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NPES Publishes International Standard for Calculating Carbon Footprint of Print

Friday, July 19, 2013

Press release from the issuing company

Service Providers and Print Buyers Now Have Methodology to Produce Carbon Calculations Using a Common Framework

Reston, VANPES is pleased to announce the publication of ISO 16759:2013 Graphic technology – Quantification and communication for calculating the carbon footprint of print media products. ISO 16759 is written for prepress, printers, print service providers, content publishers and other media companies, not as a carbon calculator, but rather a specification for what carbon calculators should cover for print media products that are produced in different markets or by different printing companies and methods.

As an International Standard, ISO 16759 provides a common reference for the development of carbon calculators for all sectors of the graphic communications industry—from labels and packaging to books, transactional documents, and newspapers—which will enable print buyers worldwide to compare the footprints of different production processes and ensure their carbon calculations are produced using a common framework.

Answering the growing need within the graphic communications industry to address sustainability and the protection of the environment, the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 130, Working Group 11 (ISO TC130 WG11) began work to develop this standard less than three years ago.

According to Laurel Brunner, Managing Director of Digital Dots and convener of TC130 WG11, "When it comes to sustainability, printers and their customers want a formal framework against which print media products can be measured and the results certified. Printers want to be able to confirm for their customers that the carbon footprint for the print they produce complies with an international standard. And print buyers want the assurance that a printer's calculations are transparent, clear and comparable across sectors and geographies."

Brunner continued, "It is hoped that ISO 16759 will encourage print media buyers and consumers to think more carefully about how they invest in and use media. With ISO 16759's methodology for quantifying, communicating and reporting the carbon footprint of print media, it facilitates the continuous monitoring of print's carbon footprint. This will lead to enhanced credibility of the printing industry's efforts to manage and reduce its carbon footprint and raw materials used, plus provide factual support for messages of print's sustainability."

The basis on which the carbon footprint is calculated for a given print media product can be defined by each individual user, from an inventory of various production processes, with the carbon impact for each stage in the workflow determined. Substrates, inks and other consumables used are included as well as transport, laminating and ambient environmental factors such as lighting or heat to calculate a carbon footprint for each stage in the inventory.

Lucy Liu, Administration Manager, Heidelberg Shenzhen Limited, stated "[ISO 16759] will benefit our print media industry in its environmental protection campaign. The most important thing is now we have reliable information, by data analysis instead of guesswork, to show the impact of print media products on the environment and accordingly make efforts to reduce it in every stage of the production process. No doubt, this standard has great practical value."

"Intergraf is proud of the international recognition of its work," noted Intergraf Secretary General, Beatrice Klose. "The new ISO 16759, as well as the Intergraf recommendations, will help printers to quantify and communicate on their carbon footprint credentials and their efforts to improve their environmental performance," she continued.

NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies administers TC130 WG11 and coordinates the activities of the U.S.-based representatives. Demonstrating a significant cooperative effort to create sector-specific carbon calculators, and actively involved in the development of this International Standard were experts from: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, China, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, representing a broad range of the industry's leading printers, manufacturers, and other industry stakeholders.

ISO 16759:2013 is available for purchase from NPES as well as ISO member national organizations. For more information visit the Standards Workroom on the NPES website: www.npes.org/programs/standardsworkroom.aspx.


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