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1.1 This guide covers a process to determine (1) biobased content of materials and products, (2) total resource consumption, both biobased and nonrenewable, in the form of raw materials and energy, and (3) an environmental profile, which would also include emissions and waste generated.
1.2 Reference to the use of factors to convert materials and energy to carbon equivalents are provided (1-6). In addition, the use of ISO standards to determine the material and energy inventories and an environmental profile of the products and materials is discussed. It is outside the scope of this guide to provide a detailed description of the use and application of life cycle assessment tools and conversion factors for the determination of a biobased material's environmental profile. Future ASTM International standards are being prepared to cover these subjects.
1.3 In the application of this guide, the protection of business confidential information is an important consideration. In general, the level of detail required to evaluate material and energy inputs and outputs can be reported without revealing proprietary unit process information. Unit processes can be treated as black boxes with inputs and outputs. If business confidentiality is still a concern, unit processes can be further combined or the final LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) results can be reviewed and certified by an external, independent expert with which the vendor will have the appropriate secrecy agreement.