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Life Cycle Assessments at GF

Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) are a science-based tool used to evaluate the product's environmental performance over its different life stages.

The scope of a complete LCA covers all stages from the production of a raw material to the product's end-of-life phase (see Figure).

Production of raw material
Use and maintenance
End of life

Further, an LCA consists of the following elements:

  • In the Life Cycle Inventory, the resource consumption (inputs) and benefits (outputs) of the different stages are quantified.
  • During the Life Cycle Impact Assessment, input and output are assigned to the seven impact categories:
    • Global warming
    • Ozone depletion
    • Acidification for soil and water
    • Eutrophication
    • Photochemical ozone creation
    • Abiotic depletion – non-fossil resources
    • Abiotic depletion – fossil resources

GF is committed to protecting the environment. It is therefore important for the Corporation to know about the potential environmental impacts of its products and systems. To asses these impacts, GF conducted a number of LCAs for different products and materials and compiled respective Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) in line with the standard EN 15804+A1. An EPD is an independently verified and registered document that provides transparent and comparable information about the environmental impact of products.

Following the LCA approach, GF Piping Systems evaluated the impact of its various plastic systems. For example, this included the assessments of unplasticized Polyvinylchloride (PVC-U), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene (PE), as well as Polybutene (PB). As such, GF Piping Systems assessed and compared these specific systems to alternative installations used for the same purpose:

  • The PVC-U system is part of an installation for the dosage of chemicals. The system was compared to a stainless steel system.
  • The PP-systems are used for transporting chemicals. The system was compared to a competing system made from stainless steel.
  • The PE-system is used for the transportation of cooling water for power plants and was compared to a glass-reinforced plastic system.
  • The PB-system is used for water distribution on cruise ships and compared to a copper system.

To find out more about the LCAs, their results as well as to obtain an overview of further environmental impact studies conducted, please refer to the GF Piping Systems LCA & EPD website.

For more details on the different LCAs that GF conducted to date, contact