World Association of News Publishers

Sustainability in newspaper production

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Sustainability in newspaper production

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Publishing green

In summer 2009, WAN-IFRA, in cooperation with the Media Faculty of the Hochschule für Technik, Wirtschaft und Kultur (HTWK) in Leipzig, Germany, launched the “Sustainability in Newspaper Production” research project. Ronald Weidel is responsible in Leipzig for carrying out the project. Here is an excerpt of the interview that will be featured in the May-June 2010 edition of WAN-IFRA Magazine, in which he explains the content and objectives of the project.

WAN-IFRA: How did the project come about?

RONALD WEIDEL: At HTWK in Leipzig we have increased our research in the areas of software and media, with special emphasis on workflow technologies. HTWK Leipzig has maintained intensive contact with IFRA for several years, in the course of which various smaller-scale projects were carried out. On the basis of this cooperation, the idea was developed to create a competence centre for newspaper printing at HTWK Leipzig with a view to acting as a service provider for education and research for the news publishing industry. WAN-IFRA was the partner of choice, quite simply because the connection with a professional association provides a good basis for such an undertaking. In a first step, a draft project was drawn up to define the form such a project could take. This draft was submitted to WAN-IFRA and last year financial resources allocated from the university budget. The topic of “sustainability in newspaper production” is currently being discussed in the WAN-IFRA committees and accordingly the concrete order to carry out this first project originated from the WAN-IFRA Business Unit Newspaper Production.

WAN-IFRA: What is the primary objective of this project?

WEIDEL: To begin with, the primary objective is to investigate the subject of carbon footprint: What projects are being carried out at present in this area? What studies are available? What is the scientific status? What possibilities exist in relation to developing models and methods? We are seeking an in-depth examination of this subject matter by analysing the suitability for application in practice of the available tools and methods. For this purpose, we produce actual case studies from real newspaper houses. We investigate whether the existing calculation methods are suitable for drawing up a CO2 balance sheet in practice and what conclusions can be drawn from the obtained values.

WAN-IFRA: What exactly do the newspapers get?

WEIDEL: Interest is focused on the so-called PAS 2050, a regulatory framework of the British Standard Institution (BSI) that was introduced in autumn 2008. This is a general guideline that is currently being tested by organisations in several different branches of industry. We have taken this standard, freely available from the BSI, as a basis for testing its use in the newspaper sector. With our project, we wish to examine how this model can be applied to newspapers. Are there any sticking points? What must be taken into account? However, this guideline is more of a general nature and applies equally for products and services. We need a more specific application, matched to the conditions in the newspaper industry. It is not our aim – something I wish to stress this at this point – to create a new standard or draw up a new method. We want to use the existing tools and apply in practice the scientific findings that others have developed already.


Charlotte Janischewski's picture

Charlotte Janischewski


2011-01-26 15:49

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WAN-IFRA's Newspaper Production Competence Centre provides in-depth know-how about all production-related activities and processes, from prepress to printing to postpress, also including consumables. Read more ...