Glass Fibre Europe has published an updated life cycle assessment (LCA) of continuous filament glass fibre products (CFGF).

The association commissioned PwC – Sustainable Performance and Strategy to prepare a report on the LCA of CFGF products.

The new report is an update of two previous studies based on 2010 and 2015 data.

It is based on 2021 manufacturing data collected by PwC from 11 plants based in the European Union, the United-Kingdom and Norway.

The analysis is a cradle-to-gate approach: it is an assessment of the product life cycle impacts from the raw material extraction and manufacture (‘cradle’) to the factory exit gate (i.e. before it is transported to the customer). The use and disposal phases of the products are not covered.

The report shows that, between 2015 and 2021, the European industry has reduced the primary energy consumed to produce 1kg of continuous filament glass products by 8.1% on average and greenhouse gas emissions by 3.2% on average.

In terms of circular economy, 44% of the industry’s production waste has been recycled in 2021, an increase compared to the previous reference year: 26% in 2015.

Ludovic Piraux, President of Glass Fibre Europe, said: “The European glass fibre industry has the ambition to become climate neutral by 2050 and that zero internal waste ends up in landfills.

“We know that the journey towards climate neutrality is very challenging but also exciting for our industry.

“It is therefore encouraging that the latest LCA report clearly shows that the investments made by the industry are paying off and that we could reduce the environmental footprint of our products.”

Glass Fibre Europe data are going to be shared with the Association of the European Composites Industry (EuCIA) for a future update of the ‘Eco Impact Calculator for composites’, an online tool calculating the environmental impact of composite products in Europe.

The report is publicly available to download here.