Helping associations better understand their environmental impact

Offering strategic insight and unparalleled expertise, ICF consultants help our clients gain a clear understanding of the data they have—and the information they may need—to assess how their business processes impact their communities, the environment, and the world. For the Aluminum Association, a gap existed in its data surrounding the environmental impact of the use phase of aluminum materials compared with alternative materials like glass and plastic. While the Association had a good handle on the impact of the manufacturing and recycling impacts of aluminum products, they knew far less about the use-phase activities, such as how packaging influences transportation and distribution.

The Association called on ICF to develop a study that would assess transportation space efficiency of aluminum cans during distribution as well as the efficiency of refrigerating aluminum can-packaged beverages versus bottle alternatives at retail points of sale. Rather than replace the Association's full life-cycle assessment (LCA), the carefully designed study filled an important missing link in the organization's data. ICF delivered a tailored and objective study, including insights drawn from national transportation trends, industry-relevant information and literature, and interviews with leading industry stakeholders.

The final deliverables to our client provided high-level data along with more in-depth information:

  • A memorandum of initial findings
  • A detailed final report, including all goals, methodologies, and results
  • A parameter-based spreadsheet model of relevant lifestyle stages, providing results for both energy demand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions along with comparative results between different types of beverage containers
  • Representative distribution and refrigeration scenarios, offering real-world examples to illustrate key findings
  • In this case study, we take a closer look at the Association's needs and how ICF consultants helped to fill the gaps in their environmental data. Download the case study to learn more.