Ricoh First Company to Attain ISO 16759 Accreditation

medium_Laurel_2012.jpegThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

It is great news to hear that Ricoh has achieved accreditation to ISO 16759 for the Ricoh carbon calculator. ISO 16759 (Communicating and calculating the carbon footprint of print media products) is a framework methodology that provides developers with the information necessary to create sound and reliable carbon calculators for use in the graphic arts. It was published only in July and is relevant for all players in a print media product supply chain, from designers through to printing and distribution. ISO 16759 is not a calculator but a set of requirements for what specific for calculators used in printing and publishing applications. It applies for all markets and all industry sectors.

The accreditation was conducted by Print & Media Certification, a UK body works with an international client base. Print & Media Certification is the only formally recognised accreditation company specialised in printing industry certifications. We understand there are other certifications for calculators that follow ISO 16759 in the pipeline, and we hope that they too will want to achieve formal certification. In the meantime Ricoh has stolen quite a march.

Ricoh has long been an industry leader in sustainability. Their carbon calculator, which we have not seen, was developed as part of the Ricoh Carbon Balanced Printing programme. The basis of this programme is an optimisation plan that takes a structured approach to reducing a company’s carbon footprint. It is designed to educate printers and raise their knowledge of sustainable printing and related practises. The project has been underway for about a year and a number of printers have adopted the programme.

ISO 16759 outlines what is required in a carbon calculator and although it can be used to calculate print’s carbon footprint, it is not in and of itself a calculator. So it does not compete with carbon calculators on the market, but instead is designed to provide a common reference point. Print buyers will be able to trust the data gathered for any carbon footprint study that complies with ISO 16759. When two studies are indentical in goal and scope it will be possible to make direct comparisons. In such situations they will be in a position to make media investment decisions based on carbon footprint data. We are a long way from that at present, but at least there is one carbon calculator that complies to the standard. This is a great start!

The Ricoh accreditation is also fantastic news for the ISO working group responsible for the development and content of ISO 16759. Ricoh’s development of a calculator that follows the standard’s guidance is a reward for all their hard work. The accreditation is also an excellent endorsement of the standard’s robustness and relevance.

– Laurel Brunner

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