Life cycle assessment at a glance

A new online tool provides a basis for decision-making on more sustainable packaging design. It is intended to improve the recyclability of packaging – and give companies that put packaging into circulation security with regard to the new packaging law.

The software provider Sphera and the environmental service provider Interseroh have jointly developed a web-based configuration tool with which companies can quickly and comprehensively analyse the environmental impact of packaging – from production to transport to recycling.

Chicago-based Sphera is one of the leading providers of software and information services for integrated risk management with a focus on environment, health, safety and sustainability. Last year, Sphera acquired the German sustainability expert thinkstep. According to the company, thinkstep’s GaBi is the world’s leading life cycle assessment software.
The new “GaBi Packaging CalculatoR+” by Interseroh and Sphera is an online tool specially designed for packaging. It is based on a parameterised model developed by Sphera that maps the life cycle of packaging and contains a wide range of environmental data on materials and manufacturing processes. It enables the creation of life cycle assessments and the simulation of alternative packaging designs. For the first time, the recycling specialist Interseroh’s expertise is being incorporated. “The aspect of recyclability has so far been neglected – especially against the background of the packaging law in Germany,” says Sophie Kieselbach, Senior Consultant at Sphera.

Compare design alternatives with just a few clicks

With “Made for Recycling” Interseroh offers a scientifically sound evaluation method for analysing the recyclability of packaging in the laboratory. The “Check for Recycling” service that builds on this enables users to find out for themselves how well their product packaging can be separately collected, sorted and recycled into new products by means of a simple online test.
“The intuitively operated configurator creates a plus in transparency and provides manufacturers with a good decision-making basis for improving packaging design,” says Markus Müller-Drexel, Managing Director of Interseroh Dienstleistungs GmbH in Cologne. With a single tool, users can create life cycle assessments for packaging, determine its recyclability and compare design alternatives for different environmental effects. To do so, they select materials and processes, enter product specifications, determine transport routes – and generate the report.
The GaBi Packaging CalculatoR+ will be available starting April 1, 2020.

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