In the past decade increasing attention was paid to the improvement of the environmental performance of products across their life-cycle. Eco-design, green procurement, eco-labels, environmental product declarations, product stewardship, life cycle assessment (LCA) and energy labels are all (good or bad!) examples of ways to try to achieve such an improvement, which have been supported by governments and industry in one way or another.
In 2009, The European Gypsum Industry finalised a lifecycle assessment on plasterboard.
This life cycle assessment of plasterboard is based on the data provided to the International Life Cycle Platform and was performed by PE international. This assessment is in compliance with ISO 14040.
The Life cycle inventory data are available in the Life Cycle Platform data base http://lca.jrc.ec.europa.eu/lcainfohub/datasetList.vm?topCategory=Systems&subCategory=Construction
The values of the different impacts were calculated using the software GABI 4.
The functional unit is 1 m2 of plasterboard
In June 2010, The European Commission published green public procurement criteria on gypsum wall panels. The results of the survey were a follows:
Impact of the materials used to create the wall panels– resource consumption.
Impact of materials and substances used in production and subsequently released in use
Impact of the energy used at the various stages of manufacturing the wall panels.
Impact of waste, as the wall panels and their waste off-cuts are disposed of at end of life.
Promote good site management of materials (avoid damage to and waste of materials).
Encourage the purchase of gypsum wall panels using synthetic gypsum and recycled gypsum.
Minimise the use of energy in manufacture where possible.
Promote the use of environmentally sound materials.
Promote recycling schemes for construction and demolition waste.