Is the Eco-label EU Decision for hard coverings really capableof capturing the environmental performances of the marbleproductive chain? A field verification by means of a lifecycle approach

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Abstract

Purpose This work intends to show whether the Eco-label EUDecision for hard coverings, in which marble is contemplatedamong hard coverings as a natural product, is really capable ofcapturing the environmental performances of the marble productivechain, in other words whether it is actually viable forthe natural products, like marble.Methods After a preliminary critical analysis of the suitabilityformarble of the current EU Decision (2009/607/EC), a classicallife cycle assessment (LCA) methodology has been applied onthe field to the marble “Perlato di Sicilia.” More specifically, thewhole productive chain of a couple of firms treating the “Perlatodi Sicilia” marble has been examined. The life cycle analysis isactually a cradle-to-gate analysiswhich includes the raw materialextraction, processing phase, and finishing operations.Results and discussion Both the preliminary critical analysesof the structure of the Decision and the in-field checking onthe two firms of the Custonaci marble district in Sicily singledout several conflicting points of the Decision for the marbleworking chain. These difficulties could be reasonably extendedto other natural stones, such as granite, for which similarworking processes are applied.Based on the outcomes of both these analyses, in thepresent work, a set of new indicators and modified criteria,already present in the Decision, is proposed as a candidate tobe considered for inclusion in a future release of the Decision.Conclusions The changes here introduced can represent auseful indication toward a more suitable scheme of the EUEco-label for marble, at least. Clearly, further investigationsneed to better assess the proposed scheme, especially in termsof threshold values of pollutant releases and use of explosivethat are actually specific for the marble productive chain. Thepresent modified version of the standard has been proposed tothe Sicilian administration in order to be voluntarily adoptedby marble productive sites of the region, in the aim of extensivelyverifying its suitability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1022-1035
Number of pages14
JournalTHE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT
Volume19
Publication statusPublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)

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