The use of silicones and related products reduces the carbon footprint of many essential products and services, researchers found.

Brussels, 21st June 2012 – The use of silicones and related products reduces the carbon footprint of many essential products and services, researchers found. 

A study commissioned to assess the full life cycle of silicones, siloxanes and silanes found that the use of these products can help save, on average, nine times the amount of greenhouse gases required to manufacture them.

This study provides us with an objective and comprehensive benchmark of silicones’ carbon footprint and quantifies a very significant positive impact on carbon dioxide savings through using our products” said Peter Cartwright of the Global Silicones Council (GSC).  “This is an important step forward in our aim to provide products with clear, understandable environmental benefits helping to advance sustainability across the industries that we serve.”

The study was commissioned by the GSC from the sustainable development research firm Denkstatt in Austria, in association with Dekra, a German testing and certification company. Denkstatt and Dekra assessed the greenhouse-gas emissions and emission-reduction effects linked to the manufacturing, use and waste management of silicon-chemistry products in Europe, North America and Japan.

Silicones and other silicon-based chemistry products play an important role in many industrial and consumer applications – from fuel-efficient engines to construction, solar-power cells and household detergents. Their unique properties help enhance performance, increase energy efficiency and conserve raw materials.

The study found that Si-chemistry products in the three regions allow for net CO2 emission reductions of about 52 million tons per year. This equals the emissions required to heat 10 million homes in the regions covered by the study – or three times the number of households in the Greater London area.

Also striking is that a relatively small quantity of silicone, siloxane or silane can lead to a comparatively large increase in the efficiency of processes and the use of energy and materials. Examples include high-performance thermal insulation products, foam-control agents for washing, paint additives that increase the durability of vehicles and construction materials, and silanes used to reduce the rolling resistance of tyres.

Our industrial customers, retailers, consumers and policy makers need reliable data to implement sustainability decisions. This study provides an objective assessment that will enable them to better measure the environmental impact of the products and processes that use silicon chemistry” said Pierre Germain, Secretary General of the European Silicones Centre (CES).

Further information on the study can be found at www.siliconescarbonbalance.com.