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VSD Carbon Footprinting

VSD Carbon Footprinting
One of the first carbon footprint evaluations of a magazine was made in France in 2009. This study of VSD, a weekly title of Prisma Media (Gruner + Jahr) examines and quantifies each step of the production process and mass editorial, pulp and paper production, printing, binding, distribution and end of life, greenhouse gas emission. The assessment was made by UNIC (French Printing Federation and mass a Champions partner) using the Bilan Carbone© tool developed by the French Environmental Agency (ADEME).

Everyone involved in the production of VSD participated in the study and provided relevant information :

  • .VSD Newsroom: Energy consumption, journalists' travel and commuting;
  • .Paper: suppliers UPM and Stora Enso: Energy (nature, origins and quantity) and materials used;
  • .Ink supplier Sun Chemical: Energy and materials used;
  • .Circle Printers & Brofasud bindery: Energy, materials used and commuting;
  • .Presstalis, as distributor: Freight information.

In addition, all transport operations (pulp to paper mills, paper mills to printer, printer to binder, binder to distribution platforms, management of unsold returns) were considered

The life cycle of CO2-e generated during the production, distribution and recycling of the weekly French magazine VSD.

SOME RESULTS
To produce, distribute and manage unsold returns of VSD, the total GHG (greenhouse gas emissions) is equal to about 10 000 tonne/CO2-e. Pulp and paper production are responsible for 55% of these emissions. This represents about 750g CO2-e per sold copy (less than half of the emission to heat a bath).



SOME CONCLUSIONS
The goal of this type of study is to identify where emissions can be reduced. This can be achieved not only by the paper suppliers and the printer, but also from a global approach that optimises unsold copies. This study shows that sending only a few copies by air freight represents 9% of the total emissions and 56% of all freight emissions and mass therefore distributed printing may offer significant reductions.

VSD weekly magazine key data

Paper used ..................................... 4.700 tons
Single copy average weight ........................ 0,22 kg
Annual copies produced ............. 17.500.000 copies/year
Annual subscriptionx copies .......... 2.028.00 copies/year
Foreign distribution ....................16% of sold copies
Unsold copies ......................................... 30%
Recycled unsold copies ................................ 90%