Developed in the 1990's, the Life Cycle Assessment is a methodology aimed at assessing the environmental consequences of human actions, particularly the production of goods. It has become an important tool to the steel industry as a way to assess and quantify the potential environmental footprint of steel products along their entire life cycle, from creation in a steel plant, to scrap in a steel plant scrap yard.
The LCA provides environmental information, based on ISO standards, on the whole life cycle of a product or service, from cradle to grave. It considers a wide range of environmental impacts, from local to a global level.
For information on ArcelorMittal Environmental excellence, incorporated into all processing activities, please download our Environmental Policy document.
An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a verified and registered document that communicates transparent and comparable information about the life cycle environmental impact of products (LCA data). It is created by the manufacturer, peer-reviewed by independent bodies on the basis of ISO 14025 and EN 15804 standards, and published by an environmental labeling organization. Thus, EPDs are suitable as proof of environmental requirements in public procurement processes.
In order to develop this document, ArcelorMittal analyzed the full production process and performed a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of its steel sheet piles.
ArcelorMittal produces hot rolled steel sheet piles in its European plants of Belval and Differdange in Luxembourg (types: AZ, PU, AU, AS500 and HZM), as well as Dabrowa in Poland (only GU type).
The cold formed steel sheet piles from ArcelorMittal are manufactured in Messempré (France).
At this moment, there are 4 EPD’s published in accordance with ISO and European standards, registered by the German institute Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V. (IBU):
There is also an EPD published specifically for the Netherlands, in accordance with ISO and European standards, registered by the Dutch institute Stichting Milieu Relevante Product Informatie (MRPI).
For the Netherlands, specific additional (toxicological) emissions should be included in the Life Cycle Assessment before it can be applied in construction projects.
Transport, installation, maintenance, dismantling, and other modules are not considered in the EPDs because this data has to be determined for each specific project (in general, their contribution to the environmental impact is quite small compared to the contribution of the production processes). The end-of-life phase with corresponding emissions should also be determined project-specific, based on the expected reuse and recycling rates.