Industries use raw materials and energy to manufacture products that are traded around the world. At the end of their service life these products are recycled, reused or processed as waste. CE Delft analyses the environmental impacts associated with raw materials, products and waste streams and helps reduce those impacts one by one, using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology. We have carried out numerous such analyses for a wide range of industries, including metals, plastics, textiles, chemicals, construction, packaging and waste processing.
In pursuing the goal of robust environmental improvements our economists’ frequently employ the concept of a ‘circular economy’. Another focus of their work is analysis of raw materials dependency and costs, contributing to the Dutch government’s position on natural resources, for example.
A key focus of our work on this theme is product packaging. For many products there are several packaging alternatives available, and we have long experience comparing their environmental credentials. In such analyses we always look emphatically at recycling options and factor in Europe-wide trend towards Packaging deposit schemes for a growing range of packaging materials.
Our analyses can answer questions like:
“How does my product’s environmental footprint compare with that of my competitors?
How can my product be improved? What are the main environmental issues in our branch of industry?
Which of the raw materials in my product have the greatest environmental impact and are set to become scarce soonest?”
We can also provide mediation for brainstorming sessions on environmental improvement programmes and help you think about the fine-tuning of government legislation to promote sustainability. CE Delft’s strengths on this theme:
Supply chain management is becoming an ever more important element of industrial management and policy. Packaging and biofuels are among the dossiers in which supply chain management now plays a pivotal role. In the context of waste and resource policy as well as in the food industry there is also a growing trend towards analysing entire supply chains and product life cycles.
A ‘circular economy’ seeks to keep products and materials in short, well-managed cycles. With its years of experience, CE Delft is outstandingly placed to perform environmental analyses of products and raw materials and their recycling and reuse, so the options with greatest promise for a circular economy can be selected. In doing so, we make use of the latest insights and understanding, so we can make due allowance for recycling and reuse in our LCA studies (recycled content, ‘end-of-life’ or ‘50/50%’ approach).
CE Delft supports companies and consortiums developing new technologies and products by sharing our knowhow on sustainability, technologies and legislation. One of the projects we're currently involved in is the four-year research programme SUSBIND, in which research institutes and industry are collaborating on developing a sustainable biobased replacement for the conventional binders used in chipboard and MDF for furniture.