What is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and why is it relevant?

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a standardized method to assess and compare the inputs, outputs and potential environmental impacts of products and services over their life cycle. LCA’s are increasingly recognised as the best way to evaluate the sustainability of products and systems.

Sika LCA steps

On what standards are Sika LCA’s based?
Sika carries out LCA’s according to the ISO 14040 series and the Standard EN 15804. The impact assessment
methodology used is CML 2001.

Where does the Sika LCA data from?
The data for the Sika LCA is based on public databases, such as those from Ecoinvent, the European Reference Life Cycle Database (ELCD) and Thinkstep-GaBi, plus the specific data from Sika production plants and products.

What does ‘Cradle to Gate’ mean?
In a ’Cradle to Gate’ approach, the LCA investigates the potential environmental impact of a product from raw material extraction to finished production.

What does ‘Cradle to Grave’ mean?
In a ’Cradle to Grave’ approach, the LCA investigates the potential environmental impact of a product from raw material extraction, production, application and use to final disposal at the end-of-life.

What concrete related impact category and resource indicators are included in an LCA?
As a standard approach, Sika evaluates all impact categories and resource indicators deemed as important according to the relevant standards. For concrete, categories considered to be most relevant include:

Cumulative Energy Demand (CED)
Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) accounts for the consumption of energy resources, namely the total amount of primary energy from renewable and non-renewable resources.

Global Warming Potential (GWP)
Global Warming Potential (GWP) measures the potential contribution to climate change, focusing on emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), which enhance the heat radiation absorption of the atmosphere, causing the temperature at the earth’s surface to rise.

Use of Net Fresh Water
The use of net fresh water accounts for the consumption of fresh water (e.g., feed water, ground water, lake water, river water, surface water, water with river silt).

Which life cycle phases are included in these Sika LCA’s?
The LCA data in this brochure refers to 1 m. of concrete and is based on a ’Cradle to Gate’ approach

Sika LCA