Critical Review – Four Comparative Life Cycle Assessments of Printed and Electronic Communication
Four LCA studies that compare the environmental impact of printed communication relative to an alternative electronic communication were reviewed. The critical review also focused on pointing out issues that need to be covered in order to perform a suitable comparable study of the two communication methods.
Graphic Association of Denmark – Denmark
The critical review was carried out by 2.‐0 LCA consultants and Aalborg University, the Danish Centre for Environmental Assessment for the Graphic Association of Denmark. Project completed November 2014.
In society as well as in the graphic industry there is an ongoing debate about the environmental impact of printed communication compared to electronic communication. Four LCA studies were selected by the Graphic Association of Denmark (GA) to be reviewed. These studies all aim at comparing the overall environmental impact of different types of printed communication with an alternative electronic communication.
However, the conclusions of the studies are not consistently in favour of one specific communication method although all four studies are frequently cited in the debate. Besides reviewing the studies’ suitability for comparing communication methods, the critical review also focused on pointing out which issues that need to be covered in order to perform a suitable comparable study of the two communication methods. More information can be found in the report: Critical review of four comparative life cycle assessments of printed and electronic communication.