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
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
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).