By Prof. Dr. Ing. Volrad Wollny, University of Applied Sciences, Mainz, Germany

This test report concerns the CO2-Calculator (Version Offset V3, as at June 2011), produced by the bvdm (German Printing and Media Industries Federation) to enable companies to draw up a balance sheet of the CO2 footprint of their individual print jobs. The object of the critical review is the model for offset printing – no tests were made for gravure and digital printing. This is a continuation of the first critical review carried out by the same person on 13 December 2008.

The model is based on a Life Cycle Analysis (Ecological Balance Sheet) restricted to one effect parameter – the greenhouse effect – expressed in the emission of CO2 equivalents with an effect horizon of 100 years. The model is comprehensive and provides detailed information about the printing process, which is its core area of application. As opposed to previous versions, company master data is firmly stored and so only the job data needs to be entered for an individual balance sheet. This reduces the risk of input errors. The company master data (e.g. power consumption of the machines) is compiled and entered by the printing company together with a federation expert, and cannot be directly changed by the printing company. Besides generic industry data, it is also possible to use self-ascertained operating data (e.g. additives consumption) or data obtained from suppliers and thus portray the individual conditions of a company or job more precisely. The calculator also has a practical and user-friendly design.

A special feature of this critical review is that it refers to a calculator model and not to a specific CO2 balance sheet. Examples of balance sheets produced by this CO2-Calculator were already available at the time the critical review was made. The person responsible at bvdm, Mr. Brandt, provided all the documentation required by the reviewer and a full explanation of the calculator’s modus operandi.

The critical review concluded that the bvdm CO2-Calculator meets the requirements of the ISO Life Cycle Assessment standards 14040 and 14044 that apply to it. Furthermore, the review also included the draft of a standard for the Carbon Footprint of Products ISO 14067-1 and 14067-2 from June 2010 as well as a working draft of the ISO standard 16759 Carbon Footprint (Graphic technology – quantification and communication for calculating the carbon footprint of print media products). Here it can also be confirmed that the requirements of the (draft) standard were met.

The objectives and target groups are precisely stated, and the examination framework is appropriately selected. The methods used in the CO2-Calculator are scientifically based and conform to state-of-the-art Life Cycle Assessment technology. As far as Life Cycle Assessment is concerned, the data employed is sufficient and effective. The possible influence of data inaccuracy was examined by sensitivity analyses, and its possible influence on balance sheet results is negligible. The results, information and evaluations that the CO2-Calculator provides meet the objective and the identified limitations have been adequately taken into account. The documentation and report concerning the CO2-Calculator are understandable, sufficiently accurate, and coherent.

Mainz, 17 June 2011
Prof. Dr. Ing. Volrad Wollny

About Prof. Dr. Ing. Volrad Wollny, born in 1958

Prof. Dr. Ing. Volrad Wollny After studying and obtaining his doctorate at the Darmstadt Technical University, he was an R&D Manager in the pulp and paper industry. In 1990 he joined the Institute for Applied Ecology in Darmstadt where he was responsible for research and consulting for public and private clients in the fields of waste management, Life Cycle Assessment, environment protection processes, environment management, and sustained development.

Since 2001 Dr. Wollny has been a Professor at the Mainz University of Applied Sciences, specializing in materials flow management and logistics in the field of economics. He lectures in normative, strategic and operative management, environment controlling, environment management, materials and production management, as well as supply chain management.

In the fields of printing, paper and Life Cycle Assessment, Dr. Wollny has conducted numerous appraisals and research projects, among others for the Association of Plastic Manufacturers Europe (APME), Duale System Deutschland AG, the EU Commission, Pet-Cycle GmbH and Steidl-Verlag. At present he is involved with a comprehensive CO2 balancing project aimed at “Optimization of the waste management system in Hamburg under the special aspect of climate protection“.

Dr. Wollny is a recognized expert for ecological balancing methodology.