LCA study proposal

The AHEC-commissioned LCA study will provide comprehensive information about the environmental impacts of processes used to extract, produce, consume and dispose of American hardwood products and their competitors.

The study will compile representative Life Cycle Inventory data for sawn lumber and veneers of the following American hardwood species from point of extraction through to delivery to the importers yard in Europe and in East Asia: alder, ash, cherry, hard maple, red oak, soft maple, tulipwood (yellow poplar), walnut, and white oak. Compilation of this inventory data will facilitate preparation of further LCA studies including coverage of American hardwoods by AHEC, AHEC members and external agencies.

In addition, the study will prepare comprehensive comparative LCAs and carbon footprints for a number of specific product groups. The product scope of the comparative LCA will be defined through consultation with AHEC members and other stakeholders during the “goal and scoping” phase of the project.

The preliminary proposal is that the study will cover four product groups as follows: cladding for external facades; interior doors; flooring; interior chair. In each case a product manufactured in a typical American hardwood will be compared with products manufactured using a representative range of alternative materials, both wood and non-wood.

The study will assume that products are used and disposed of in their main European markets. For cladding and door products, it will be assumed that manufacturing is undertaken in a typical European location. For flooring and chair products, research will cover both manufacturing in a typical EU location and manufacturing in a typical East Asian location (possibly China, Malaysia, or Indonesia) followed by re-export to a typical EU market.