NatureChanvre Insulating Boards: An Exemplary Life Cycle
The results from the first environmental product declaration for hemp insulation in North America are conclusive…
NatureChanvre insulation is environmentally friendly — with supporting evidence!
An environmental product declaration (EPD), made according to international standards, reveals an outstanding environmental record. ISOFIB thus proves beyond any doubt that Naturchanvre insulating boards display an environmental performance envied by its competitors.
But what exactly is an EPD? What is the environmental performance level of NatureChanvre insulation?
It’s ecological, yes, but what else? How to measure the products’ environmental impact
NatureChanvre thermal insulation contributes to reducing the energy consumption of the building with which it was constructed: its thermal resistance is R 3.7 per inch. But is the product itself ecological? What is its own environmental impact? This is where the concept of life cycle analysis comes into play.
Life cycle assessment, a method of evaluating the potential impacts of products (and manufacturing processes) takes into account all the stages involved in the manufacture, use, transportation and disposal of a product, from A to Z.
Based on international standards, LCA quantifies the following criteria:● Global warming potential
● Acidification potential
● Eutrophication potential
● Smog formation potential
● Ozone depletion potential
● Potential depletion of abiotic resources (fossil fuels)
From these indicators, which quantify the environmental value of the product, the EPD can be established, a bit like a nutritional value sheet on a food product.
With its EPD, NatureChanvre demonstrates its remarkable environmental performance
NatureChanvre insulating boards are biosourced, composed in major part of vegetable raw material, therefore renewable, and are little transformed. As such, they already have a very favourable environmental perception.
They are also made in Quebec. It is therefore conceivable that their carbon impact and even their life cycle are favourable. But by how much exactly?
EPD is used to quantify environmental performance using LCA. Nature Fibres, a pioneer in the manufacture of biobased insulation in Canada, is the first manufacturer to have sought an EPD for this type of product in North America.
The EPD and LCA were carried out by CT Consultant, a firm specialized in life cycle assessment of products, services and buildings according to EN 15804, ISO 14025 and ISO 21930 standards and revised by Vertima.
What are the results? Charles Thibodeau, an expert in life cycle assessment and environmental engineering, told Ecohabitation when the EPD was released: “NatureChanvre insulation has favourable environmental performance compared to other insulation, particularly in terms of climate change.”
EPD highlights, by inventory indicators:
● The manufacture of the hemp panel does not cause any loss and their lifespan is considered equivalent to that of the building, set at 75 years.
● The manufacturing of the insulating boards requires less energy from fossil sources than the production of the raw materials: the polyester used as a binder accounts for 29% of the total fossil carbon emissions related to the life cycle of hemp board, while it constitutes only 12% of the product. Also, the manufacturing of the insulating boards causes hardly more fossil carbon emissions than the transportation to the construction sites…
● The manufacture of the insulation represents a small consumption of water: it is the production of the polyester fibre, whereas this binder accounts for only 12% of the insulation, which causes the most.
● The biogenic carbon inflow is greater than the outflow (negative net balance), which means that NatureChanvre insulating boards contains more carbon than it produces, over its life cycle. An interesting carbon sink!
NatureChanvre’s EPD demonstrates outstanding environmental value. Aim for high energy efficiency in your buildings while choosing materials with high environmental value and limiting your impact on climate change.
For more information on products and to get a quote, fill out the online form or call the ISOFIB team at 514 623-7942.