The environment has always been a priority at Legerlite. Our actions began long before people became interested in recycling and sustainable construction. Respect for our employees is a fundamental value of our company, and this respect naturally translates into respect for the environment, which in the long term will benefit everyone’s wellbeing.
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) has been around since 1949. It is one of the most documented insulating materials and it has proved its long-term performance. EPS insulating foam is essentially made of 2% polystyrene and 98% air.
EPS is inert, stable and insoluble, and it cannot lead to any contamination of the soil, water or air.
EPS can be recycled in a factory, and the majority of our products contain a percentage of recycled EPS.
Adding a 25 mm insulating panel to a wall in a typical Canadian home saves twice as much energy in the first year as was required to produce it.
This leads to energy savings of 100 times over the life of the building and a reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG).
Adding lightweight backfill under certain roads can consolidate their base sustainably and ensure their durability in the long term. Road insulation reduces ground movement and helps to extend the life of the road. By increasing the lifespan of roads, we save on the energy required to rehabilitate them.
EPS is light, stable and consists of 98% air, making it an excellent product to protect manufactured goods from breakage during transportation, and it reduces the fuel consumption of trucks in comparison to corrugated cardboard.
In 2018, Groupe Legerlite’s products were the first in the industry to receive LEED v4 certifications in Quebec, thus enabling architects to earn LEED v4 credits for their projects.
Life cycle analysis
LCA is an ISO standardized assessment technique that is used to conduct an environmental review of a product, ranging from the extraction of the raw materials that it contains to its disposal at the end of its lifespan. The LCA associated with the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) form (3) allows a structured comparison of different products.
EPS has a smaller ecological footprint than most other insulating materials used in the construction industry. (2) Of course, EPS isn’t perfect, but being composed of 2% polystyrene and 98% air, it comes close to it. Furthermore, at the end of its useful life, it can be recycled, but if it has to be put in a landfill site, EPS is inert and it cannot lead to any contamination of the soil, water or air.
Factory environmental policy
Groupe Legerlite attaches great importance to recovery, recycling and respect for the environment.
Over the years, our factory has consistently invested in specialized equipment used to recover 100% of our production waste. Some of our industrial customers are contributing to this effort by returning their excess EPS produced at our plant for us to recycle it into our production.
Our factory uses advanced systems for energy recovery from water vapour and recycling of our process water. Because of these efforts, Groupe Legerlite was the first factory in its sector to receive an EcoPerformance grant from the government of Quebec.