Improvement of Environmental Performance of Publishing Processes: Application of the Integrated Criteria
Keywords:eco-labeling, LCA, paper flow, printed matter, printing industry
This article is focused on printing industry, environmental impact assessment of the prevailing environmental issues, use of resources, waste production and possible options to solve environmental problems. Printing industry is “difficult” due to product diversity and differences of their parameters. A systematic evaluation is essential to analyse impact on the environment and to identify opportunities for implementation of the eco-label the Nordic Swan. The research is based on data from one of experimental Lithuanian design and printing company.
To assess the life cycle of printing process, the software SimaPro 8 has been used. 1 ton of printing products was chosen as the functional unit for the impact assessment. The assessment included 1 ton of different paper sorts. The assessment of the offset printing process of the pilot company was conducted in accordance with the criterions of a group P of the eco-label the Nordic Swan (version 5.4). The layout software of green graphic design was used as an additional preventive tool for reduction of the environmental impact.
The assessment of the life cycle of printing processes revealed that the process of offset printing have the most significant impact on the environment in all the categories of impact. The analysis of paper materials revealed that recycled paper has the least impact on the environment. The total impact does not exceed 5% when compared to all other tested materials. Chalk coated printing paper made from mechanical pulp has the biggest impact. The assessment of the company’s activity in accordance with the criterions of the group P of the eco-label the Nordic Swan showed that tested company had 63,6 points (122 points is the maximum). To reduce identified environmental problems in the Lithuanian printing industry and to meet the requirements of the Nordic Swan, environmental performance improvement recommendations have been developed. The recommendations are applicable in any company in this branch of industry.
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