The increasing attention to the health of our planet inspires manufacturers to re-think products in a sustainable way.
A substantial contribution to the “green” building sector is achieved by formulating products from innovative, recycled and lightweight raw materials, developed to reduce energy consumption. A further contribution to eco-sustainability is made through products with improved mechanical performance characteristics and durability which, by allowing a longer service life, lead to substantially reduced waste and resources consumption.
But how can we evaluate the sustainability of a product? How can greenwashing be avoided?
In order to evaluate the environmental impacts during the whole life cycle of products (from the global warming caused by greenhouse gases, to other effects such as eutrophication, reduction in the thickness of the ozone layer, reduction in the amount of natural resources, and many more), the LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) methodology can be used.
From our studies on adhesives, the highest environmental impacts come from raw materials, especially from hydraulic and organic binders, which provide quality and the durability to the adhesive. The challenge for the industry is to find innovative materials which can be used in adhesive formulation and deliver lower environmental impacts while maintaining high quality and long durability.
Co-authors: Marco Mazzetti, Laura Carettoni