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Evaluating Environmental Sustainability of Digital Printing

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Concern about climate change and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has created pressures also for the digital printing industry. The previously published papers are based on assumptions of energy consumption on the press and during the pre and post press operations. We have collected the material flow and measured the energy consumption on different electrophotography printing presses from several Finnish printing houses. This enables us to present the results in reliable way.

This paper will focus on new, unpublished, results of the life cycle assessment case made for a 4-colour photo book printed with production scale electrophotography. The life cycle is studied from cradle to the customer, starting from the forest and covering the paper manufacturing, printing and distribution to customer. The life cycle inventory (LCI) phase results are concerning the main emissions to air and water. The impact assessment phase was left out. Furthermore, the carbon footprint information was seen important to evaluate properly.

The results are presented in a form to highlight the points were different actors in the value chain can affect the overall environmental load of the final product. The aim of this paper is also to provide guidance on improved environmental performance, focusing especially on energy and material efficiency in the printing phase.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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