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meaning of the preceding chains

Especially with products such as building materials, office furniture or office supplies, the upstream chains are the absolutely crucial phases in the life cycle of a product. The upstream chains largely determine the overall environmental impact of these product groups, because they themselves consume neither energy nor raw materials in the use phase, they are more or less "inner" in the use phase. This is different from lamps, electrical appliances or heaters.

Three life cycle phases play an important role in the footprint of each product: "pre-chain", "use phase" and "post-use".


The upstream chains are decisive for building materials. In the upstream chains, "origin", "transport" and "material" play an important role.   

A) pre-chains


A1 - Extraction of raw materials. The upstream chains begin with the extraction of raw material (A1).

Harvesting wood from sustainably managed forests  is an important aspect here.


A2 - Transports cradle to gate. Transport along the entire processing chain (A2) is important as the flow of materials can be global today. Transports have so far been greatly underestimated.


A3 - production. The climate balance of the production (A3) of the individual processing steps is essentially based on the consumption of energy, such as electricity and (drying-(heat).


A4 - Transport gate to customer. Transportation from the manufacturing site to the end-use location, eg, a construction site or customer (A4), is of significant importance, as sometimes a product is transported over long distances through multiple trade and foreign trade. These transports are usually not considered at all in life cycle assessments or are very much underestimated.  


B) Use phase


Unlike electronic devices  Heating, IT, lighting consume building materials and  Wood products during the use phase no energy, they are as materials, inner'.   


C/D) Subsequent use


The material used, the product and others are responsible for the subsequent use or reusability of products. Today, it is difficult to predict how a long-lasting product will be treated after the end of its life, and life cycle assessments can only make assumptions about scenarios.


raw material extraction



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usage phase

Building materials Office furniture Office supplies are in the usage phase. Here it depends on something else

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Subsequent use begins with the procurement of the products, not just when the wrecking ball is in front of the building

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