D-03 Credits for recycling and energy recovery

Aspect D-03 Credits for recycling and energy recovery
How should credits for recycling and energy recovery be allowed for?

related study objective

stand-alone LCA comparative assertion

related study phase

goal and scope definition inventory analysis (LCI) impact assessment (LCIA) interpretation reporting

relevant for

new buildings existing buildings construction products screening LCA simplified LCA complete LCA
Provisions Where recycled material or energy recovered at end of life are also used in the production of products (A1–A3), in Modules B1–B5 or C1–C4, then the net output flow is calculated as total output − total input.If there is a net output flow that provides benefits beyond the system boundary (as it produces material or energy that substitutes for virgin production), then the processes beyond the system boundary required to produce the recycled material or recovered energy substituted can be provided in Module D, together with a credit calculated by deducting the impact of producing the material or energy from virgin resources. For materials, this will be the virgin production route. For energy, this will be the use of the typical energy mix for heating (for heat energy) or the grid mix (for electrical energy), excluding secondary energy. In practice, unless energy from waste is a significant part of the energy or grid mix, the national mix can be used.
Rules from:

EN 15978

7.4.6 Boundary for the benefits and loads beyond the system boundary (Module D)
8.8 Scenarios for benefits and loads beyond the system boundary – Module D

EN 15804

6.2.7 D Benefits and loads beyond the system boundary, information module


Not mentioned
If the recycled product cannot substitute the primary product completely (e.g. it has 95% of the relevant functional equivalence), a justified value correction factor should be used to reflect this in the credit calculation.If waste is burned with less than 60% energy recovery, it has to be classified as a disposal process rather than a recovery process, and the process must be reported in Module C4. There may still be benefits for the production of energy beyond the system boundary that can be shown in Module D (as with landfilling and the recovery of gas from landfilling).

For example, if there was a net output flow of electricity, then the grid mix of electricity (excluding any secondary energy sources) should be used to credit the flow.

Note that the incineration of waste (i.e. material that is considered waste because it has not reached the end-of-waste state) may also be more efficient than 60%, but it must still be considered as a disposal process.

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