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Life Cycle Assessments


At VELUX, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has become an essential tool in our continuous effort to manage the climate and environmental impacts across the entire chain from product development, sourcing and manufacturing to use and disposal. We carried out the first LCA in 2009, and today LCA is part of every new product development. 

 The positive CO2 story of VELUX roof windows

One of the key parameters of the VELUX LCA is the carbon footprint of the product from cradle to final disposal. The LCAs prove that VELUX roof windows may provide net CO2 savings over the life cycle thanks to the solar heat gain through the pane during the use phase, which reduces the need for other heat sources.  


The example above shows the carbon footprint of a wooden, triple-glazed window (114x140cm). The CO2 calculation demonstrates how the window, during its 40 years of service life, saves more than double the amount of CO2 that goes into raw materials, manufacturing and disposal. 

When looking at the carbon footprint, it is evident that the use phase is extremely important. This means that we put a lot of effort into developing our product programme so that our windows and accessories minimise heat loss and maximise solar heat gain in the cold season, while preventing overheating in summer. At the same time, we see potential for reducing the carbon footprint of the raw materials that go into our products in close collaboration with our suppliers. Finally, end-of-life is a critical factor that we need to explore in order to find new solutions for disassembly and recycling of materials.”

Jakob T. Rørbech, responsible for Life Cycle Assessment at the VELUX Group.

 

 The calculation of the carbon footprint is based on the following parameters:

  • Raw materials make up the biggest part of the carbon footprint. The CO2 calculation for raw materials includes glass, wood, aluminium plus minor volumes of other metals and materials; the calculation includes transportation of the raw materials.
  • Production covers the carbon footprint resulting from wood processing, cladding and pane production, assembly and packaging as well as transportation to the customer.
  • The use phase is calculated for a roof window installed in a house with a roof pitch of 45° in Northern Europe. The calculation is based on 40 years of use with replacement of the pane after 20 years of use.
  • Disposal includes the carbon footprint of parts of the window that cannot be recycled.
  • Recovery includes the carbon footprint of parts of the window that can be recycled and materials reused for other purposes.