Background data and assumptions made for an LCA on creosote poles. Working report
This report outlines one way to make a holistic ecological assessment taken the different product functionalities into account. The report describes the data used and methodological assumptions made for the life cycle assessment (LCA) on creosote poles. The creosote pole is compared to competitive alternatives made of steel and concrete. The use of the report is twofold; 1) it is aimed to be followed up by a manuscript to a scientific paper. 2) it will be used as the background LCA for an environmental product declaration (EPD). A system approach referred to as 'product LCA' is defined here as a suitable methodology approach for both life cycle assessment (LCA) and when the result is communicated as an environmental product declaration (EPD). This methodology approach has the potential to handle recycling and disposal in an objective way and generates a result that is verifiable concerning both a temporal and spatial scale. When LCA is used for comparative purposes and assertions, it is important that an impact assessment method is used has an environmental significance without including value-choices. Following the LCA standard ISO 14044 the presented EQO normalisation approach generates an interface where the relative importance between different environmental impact categories can be evaluated. Special attention in the EQO approach is made to generate an integrated value on ecological toxicity. The result of the LCA illustrate that the significant aspect for poles made of steel an concrete is the contribution to climate change, while the significant aspect for creosote pole is the contribution to human toxicity. However, the over all assessment will favour the creosote poles as the ecological most sustainable alternatives in respect to the environmental quality objectives used for normalisation.