Analysing our shelter from cradle-to-gate

A Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) calculates the environmental impact of products or services throughout their lifecycle. In our case, the LCA follows a “cradle-to-gate” approach, measuring the shelter’s environmental footprint until it leaves the factory gate. We completed the first LCA of the Relief Housing Unit (RHU) in 2022.

The calculations used conservative numbers without accounting for recycled material used in the current production. During 2023, we updated the data in the analysis tool OneClickLCA with more precise data:

  • Our panel supplier is the largest producer of parts in terms of weight. In 2023, all of the energy used in producing panels came from the supplier’s photovoltaic panels.
  • We gathered data on recycled material used in plastic components in the shelter and updated the LCA accordingly. We are working on further updates to map the use of recycled materials in the plastic components and panels. The LCA will reflect these updates, showcasing our ongoing efforts to improve environmental sustainability.
  • The updated LCA results will be finalised in 2024 and compared to the baseline set before for Better Shelter’s Global warming potential (GWP). The OneClick LCA tool has also been used for data-driven decision-making through 2023 to inform design decisions and evaluate material choices in our new shelter portfolio. We have also educated additional team members in using the software.

From our Global compact communication on progress: January 1 to December 31, 2023