Finat and TLMI have cooperated to provide life cycle assessment (LCA) guidelines for the self-adhesive label industry. UPM Raflatac has been an active contributor to the preparatory work for these guidelines, drawing on in-house expertise in life cycle assessment and its close partnership with both organizations.
The new guidelines were introduced at the recent Finat Technical seminar in Barcelona, Spain.
‘Working with industry associations is an integral part of our stakeholder dialogue and business development. Therefore, it was vitally important to contribute to the preparation of the guidelines,’ said Jan Hasselblatt, director of global accounts and brand relations at UPM Raflatac. ‘UPM Raflatac's knowledge and experience in this field has already given us the opportunity to work with converters and brand owners in several life cycle assessment projects, which we've tailored to their requirements.’
The new guidelines use information from two life cycle assessment case studies conducted by PRé Consultants. The studies indicate that the environmental impacts of a label's life cycle are distributed over a variety of processes, but centered mainly on the raw material selection and printing stages. Recycling or reducing label matrix and liner waste was also recognized as significantly reducing the overall environmental impacts of the self-adhesive label life cycle.
In 2013, UPM Raflatac launched the Label Life tool to help label printers and end-users understand the life cycle impacts of the labelstock products the company manufactures and provide credible information on their environmental performance. Label Life is based on comprehensive life cycle assessment methodology and conducted in accordance with internationally recognized ISO 14040/44 standards.
‘We recognize the need for industry-specific guidelines, and our approach to LCA is well-aligned with the recently published guidelines,’ commented sustainability specialist for UPM Raflatac Noora Markkanen. ‘Life cycle assessment remains a case-specific matter, of course, and calculations need to be tailored in each instance to ensure accurate and credible results.’