Case Studies

    Category: Built Environment

    The study investigated the energy use and climate change impacts related to a six-storey building made of different construction materials (steel, concrete and timber). Scion’s role in this project was to assess the embodied energy and embodied global warming potential (GWP) of the different scenarios.

    Prepared by the University of Canterbury, Scion and Victoria    University of Wellington (2009)

    Category: Built Environment

    This project used Life Cycle Assessment to assess the environmental performance of the Waitakere NOW Home over its 100-year lifespan. The system boundaries included construction, maintenance, operation and end of life. The operation stage dominated the life cycle energy consumption, global warming potential and acidification potential, contributing around 65-76% to the life cycle impact of these impact categories. A summary of the report is available on Beacon’s website.

    Prepared by Scion (2009)

    Category: Built Environment

    This report documents the environmental impacts of plasterboard in Australia and New Zealand over its whole life cycle and can be used as a benchmarking study. Data was provided by the Gypsum Board Manufacturers of Australasia (GBMA) member companies. The functional unit is “1 tonne of plaster used in the production of plasterboards”. The report "Sustainability in the Australian and New Zealand Gypsum Board Industry" is available from GBMA member websites.

    Prepared by Scion (2008)

    Category: Design

    The purpose of this study was to develop an in-depth understanding of the life cycle environmental impacts associated with the Formway LIFE chair. The environmental impacts of raw materials and in particular aluminium were found to be most significant. The modelling approach used for recycled materials and recycling was very important. The study was published in the Int. Journal of Life Cycle Assessment (2008) 13: 401-411, and is available by contacting the author.

    Category: Forestry

    This project assessed the global warming potential of one average cubic metre of Radiata pine produced in New Zealand using a Life Cycle Assessment methodology. The system boundary extended from the Radiata pine nursery (cradle) to cartage of the Radiata pine roundwood to the sawmill (gate). Harvesting and cartage dominated the overall global warming potential of the roundwood (50% and 42%, respectively). This report has been submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF).

    Prepared for MAF by Scion

    Category: Forestry

    This project assessed the global warming potential of the product range manufactured at the Tenon mouldings plant in Taupo. Life Cycle Assessment was used for this assessment. The product range included: treated green lumber; kiln dried unsurfaced lumber; kiln dried surfaced lumber; clear boards; clear mouldings; and LIFESPAN LOSP treated fingerjointed product. The system boundaries extended from cradle (forestry) to gate (distribution to domestic and export markets). The report is confidential to Tenon.

    Prepared by Scion

    Category: Forestry

    This two-day life cycle assessment course is aimed at participants who already have some knowledge of LCA, and would like to know in detail how an LCA is conducted. The course also contains interactive exercises and provides information on current initiatives, further reading and useful contacts. The courses were presented in Auckland and Christchurch in October 2009, with more locations planned for the future.

    Prepared by Scion in association with the New Zealand Society for Sustainability Engineering and Science (2009)

    Category: Energy

    This study provides a life cycle assessment of biodiesel derived from tallow.  Primary energy and greenhouse gas emissions were assessed from the farmer's paddock to the exit gate of the biodiesel plant. Tallow based biodiesel was found to have 49% less greenhouse gas emissions than fossil based diesel.  The full report is available from EECA or by contacting the author.

    Category: Agriculture

    This project determined, based on Life Cycle Assessment methodology, the total resource use and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) or carbon footprint of milk solids produced by the Lincoln University Dairy Farm (LUDF). The system boundary is to the farm gate.The LUDF GHG emissions were found to be 11% lower on a production basis than the typical NZ dairy farm at 8,875 kgCO2e/t milksolids.

    Category: Energy

    This report is a literature review into the sustainability of Brazilian sugarcane based bioethanol. An LCA analysis of greenhouse gas emissions and an energy balance was conducted. An LCA analysis of greenhouse gas emissions and an energy balance was conducted. Other impact categories investigated included production, biodiversity, air and water pollution, soil erosion, economic impacts, food versus fuel and social impacts. The review found that bioethanol from Brazilian sugarcane is sustainable; subject to some qualifiers.