The environmental impact of industrial bamboo products: life cycle assessment and carbon sequestration

This report gives a Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) and carbon footprint analysis on a selection of industrial bamboo products. The LCA is made for cradle-to-gate, plus the end-of-life stages of the bamboo products. For end-of-life it is assumed that 90% of the bamboo products are incinerated in an electrical power plant, and 10% will end-up in landfill, which is considered to be a realistic scenario for the Netherlands and Western Europe. In addition to the standard LCA, the sequestration (capture and storage) of CO2 has been taken into account. The report provides a comprehensive explanation how such a calculation on carbon sequestration must be made within the general logic of the LCA methodology (and the general logic in science), since there is a lot of confusion regarding this issue. This LCA has been performed for the specific production chain of industrial bamboo products of the company MOSO International BV following best practice and can therefore not be perceived as being typical for the production chain of other industrial bamboo material manufacturers. The overall result of the calculations is that, if production parameters are optimised, industrial bamboo products can have a negative carbon footprint over their full life cycle (from cradle till grave), i.e. the credits through carbon sequestration and energy production in the end-of-life phase in an electrical power plant outweigh the emissions caused by production and transport.