Although technological development and the introduction of new technologies have contributed to reducing the environmental impacts of the ceramic sector, the environmental variable has not yet been fully incorporated into production processes.

All strategies and actions aimed at improving the environmental and technological performance of ceramic products are generally tested using methodological tools (LCA – Life Cycle Assessment; LCC – Life Cycle Costing; S-LCA – Social Life Cycle Assessment) that operate in the upstream or downstream phases of the decision-making processes in which environmental loads have already occurred.

These methodologies have been used for “ex post” impact assessments so far and it takes a long time to collect data, especially for complex processes and products such as ceramics.

Two critical issues arise:

  • Life cycle tools (LCA-LCC-SLCA) cannot be used for rapid corrective actions on the process and product, because impact assessments are based on data from historical series, thus after the impact has already occurred;
  • Difficulties in collecting data for carrying out impact assessments.

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