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How does Kaboni work?

Overview of Methodology

The data used in Kaboni are from critically reviewed cradle to gate Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) performed based on the rules laid down in the ISO standards on LCA: ISO 14040:2006, ISO 14044:2006, and ISO 14067:2013.

Kaboni takes the cradle to gate Global Warming Potential (GWP) result from these LCAs (1), to provide customers with a carbon footprint for various products. Kaboni also calculates the carbon footprint of transport from the factory gate to the customer if required (2) and adds the carbon footprint of compounding in the case of compound products.

The cradle to gate system boundary includes all stages from extraction of natural resources up to the point where the product is ready for transportation to the customer. Background data used in the cradle to gate LCAs are mainly taken from the Ecoinvent database (3). All processes included in the polymer production system and calculation are shown below.

Borealis Product System

Step by step

Fossil supply chain
Borealis sources fossil propane and naphtha as feedstock to it's dehydrogenation and steam cracking units. The carbon footprint of this upstream supply chain, together with the hydrogen supply to the hydrotreatment process, is based on secondary data.
Renewable supply chain
Borealis sources 2nd generation renewable feedstock, i.e. from non-food crops and waste. This feedstock is further processed in a hydrotreatment plant to produce bio propane and bio naphtha. The carbon footprint of this upstream supply chain is based on secondary data.
Waste collection
Waste collection is based on the collection systems of Germany and Austria. A pre-sorting step occurs to separate the waste into different fractions, generating the desired feedstock for the recycling plant. Waste collection and presorting are based on secondary data.
Borealis production
Primary data from Borealis' production sites, excluding the compounding sites, are used in the life cycle assessments that inform Kaboni. The data for compounding is based on secondary data. In the production of renewable products, the mass balance model is used to save identical volume of fossil feedstock by replacing it with bio feedstock. All Bornewables polymers are certified by ISCC Plus and are traceable to source.


  1. The cradle to gate GWP of all products from fossil and renewable sources are based on Borealis’ plants in Belgium, Finland and Sweden for the reference year 2019.

    The cradle to gate GWP of all mechanically recycled products are from an LCA of Borealis’ recycling plants in Germany and Austria for the reference year 2019.

    The characterisation factors applied in the calculation are based on the GWP for a 100-year time horizon (IPCC 2013, Fifth Assessment Report). In all cases, the appropriate cut off criteria and allocation choices for multi-functional systems are made where applicable and detailed in the complete reviewed LCA reports. For compounds, Kaboni adds the carbon footprint of compounding at various Borealis sites and includes the upstream carbon footprint of fillers such as talc and glass fibre. In calculating the GWP of the compound, a cut off criteria of 1% is applied, consistent with the methodology described in the respective reviewed LCA reports.
  2. Truck transportation is assumed and is based on the GLEC framework and specific industry guidelines recommended by CEFIC (McKinnon and Piecyk, 2011)
  3. Ecoinvent 3.6 and 3.7.1