Print Print Send link Bookmark and Share

Lean development with renewable resources (LEADER)

The aim of the LEADER project (2007-2010) was to study the environmental impacts occurring during the life cycle of print products. The scope of the project was focused on printed media products. The main products in the print media product group are newspapers, magazines, books and advertisements.

In the study, two research methods were applied: product-specific life cycle assessment (including carbon footprint) and the environmentally extended input-output model ENVIMAT (SYKE, Seppälä et al. 2009). Life cycle assessment is a method that provides detailed information about the environmental aspects and potential environmental impacts connected to the life cycle of a product. Carbon footprinting is a fairly new application of life cycle assessment with its own specific calculation procedures.

Five case products were selected from among the printed media products:

  • Heatset offset printed magazine
  • Coldset offset printed newspaper
  • Sheetfed offset printed book
  • Electrophotography printed photobook
  • Rotogravure printed advertisement leaflet

The selected case products differ from each other in several ways. By selecting different kinds of print products, the impacts of different paper grades and printing methods were included in the study. Since all these products have different manufacturing processes and uses, the purpose of the project is not to compare different print products, printing technologies or paper grades.

Instead, the aim is to provide an overview of the environmental impacts of printed media products and the possibilities of reducing those impacts.

The research work was coordinated by VTT and conducted in cooperation with the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Finnmedia, several printing companies, suppliers, logistics companies and the paper manufacturers Stora Enso, UPM-Kymmene, Myllykoski and Metsäliitto.

The project could not have been completed without the active participation of several paper and printing industry representatives and other actors from the print media value chain. Several cooperation partners from the industry have provided valuable information, data and comments during the project.

The project was funded by Stora Enso, UPM-Kymmene, Myllykoski, Metsäliitto, the Graphic Industry Research Foundation (GTTS) and the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovations (Tekes).


Additional information

Minna Nors
Research Scientist
+358 20 722 7474