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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This paper will focus on new, unpublished, results of the life cycle assessment case made for a 4-colour photo book printed with production scale electrophotography.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.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

More about this publication?
  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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