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True Automation: Elevating Product Sustainability Metrics in the Chemical Industry


A fully automated approach to efficiently conducting Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) is critical for global chemical companies to meet the growing requirements from customers and regulatory bodies. As LCA data assumes greater importance in achieving sustainability targets and managing business operations, ensuring consistency in calculation methodologies becomes paramount.


However, traditional manual and semi-automated methods, prevalent today, struggle with the industry's evolving complexity. Time-consuming and resource-intensive, these methods often fail to deliver the required accuracy, scale, and transparency, hindering progress towards sustainability goals.


In contrast, true automation offers a transformative solution. It leverages enterprise data at scale and streamlines processes, generating rapid, reliable LCA results consistently in line with industry standards. This empowers informed decision-making and cross-company exchange of lifecycle metrics, accelerating the journey towards a more sustainable future.



The Limitations of Manual or Semi-Automated LCA Calculation Methods


Manual approaches, often based on spreadsheets or widely used conventional LCA software tools, prove to be inefficient and carry a high risk of inaccuracy and inefficiency, especially in the context of the global chemical industry.


The inherent complexity of industrial-scale chemistry, with its myriad final products and intermediates, presents daunting tasks for manual data gathering processes. Calculating the Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) of a single product may entail navigating through diverse production steps spanning various manufacturing sites, with multiple material transports, even across regions, rendering manual data collection prohibitively difficult.


Consequently, reliance on assumptions and idealized material flow models introduces inaccuracies into environmental impact assessments. Moreover, the dependence on individual experts taking discretionary choices poses a challenge for coherence. Required third-party reviews further compound the issue, slowing down the process and making it highly resource intensive.


Mounting demands for LCAs from both external and internal stakeholders underscores the necessity for reliable and consistently calculated values. As LCA data increasingly drive business decisions, ensuring the uniformity of data becomes imperative. Whether for communication, decision-making, compliance, or portfolio management purposes, companies require standardized and automated LCA processes to mitigate risks and comply with emerging standards such as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM).



True Automation in practice: Gain transparency at industrial scale with the Product Sustainability Platform


AllocNow's Product Sustainability Platform (PSP) disrupts traditional LCA methods by providing a fully automated solution that offers a comprehensive understanding of the environmental impact of a company's global product portfolio.


Granular Analysis


The PSP calculates cradle-to-gate environmental impacts of products and intermediates based on primary data of the reporting company. This covers all stages of integrated value chains, regardless of the region, production plant, or legal entity.

Unlike conventional methods, the scope of analysis encompasses the entire inventory - by default based on actuals. This means that the calculation considers actual raw material consumption and sourcing mixes, the local conditions for calculating process emissions and geo-coordinates and transportation modes to factor in upstream as well as site-to-site transportation.

Total Impacts of one specific product is shown with detailed slit between processes, transports and raw materials

Picture 1: The PSP shows detailed Environmental Impacts



Full LCA capability


To comprehensively evaluate the environmental impact of a chemical intermediate or final product, the PSP not only focuses on GHG emissions, but also covers other environmental impact categories, offering a more holistic assessment. Reporting companies have full flexibility of choosing impact categories and associated methods enabling them to conduct full LCA with unprecedented efficiency.


Different Impact Category Reports shown with a detailed overview on Total Impacts and Data Quality Rating

Picture 2: Impact Category Reports


This programmatic and scalable approach ensures extreme consistency and reliability in modelling, avoiding individual estimations. By offering a holistic perspective on ecological footprints, the platform enables informed choices for sustainability at every stage in the value chain with a few clicks.


Time and Resource Optimization


The Product Sustainability Platform constitutes a significant step forward by standardizing, digitizing, and automating sustainability calculations. Supported by a modern, intuitive, and easy-to-use web application providing unrestricted access to everyone within an organization who needs to know, it places sustainability data at everyone’s fingertips.


This empowers cross-functional collaboration, facilitating smarter choices across marketing, R&D, operations, and procurement, consequently transforming sustainability from a compliance-driven approach to a strategic driver.

Visualization shows that with true automation sustainability data is accessible across all departments

Picture 3: Accessibility of LCA Data across all organizational departments


Additionally, by liberating human capital previously dedicated to manual or semi-automated data preparation tasks, the platform enhances efficiency and empowers enterprises to refocus on impactful sustainability projects, accelerating progress towards ambitious environmental goals.


Consistency and Compliance Assurance


The fully automated calculation is based on the methodological principles of the Together For Sustainability (TfS) PCF Guideline. This guideline, built upon ISO 14044/67 norms, the GHG Protocol, and the WBCSD Pathfinder Framework, ensures not only the consistency of results but also compliance with regulatory requirements. AllocNow's commitment to aligning with industry standards positions the Product Sustainability Platform as a reliable tool for meeting and exceeding sustainability expectations.



Embrace Automation for Sustainable Excellence


As we navigate the complexities of global value chains, diverse production locations, and evolving customer expectations, the necessity for accurate, consistent, and efficient sustainability data management becomes increasingly apparent.


AllocNow’s unwavering commitment to providing a solution that aligns with industry standards propels the chemical industry towards a future where sustainable excellence is not merely a goal but a tangible reality. AllocNow’s Product Sustainability Platform delivers accuracy and transparency at scale by addressing the shortcomings of manual and semi-automated approaches. The Platform sets the stage for a transformative shift in how sustainability is managed and optimized within the sector. With the PSP, chemical companies can now leverage their data in a modern and meaningful way, enabling them to derive appropriate actions for sustainable practices.


By embracing true automation and leveraging the power of the Product Sustainability Platform, companies can unlock new opportunities for innovation, efficiency, and long-term success in their sustainability efforts and are ready for future changes.


 

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