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AbitibiBowater LCA Shows Environmental Benefits of Equal Offset Exceed Those of UFS

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AbitibiBowater, Montreal, Que., Canada, this week released an independent Life Cycle Assessment on the environmental impact of its Equal Offset paper as compared with traditional offset paper--uncoated freesheet (UFS). In 14 of the 15 categories examined over the full life cycle of the products, Equal Offset had a lower environmental impact than UFS, the company noted. In five of the categories, the impact was reduced by 50% or more. The most significant results were found in areas of particular interest to the pulp and paper industry:

  • Fewer trees are used in the production of Equal Offset due primarily to the higher pulping yield, reducing impacts on land occupation
  • Reductions in transportation, chemical use, and ash production lead to lower impacts on terrestrial ecotoxicity
  • Equal Offset emits only about 38% of the greenhouse gases associated with the production of UFS over its life cycle.

"This Life Cycle Assessment gave us tremendous insight into the full scope of the environmental benefits of Equal Offset," said Luc A. Ranger, AbitibiBowater VP, Business Strategy and Product Development. "The analysis was a cradle-to-grave comparison of our product against the standard alternative, and we found the results compelling."

The Life Cycle Assessment was conducted by Dr. Paul Stuart, Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Dr. Matty Janssen, Post-Doctoral Fellow, in the Department of Chemical Engineering of Ecole Polytechnique at the Universite de Montreal. The independent third-party peer review of the LCA was carried out by the Interuniversity Research Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services.


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