Carbon Footprint of Printed Matter - Development of a Carbon Footprint Calculator for Elanders Sverige AB

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Title: Carbon Footprint of Printed Matter - Development of a Carbon Footprint Calculator for Elanders Sverige AB
Authors: Bengtsson, Selma
Heimersson, Sara
Abstract: The increased consumer awareness of the anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contribution to climate change makes it interesting for companies to communicate their environmental performance by using GHG emissions as an indicator, for example by calculating and communicating the carbon footprint of their products. This master’s thesis is performed as a case study, calculating carbon footprints of products produced by Elanders Sverige AB, a company within the printing industry. The aim of the study was to develop a carbon footprint calculating tool that could be used to calculate the carbon footprint of a specified printing order. It is mainly intended to be used by production planners at Elanders Sverige AB in order for them to be able to make environmentally informed decisions. A second aim of this thesis has been to study the implementation of carbon footprint in the printing industry. The choice of method for carbon footprint calculations is discussed as well as possibilities and obstacles with calculating carbon footprint for printed matter. The carbon footprint calculations in this study are performed according to PAS 2050:2008. No aggregated final result is presented; instead the resulting emissions connected to production and transport of input materials to the printing process, operations in the printing house, transportation of the final printed product to customer and end-of-life are placed in a database from where a carbon footprint of a specific printing order can be calculated. A company specific tool has been created that calculates the carbon footprint by using the database and user input parameters. The calculator is developed to be easy to use and still have a high enough level of complexity of the resulting carbon footprint. The production of electricity purchased for pulp production and production of fillers and binders are identified as examples of uncertain parameters. A carbon footprint calculator is appropriate to use in the printing industry compared to for example calculations for standard products, due to the fact that the printed products varies but also because several suppliers are used for the same input materials to one printing company. This is the case for paper, which also has a largely varying amount of emissions connected to its lifecycle depending on paper type. The conclusion can also be drawn that the printing company has little direct control of the emissions connected to their products, as generally only a small share of the emissions are originating from the operations within the printing house. On the other hand the printing company has large potential to affect the carbon footprint of their products through informed purchase decisions.
Keywords: Miljöteknik;Environmental engineering
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för energi och miljö
Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Energy and Environment
Series/Report no.: Report - Division of Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology : 2009:7
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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