Measuring the Environmental Impact of Low Carbon Asphalt
A Guide to Assessing the Sustainability of Asphalt Mixtures
In our dedication to sustainability, it is crucial to have a clear and measurable understanding of the environmental footprint of our products. When it comes to low carbon asphalt, measuring its impact is a methodical process that ensures our asphalt mixtures contribute positively to our environmental goals. Here’s how we measure the low carbon footprint of our asphalt mixtures.
The Standard of Measurement: The Declared Unit
Our measurement is standardized to one metric tonne (equivalent to approximately 1 short ton) of an asphalt mixture, classified under UNSPSC Code 30111509: Asphalt Based Concrete. This mixture is a composite material produced in plants, consisting of aggregates, asphalt binder, and other materials.
Cradle-to-Gate: Scope of the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Our analysis is confined to a cradle-to-gate Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). This EPD encompasses:
- Materials (A1): Includes the extraction and manufacturing of raw materials like aggregates and asphalt binder, proportionate to their use in the mix design.
- Transport (A2): Accounts for the transport of raw materials to the asphalt plant, tailored to the actual distances and transportation modes for the mix ingredients.
- Production (A3): Encompasses the operations within the asphalt production plant, including the energy consumed to generate electricity and heat for the production process.
Understanding the Life Cycle Inventory
The life cycle inventory is an essential component of our EPD. It documents all the inputs and outputs associated with the production stages Al to A3, providing a comprehensive profile of the environmental impacts from raw material acquisition to the finished asphalt mixture ready to leave the plant.
Beyond the Gate: What’s Not Included
It’s important to note that our current EPD does not cover the construction (placement
and compaction), use, maintenance, rehabilitation, or end-of-life stages of the asphalt
life cycle (modules A4-A5, B1-B7, and C1-C4). Our focus is on the up-front environmental impact, paving the way for sustainable choices from the very beginning.