6. PREPARE & Ecobalances


The Eco-Balance Project Biopac


Project Eco-Balance Steiner - Sawmilling Industrie


Project Eco-Balancing for the canning industrie


Project Eco-Balancing of Packaging Materials


Project Ec-Balance SCA Laakirchen


Project Manual on Ecobalances for buildingmaterials and the ceramic industrie



Projekt: PREPARE, pllution prevention and cleaner production

PREPARE (Preventative Environmental Protection Approach in Europe) is a pollution prevention initiative under the EUREKA umbrella. In Austria, the project was carried out on behalf of the Ministries of Science and Environment from 1991 to 1994.

The IÖW together with the Institute for Process Engineering at the Technical University in Graz STENUM, headed the Austrian EUREKA-Project PREPARE, where pollution prevention projects in 12 companies and corresponding research activities were performed.

The outcome of this project was an Austrian version of the USA EPE Pollution Prevention Manual with an improved methodology. This manual has been further improved in 1995 to integrate the requirements of the EMAS-Regulation and ISO 14001. Also, a teaching tool for companies and consultants was added in 1995.

After the first 12 national company projects, the PREPARE initiative was transferred to a regional level. There are currently projects running in Styria, Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Carinthia and Vorarlberg.

Companies for which the IÖW was in charge

Other companies participating:

Criteria for environmental impact assessment

In relation with the PREPARE project, the IÖW published a manual on environmental impact assessment of materials, emissions and processes.


The methodology for PREPARE can be found in the Toolkit, which is also used for training. It contains:






The Eco-balance Project Biopac

In 1990, the biodegradable Biopac packaging material was compared to PVC, styrofoam and wooden part/old paper packaging. This was the first Austrian life cycle assessment and ecobalance project. The BIOPAC product is, according to the given conditions, an ecologically sensible packaging alternative. It should replace synthetic products and polished wood and old paper packaging that is dirtied by food residues.

Eco-balance Steiner - Sawmilling Industry

Together with the Austrian Institute for Energy Management (OIFE) and commissioned by the WIFI of the Chamber of Commerce, the I...W did a pilot project in the sawmill and timber trade sector in September 1991. Based on an input outputanalyses for different system boundaries, the instrument of ecobalancing was tested and resulted in branchspecific improvement options and a manual for ecobalances in the saw mill industry.

Projekt: Eco-Balancing for the canning Industry

The project was performed on behalf of the Food industries Association of Austria together with four Austrian providers of canned food and the Austrian producer of cans and funded by the Research Fund for Industry (FFF). The Input-output analysis was done for all companies, for the production processes and a screening Life Cycle Analysis on canned goulash soup was added. For all companies waste prevention plans and environmental performance indicators were provided. The project was the first approach to branch specific bench marking and struggled with the unequal data basis in the companies.

Participating companies:

Alpenfleisch KG, Stainach; Felix, Mattersburg; GVG, Neusiedl/See; Inzersdorfer, Wien; Vogel & Noot, Mittendorf

Project: Eco-Balancing of Packaging Materials

On commission of the Ministry of Environment, the different methodologies to evaluate the environmental impact of products by eco-balances were assessed. The current level of methods, as well as the performance of the studies themselves, can hardly be compared. The differences are found in the examined product systems as well as in the investigated product cycle steps. In the area of evaluation, concurrence can be found at the execution of low level aggregations. Further evaluation and the various types of high level aggregation are still being discussed by eco-balancing experts. The ranges of application of eco- balances and their limits were shown. Consequently, recommendations to the Ministry, as guidelines for further action, were derived.


Project: Ecobalance SCA Laakirchen

From June 1993 to January 1994 on behalf of the pulp and paper factory SCA Laakirchen, an input output analysis of material flows was done and combined with existing information systems. It was followed by an investigation of process improvement options and a first product life cycle assessment.

There was no publication of results.

Project: Manual on Ecobalances for building materials and the ceramic industries

On behalf of the Austrian Association for building materials and ceramic industries the I...W together with the Austrian Research Institute Seibersdorf and the technician Dr. Bruck wrote a manual for Ecobalances. The manual contains a branch specific inventory model, that can be used for different evaluation methods. It is also the basis for benchmarking and product evaluations.
Further publications on this topic: