M-real Research Shows Lighter Weight Boards Reduce Carbon Footprints
June 7, 2010 - New research, conducted for M-real Consumer Packaging, has found that within the same grade (brand), the carbon footprint of a cartonboard reduces at least in proportion to its basis weight.
A 15% reduction in board weight equates to a 18% reduction in carbon footprint, which is important to users concerned about sustainability. If they can specify a lighter weight board, provided all criteria regarding stiffness and performance are met, their own carbon footprint will diminish accordingly, M-real said.
For example, M-real calculated that if a producer made 100,000 biscuit cartons using a 25 g/m2 lighter board, the CO2 saving per year equals driving 1,000 km by car.
M-real said the research, commissioned from an external research institute, aimed to produce Life Cycle Assessments for three different weights of board. Carbon footprints were calculated for 10,000 biscuit cartons produced in 250, 270 and 295 g/m2 weights, to discover if the footprint would reduce proportionately when a lighter weight board was used.
Calculations assessed energy used in forestry, transport and manufacturing at all stages from harvesting the wood to making the cartons, including, for example, transporting the board to the customer, M-real noted.