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FLEXO Magazine : Sustainable EOY 2009
A new Fact Sheet, available from The Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability at the University of Illinois' Sustain- ability Technology Center, Champaign, IL;,defines "Life Cycle Analysis," and presents a historical perspective of the concept and its development. It was compiled from essential resources that include: Life Cycle Assessment: Principles and Practice, published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) in 2006; as well as other reports from the International Journal of Life Cycle Analysis. The document, summarized below, is available at http://www.istc.illinois.edu/ info/library_docs/TR/TR040.pdf. ISTC executives state, "Life cycle analysis examines the environmental impacts of a product by considering the major stages of a product's life." Specifically, they are: • Raw material acquisition--material harvesting and trans- portation. • Processing. • Manufacturing. • Product life--energy and emissions during normal product life, required maintenance, and product reuse (refurbishing, material reuse). • Waste management/end of life --- recycling, landfills, liquid waste, gas emissions, etc. The LCA technique can be narrowed down to four main steps which address one or more of the product's life stages at a time: definition and scope; life cycle inventory; life cycle impact assessment; and data evaluation, interpretation, final conclusions, and recommendations. An effective LCA allows analysts to: • Calculate a product's environmental impact. • Identify the positive or negative environmental impact of a process or product. • Find opportunities for process and product improvement. • Compare and analyze several processes based on their environmental impacts. • Quantitatively justify a change in a process or product. The LCA method provides researchers or companies with quantitative data for their current products. By looking at a product's life from the raw material extraction to its disposal, the environmental impact of each process and material can be analyzed. The LCA allows researchers to determine and analyze the technological, economical, environmental, and social aspects of a product or process necessary to manage the complete life cycle. With this quantitative data, desired changes can be justified with respect to the cost and environ- mental impacts of a product or process. Life Cycle Analysis: What Is It? Environmental Awareness Survey to Provide Real Life Data for Real Life Business Verdigris, the not-for-profit print environmental research initiative, is inviting print companies around the world to partici- pate in the Verdigris Environmental Awareness survey. The aim of the survey is to better understand and evaluate the stra- tegic motivators and environmental intentions of print companies worldwide. The survey will be repeated annually to track environmental awareness and adoption trends. The English version of the Environmental Awareness survey is online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GG5X8RQ. Other language versions are under development and will be announced as they are ready. Results will help people and companies develop business strategies and equip them to better understand to what extent environmental issues are meaningful for their businesses. Findings, which are expected to assist in strategic planning and essential training initiatives, will be presented at Ipex 2010 during the Pira-sponsored Great Debate on Friday, May 21, 2010. In that presentation, tentatively titled, "Green Print: Is It Worth It?," Laurel Brunner, Verdigris evangelist and chairperson of the debate, will explain how results of the Environmental Awareness survey will provide businesses with solid data on which they can base their own decisions. Brunner maintains, "They will be able to get a real handle on issues, such as waste recycling and the correlation between environmental interest and revenue. The findings will be provided in raw data form to Verdigris supporters and the results will be made available on the Verdigris website at verdigrisproject.com. The survey is being promoted by Verdigris support- ers, Agfa, Canon, Digital Dots, Fujifilm, HP, Kodak, Oce, Ricoh and Unity Publishing, as well as graphic associations and print industry magazines around the world. www.flexomag.com END OF YEAR 2009 Sustainable FLEXO 3