LIFE+Ecoedición - Ecopublishing, sustainable management of publications in the public administration

LIFE08 ENV/E/000124

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Esperanza Reyes PEREA ACOSTA
Tel: +34 955 003430
Fax: +34 955 003771
Email: maria.briones@juntadeandalucia.es

Project description:


The environmental impacts of publications cover their entire lifecycle, from pre- to post-production. From the first moment when raw materials are extracted to when product waste is managed and removed, a product passes through different stages: design, production, packaging and distribution. At each stage resources are consumed (water, energy, materials), and there are discharges, emissions and waste contaminants that can enter water, air and soil.


The project’s objective was to promote sustainable management in the Junta de Andalucía's public administration editorial services. It also aimed to promote the inclusion of sustainability requirements in the publishing market; to increase efficiency in the management of resources by adjusting the number of publications to actual needs; and to raise awareness so citizens increasingly demand publications that are produced sustainably.


The demonstration project ECOEDICIÓN developed and tested innovative approaches for procurement strategies, to enable public administrations to promote more sustainable publications and consumers to recognise publications that take into account environmental issues. Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) was used to calculate the environmental impact of a print publication during all of its life stages.

The project conducted an environmental diagnosis of the publishing industry in Andalusia and calculated the environmental impact of a typical Junta de Andalucía publication. It defined a set of 23 environmental criteria, 7 social criteria, and some recommendations related to technical solvency of companies and to technical specifications of publications. These criteria were disseminated in ‘The Sustainable Printing and Publishing Services (Ecoedition) Procurement Manual’, which advised on the production of more sustainable paper publications. Several recommendations were presented for each phase of a publication’s life cycle. The viability of these was assessed during the project (e.g. recommendations on design, raw materials, processes and operational management). The Ecoedition Manual has become an important tool for the sector, and is open to new developments.

An ‘Eco-efficiency Analysis for Companies and organisations’ (AEE) was developed by the project as an online tool for calculating the carbon footprint for publications, and to check if companies are implementing appropriate energy saving measures in all areas. The project’s ‘Sustainability Assessment for Publications’ (ESP) is another online tool, which provides detailed information regarding impact categories, depletion of the ozone layer, photochemical oxidant formation, particle formation, terrestrial acidification, freshwater eutrophication, water footprint or depletion of fossil resources. Its calculation methodology is based on the requirements of the Product Category Rules (PCR) validated by Envirodec.

In the pilot project, with the cooperation of a number of regional ministries, 156 publications were published with ecoedition criteria (instead of the 25 initially planned). To promote publications made using the green criteria, an ecoedition ecolabel was launched. The ecolabel enables consumers to recognise publications that take into account environmental issues during their production life cycle.

Among the environmental criteria promoted by the project is the use of paper from sustainable forest management, inks free of heavy metals, and the practice of calculating the environmental impact of a publication.

A project campaign to join Ecoedition gained the formal involvement of 81 organisations, who are now members. Training courses on ecoedition were organised and attended by 266 people (63% from public administrations and 37% from private companies). A public list of participants on the campaign and pilot project was created to encourage the social networking of professionals. The list of ecoedited titles is accessible on the project’s website, along with key environmental features for each publication.

The project has been well-accepted by the target groups, with several companies already including environmental criteria in printed publications. The take-up of green criteria by the Andalusian Public Administration represented the first case of Green Public Procurement in the Ministry of Environment and Land Planning. The methodologies and tools produced by the project have high replication potential at the European level. The project is aligned with both European and national policies on sustainability, in particular, the recent European Parliament and Council Directive 2014/24/EU on Public Procurement.

Other product types made from paper and cardboard could also include similar sustainability criteria (e.g. leaflets, envelopes, office paper, and posters). The project team collaborated with the Advisory Committee on Public Procurement in developing a model of purchase specifications for paper-based products. Furthermore, the need to reduce the environmental impact of publications stimulates the search for new materials, improved ink compositions, and reductions in printing costs and energy. The project engages with a large number of providers (e.g. graphic designers, printers, courier services, cleaning services and waste disposal) to encourage more sustainable behaviours.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Environmental management - Certification
Environmental management - Green procurement
Environmental management - Life Cycle Assessment-Management
Industry-Production - Paper - Pulp - Printing
Services & Commerce - Public administration


environmental education‚  decision making support‚  environmental awareness‚  ecolabel‚  environmental friendly procurement‚  public procurement‚  life-cycle management

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Consejería de Medio Ambiente de la Junat de Andalucía
Type of organisation Regional authority
Description The co-ordinating beneficiary is the Consejería de Medio Ambiente de la Junta de Andalucía, the regional environment ministry of Andalucía.
Partners None


Project reference LIFE08 ENV/E/000124
Duration 01-JAN-2010 to 30-JUN -2014
Total budget 1,405,808.00 €
EU contribution 702,904.00 €
Project location Andalucía(España)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version