Newspaper Publisher’s Study Finds Usage Determines if Print or Digital is Greener
The study is part of the Green Growth program of Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation.
Consumer choices play a key role in the environmental impacts of online services
The study indicates that the environmental impacts of print media are primarily created in the early part of the product life cycle—i.e., paper production and printing. Conversely, the environmental impacts of online services are primarily created towards the end of the product life cycle and related to factors involved with their consumption, such as the production of the device used to read the content.
The publisher can influence the environmental impacts of a printed newspaper by making appropriate purchasing decisions and by improving the energy and materials efficiency of buildings and production operations. The publisher can mitigate the environmental impacts of online services through cooperation with supply chain partners and by communicating with customers on the subject of the ecological consumption of online services. The environmental impacts of content production can be kept in check through the effective management of work-related travel and the methods of transportation used.
“The results of the study indicate that our new printing press in Tampere, which will begin operations in 2013, and the new office building in Töölönlahti that will be completed in late 2012, are positive steps that reduce Alma Media’s environmental impact. The two new facilities will result in a marked improvement in Alma Media’s energy and materials efficiency. We will also apply for LEED environmental certification for both buildings. The survey has also inspired us to carefully analyse the environmental impacts of the ICT supply chain”, says Kai Telanne, President and CEO of Alma Media.
Communication and communications technology represent only a marginal share of greenhouse gas emissions
As the field of communications becomes increasingly digital, understanding the environmental impacts of ICT will become more and more important for Alma Media as well as the industry at large. The need for further research highlighted in the study mainly concerns issues related to the digitalisation of media.