Life cycle assessment for printed newspapers in Northwestern Mexico

Javier Esquer, Christian Vaeza-Gastélum, Arne Remmen, Clara R. Alvarez-Chávez, Luis Eduardo Velázquez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

© 2015 Taylor & Francis. This paper aims to present the relevant results of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study conducted on printed matter under a sheet-fed offset printing process by a company located in northwestern Mexico. Different scenarios were simulated in order to support decisions related to the improvement of environmental performance along the production processes. The study design was based on the European Platform on Life Cycle Assessment (EPLCA), which is in line with the ISO 14040 and 14044:2006 standards on LCA. The scope of the study was cradle-to-gate, with emphasis on the production of printed matter. The method chosen for the impact assessment was Impact 2002+ with a combined midpoint-damage approach. The results of the study showed that the major contributors to adverse effects were, primarily electricity consumption followed by paper consumption during the printing operation, as well as consumption of ink to a small degree. As for the plate-making operation along with the generation of secondary products, the result was negative. This is essentially due to involvement of recyclable materials, thus contributing to the prevention of raw material extraction. The smallest impact was observed from processes involving cleaning products and LP gas. The main issues of concern stemming from the results are electricity consumption and printing - both activities dominate almost all the midpoint categories. Generation of secondary products also had a relative environmental impact along the supply chain. Cleaning agents and LP gas did not have a significant impact on the final results of the process.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)259-268
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015

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