF New Business GmbH, Ludwigshafen, 2015-2016.


Eco-profile of polyolefins (HDPE and PP) in the GCC

The aim of the project was to create Eco-profiles for HDPE and PP produced within countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in analogy to the Eco-profiles published by PlasticsEurope relating…