Science Inventory

Detailed Life Cycle Assessment of Bounty Paper Towel Operations in the United States

Citation:

Ingwersen, W., M. Gausman, A. Weisbrod, D. Sengupta, S. Lee, J. Bare, E. Zanoli, G. Bhander, AND M. Ceja. Detailed Life Cycle Assessment of Bounty Paper Towel Operations in the United States. JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 131:509-522, (2016).

Impact/Purpose:

To describe an LCA case study done in concert with Proctor and Gamble on paper towels through a CRADA on Sustainable Supply Chains.

Description:

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a well-established and informative method of understanding the environmental impacts of consumer products across the entire value chain. However, companies committed to sustainability are interested in more methods that examine their products and activities' impacts. Methods that build on LCA strengths and illuminate other connected but less understood facets, related to social and economic impacts, would provide greater value to decision-makers. This study is a LCA that calculates the potential impacts associated with Bounty® paper towels from two facilities with different production lines, an older one (Albany, Georgia) representing established technology and the other (Box Elder, Utah), a newer state-of-the-art platform. This is unique in that it includes use of Industrial Process Systems Assessment (IPSA), new electricity and pulp data, modeled in open source software, and is the basis for the development of new integrated sustainability metrics (published separately). The new metrics can guide supply chain and manufacturing enhancements, and product design related to environmental protection and resource sustainability. Results of the LCA indicate Box Elder had improvements on environmental impact scores related to air emission indicators, except for particulate matter. Albany had lower water use impacts. After normalization of the results, fossil fuel depletion is the most critical environmental indicator. Pulp production, electricity, and fuels for product production drive fossil fuel depletion. Climate change, land occupation, and particulate matter are also relevant. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by pulp, electricity, papermaking, and landfill methane from the disposed product, drive climate change impacts. Pulp provides significant offsets to balance climate change impacts due to sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Ninety-nine percent of land occupation is for the growth of the trees for pulp production. Papermaking, electricity, and pulp production cause the most potential particular matter formation.

URLs/Downloads:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.04.149   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 09/10/2016
Record Last Revised: 11/18/2016
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 331163

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY DIVISION

SYSTEMS ANALYSIS BRANCH