C-02 End of life (EoL) scenarios

Aspect C-02 End of life (EoL) scenarios
In different countries, various options exist for the end of life of products and materials. Should general scenarios be defined for end-of-life routes?

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 EoL scenarios are based on current treatment technologies for the most common materials. They have to be defined depending on each national context, as scenarios are likely to vary nationally.Sensitivity analyses are possible to assess the impact of the future mix of waste treatment options. This aspect is likely to be predefined in every national EPD programme. It may be advisable to adopt rules from the national EPD programme that refer to the context of the product LCA study.
Rules from:

EN 15804


5.4 Additional information End-of-life stage
6.3.8 Developing product scenarios
7.3 Scenarios and additional technical information
7.3.4 End of life
End-of-life scenarios may be given within national building certification schemes or EPD programmes. For example, for Germany, one may refer to the DGNB scheme (e.g. criteria 1 to 5): predefined EoL scenarios for different classes of materials.Current practice should be used for developing scenarios. Additional technical information, describing the technical conditions underlying scenarios and characterizing the product’s technical and functional performance during the optional EoL life cycle stages, must be provided if a scenario is assessed.The default scenario should be based on actual achievement in current waste management practice, and not on what might happen in 50 years’ time. It is important to use average recovery rates based on the mix of recovery techniques used and not the best case, although additional scenarios can be used to illustrate the effect of the different waste management options that are available. Geographically, the default scenario may vary: for example, a waste may be more commonly landfilled in one Member State, used for energy recovery in another Member State, and recycled in another Member State.For each material, the percentage of end-of-life material typically going to various end-of-life options, such as landfill, incineration, energy recovery, recycling or reuse, should be estimated. This may be provided by the EPD programme, or may be available through national statistics or building-level schemes.

EoL scenarios can be provided for each EoL option. These may be useful if the product is sold in more than one Member State, as EoL options may differ significantly across Member States. Such scenarios also provide guidance on the most advantageous EoL option currently available. This is useful, for example, in determining the best way to dispose of construction waste arising.

Alternatively, or additionally, a single EoL scenario can be provided for the typical mix of EOL options, or the most common EoL option. This procedure is less useful and informative.

Material-specific models for waste treatment may be relevant for particular materials, to take account of emissions or the amount of energy recovery; otherwise generic models of inert waste in landfill or non-hazardous waste incineration can be used.

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