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PrintCity Alliance prepares to publish Carbon & Energy Reduction report

Press release from the issuing company

Ifra Expo, Hamburg – PrintCity Alliance members are preparing to publish their latest environmental and energy report Carbon & Energy Reduction for the Graphics Industry Value Chain in early 2011. This follows two years of research and 'connection of competence' knowledge sharing between members, partners plus external research and academic organisations.

The purpose of this new PrintCity 36-page guide is to facilitate the improved collaborative environmental performance of printers, publishers, brand owners and their suppliers.

PrintCity Alliance members Faist, Kurz, m-real, manroland, MKW, Sappi, Sun Chemical, Trelleborg and UPM, plus project partners including Kodak and Muller Martini have amassed a large body of technical, scientific and economic research involving several key areas of relevance for the printing & packaging industry:

Carbon Footprinting - how to understand and use this beneficial measurement tool Energy Reduction - examination of complete process chain + best practice advice International Harmonisation - PrintCity is working in collaboration with other organisations to improve understanding & achieve global standards harmonisation
PrintCity members have worked with experts from several international industry organisations to create and peer review this very special cross-industry study.

PrintCity Alliance 'Top 10' Carbon & Energy Conclusions
1. Climate change is a dynamic international issue driven by geopolitics, NGOs, legislation, customers, and users. It remains a key global political issue because climate deterioration continues
2. Energy and Green House Gases (GHGs) are important legislative and commercial factors; Energy supply is limited and it will become more expensive; Energy optimisation is key to reducing demand, GHG emissions and related business costs
3. 'Lean' and 'Green' frequently go hand-in-hand to improve both environmental and business performance
4. Carbon Footprinting is an evaluation tool to measure the environmental impact of a product or process primarily to facilitate the reduction of energy use and to lower GHG emissions; and only secondarily to provide a calculation base to offset emissions that cannot be reduced
5. Current sector or national Carbon Footprinting approaches are confusing, costly and complex – they need to be clear, concise and credible; A harmonised international approach to applying Carbon Footprinting across all elements of the graphics industry value chain is required; Carbon Footprinting will be challenging for small companies unless simplified
6. Uncertainty needs to be removed from some Carbon Footprint issues, including definition of scope or boundaries, methods to calculate energy mix and conversion factors, avoided emissions, sequestration, and biogenics – many of these are general issues that, nevertheless, concern the graphics industry
7. Caution – the inappropriate use of Carbon Footprinting as a single parameter to compare goods or services can lead to unbalanced environmental decisions
8. For those companies seriously interested in reducing their overall energy consumption, it is recommended to use Tonne of Oil Equivalent (toe) as a parallel metric to CO2e
9. Inflation of ecolabels leads to confusion and their devaluation (over 300 label types from more than 200 countries)
10. Ink-on-paper is not always perceived as being environmentally friendly but it is the only media with a one-time carbon footprint – all other media require energy every time they are looked at

This new PrintCity environmental report follows the highly successful first publications by the alliance in 2008 - Sustainability, Energy and the Environment plus Energy Efficiency Optimisation for Web Offset Printers.

Anyone interested in requesting a printed copy at launch of the PrintCity report Carbon & Energy Reduction for the Graphics Industry Value Chain can do so by emailing their full name and postal address to [email protected]