Asphalt Institute’s LCA Study on Asphalt Binders

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Study of Asphalt Binder, conducted for the Asphalt Institute, by thinkstep AG

This LCA study on asphalt binder produced in North America was completed in March 2019 by thinkstep AG for the Asphalt Institute. The Asphalt Institute selected thinkstep because of their expertise in conducting LCAs on a wide variety of products, including the petroleum sector and building materials. The study and final report were conducted in accordance with the International Standards ISO 14040:2006 and ISO 14044:2006. A critical review by outside experts, though not required by ISO 14044, was also conducted and incorporated. The full report, an executive summary, and associated LCI datasets are all free downloads here:

LCA is a method used to quantify the environmental impact of products, accounting for burdens throughout the supply chain.

This industry-wide cradle-to-gate LCA covers four asphalt binder products: asphalt binder without additives, asphalt binder with styrene butadiene styrene (SBS), asphalt binder with terminally blended ground rubber tire (GTR), and asphalt with polyphosphoric acid (PPA). The study produced industry-average Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) datasets on asphalt binders that are representative of North American industry conditions.

The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) has an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) program for asphalt mixtures.

The declared unit and reported impact categories in this LCA align with NAPA’s EPD program and associated Product Category Rules (PCR).

Thanks to our 12 Asphalt Institute member companies shown below for participating in the study by providing extensive data from a total of 12 refineries and 10 terminals. This support made the study possible.