Understanding our eco-footprint is an important part of our approach to sustainability at Teijin Aramid. The eco-footprint represents the environmental cost of a product or process throughout the complete chain of its existence. One of our main targets is to achieve the lowest eco-footprint compared with our competitors. To reach this target, every aspect of the eco-footprint will have to improve. We measure our performance in these aspects through Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) or eco-efficiency analyses (EEAs). These comprehensive methods examine every part of our products’ life cycles and calculate their exact economic and environmental impact – or benefit. The following elements all have an impact on a product’s eco-footprint:
The first EEA results prove that the eco-impact associated with making our product from cradle to gate is amply compensated further along the chain. We strive to achieve the most comprehensive and reliable results, and the slogan of our eco-efficiency services team is: “Reduce the pain, enlarge the gain and align the chain”.
Proven down-stream benefits
In 2010 and 2011, we performed a great number of eco-efficiency analyses. In all cases, using our products was shown to bring environmental, economic or ecological benefits all along the chain. For example, using Twaron makes cars, trucks and planes lighter – resulting in lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions. And the replacement of asbestos in brake pads and gaskets can further lower vehicles’ ecological burden.
Once we have EEA results on more of our products, we can begin to share detailed information about the benefits of using them. In this way we can prove exactly where our products add value for our customers, for their customers – and in the long term for all of us. This value can be found in in certain positive ecological effects, but also in cost efficiency. But first we need the results, and for that, we need the cooperation of our suppliers and our customers. Only by working together we can create better results and help to preserve the environment.
Eco-efficiency analyses compared to Design for Environment
In addition to these EEAs, our parent company, Teijin Ltd., uses Design for Environment (DfE) to evaluate their products. Biodiversity plays a very important role in this method, which is one reason why we will continue to work with both systems in the future.