Gate-to-Gate Life-Cycle Inventory of Softwood Plywood Production

James B. Wilson, Eric T. Sakimoto


A life-cycle inventory (LCI) study is conducted of softwood plywood manufacturing. This gate-to-gate study includes all materials, fuels, and electricity inputs to produce plywood, co-products and emissions. Data were collected through surveys of manufacturing facilities in the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast. SimaPro software, a program to conduct life-cycle inventory studies, is used to process the data and determine environmental impacts in terms of material use and emissions. The data are allocated on a mass basis to plywood based on their contribution to the mass sum of all product and co-products. All data are provided on a production unit basis of 1.0 m3 and 1.0 MSF 3/8-inch basis, the U.S. industry standard. In addition to LCI data, carbon flow data are also given. The LCI data are publicly available through reports, this publication, and the U.S. LCI Database Project. The data are useful for generating cradle-to-gate product LCIs when combined with the LCIs to produce logs for the mills and material transportation impacts, and are useful as a benchmark for assessing process performance, for conducting life-cycle analysis of wall, floor, and roof assemblies consisting of plywood and other products, and of residential structures.


Life-cycle inventory;LCI;softwood plywood;building materials;carbon balance;energy use;emissions

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