Alpi SpA experience to define the path for ecodesign of its products through LCA

Linked Sessions:

Poster Number:  27 

Main Presenter:    Francesco Baldoni;Valeria Bettini 

Co-Authors:   Marco Lelli                                               

Alpi Spa ([]( is the first company in the world to industrialize the production process of composite wood, which is then used in numerous fields: furniture, buildings, cars, yachts but also components for pipes, rifles, toys, etc. .
The material used is wood that comes from 3 essences: Ayous (from forests managed directly by group companies in Africa/Cameroon), Linden (from North America) and Poplar from northern Italy.
The treatment of raw materials and production takes place in the 2 factories in Italy.
The company has long since implemented a serious and demanding sustainability policy which involves the plantations in Cameroon (FSC certified), the production sites in Italy (ISO 14001 and ISO 14064-1 certified) and launching an LCA study on all types of finished products.
The LCA study was set up to be able to respond to the many different requests of customers, who were themselves engaged in product sustainability paths: in practice, the impact assessment had to consider, in an unusual way, 15 environmental indicators.
impact category
1 Abiotic Depletion
2 Abiotic depletion (fossil fuels)
3 Acidification
4 Eutrophication
5 Fresh water aquatic ecotox.
6 Global Warming Potential (100 years)
7 Global Warming Potential (100 years) excl. biogenic carbon
8 Human toxicity
9 Marine aquatic ecotoxicity
10 Ozone layer depletion (ODP)
11 Photochemical Oxidation
12 Terrestrial ecotoxicity
13 Water scarcity
14 Not renewable energy
15 Renewable energy

The products deriving from the 3 essences were studied and treated with whitening or not.
The first general indication showed that all 6 types of products have a rather similar environmental impact and that the whitening treatment has a significant impact. But a more in-depth examination of the data highlighted differences that required further investigation.
At the end of which some aspects/circumstances were of particular interest:
1. the place and method of drying the wood (from the cut tree);
2. the use of some ingredients of the recipe such as: 3 dyes and 1 glue.
The aspects indicated above affect the final impact of the products but for some impact indicators, among the 15 indicated above, in a positive sense and in others in a negative way.
Therefore it is not easy to immediately define what is the best measure to implement to improve the sustainability of the product, therefore it will be necessary to start a series of assessments to define the best Eco-design procedure to implement.

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