WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 25, 2013 â€“ The Steel
Market Development Institute's (SMDI) President Lawrence W. Kavanagh
issued the following statement regarding the Oak Ridge National
Laboratory's Life Cycle Assessment - Energy and CO2 Emissions of
Aluminum-Intensive Vehicles funded by the Aluminum Association.
'For years SMDI has studied life cycle assessment (LCA) and has
recommended its use as a decision-making and future regulatory tool for
automobiles. LCA considers all phases of a vehicle's lifeâ€”manufacturing,
driving and recyclingâ€”and, as vehicles become more fuel efficient, it
is the only way to be certain that future automobiles result in a net
reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
'Last week the Aluminum Association released a â€˜study' in the
form of a slide presentation developed by the Oak Ridge National
Laboratory claiming a life cycle emissions advantage for aluminum versus
steel vehicles. On first read, we noted concerns with certain claims
but we decided to withhold judgment until we could see the full report
and read the peer reviewers' comments. Unfortunately, according to the
Oak Ridge National Laboratory there is no detailed report supporting the
slide presentation. Without a detailed report subjected to peer-review,
you must seriously question the transparency of the work and the
validity of the findings. The ISO standard cited by the Oak Ridge
National Laboratory in the slide presentation specifically calls for
'critical review' of comparative LCAs, which was the case with SMDI's
most recent ISO-compliant LCA dealing with steel and wood utility poles.
'Reports without substantiation of assumptions and conclusions,
and transparent review damage the credibility of LCA as a scientific
tool for bettering our environment. Without these controls, LCA can be
misused and become nothing more than a marketing gimmick. The steel
industry is committed to advancing LCA for the future sustainability of
our environment and it is clear, at this time, that we need consensus on
a standard and transparent methodology for automotive LCA. We invite
our colleagues in academia, standards bodies, EPA, the automotive
industry and other materials manufacturers to join us in this process.'
The Steel Market Development Institute, a business unit of the
American Iron and Steel Institute grows and maintains the use of steel
through strategies that promote cost-effective solutions in the
automotive, construction and container markets, as well as for new
growth opportunities in emerging steel markets. For more news or
information, visit www.smdisteel.org or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/smdisteel.
Senior Director, Communications
Steel Market Development Institute