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Media & Sustainability

Assessing the environmental impact from production, distribution and consumption of different media channels from a lifecycle perspective.

Project title

Media & Sustainability (2010-2012)

Project description

This project aims at taking a closer look at the media sector, its processes and work methods, from a sustainability perspective. We aim at answering the research question: What is the environmental impact from production, distribution and consumption of different media channels from a lifecycle perspective? As a result, we hope to be able to position the media sector as a whole from an environmental perspective. Another outcome is to suggest options for improvement in processes and work methods, especially considering environmental aspects.

The project consists of a number of sub-projects, described more in detail below.

1. News production in print and broadcast from an environmental perspective

A. In this sub-project, we will map the work flows in the editorial process of a printed daily newspaper and a news television broadcast from a process perspective. We will study the news production at a daily newspaper and the equivalent news production at a daily news broadcast, while limiting the sub-project 1A to the processes prior to the distribution, i.e stop the assessment where the digital product is ready to be sent off to print or broadcast. The environmental impact of the news production will be assessed using life cycle assessment.

B. As the next phase in the sub-project (1B), if additional funding is found, we aim at expanding the environmental assessment to include a full lifecycle perspective for the service of providing and consuming news, by adding data regarding the printing process, broadcast or other TV distribution mechanisms, distribution of printed newspapers and news consumption as well as disposal of printed copies and electronic devices. The aim is to make visible the potential environmental impacts of news, and indentify key areas of possibilities for improvement.

A broad survey of this kind has not been done before in Sweden, and our belief is that there is a need for increased knowledge in this area. The survey would also form a knowledge base for further research, which would be very useful, not the least in this project.

2. The climate impact of Swedish media as a whole

What is Swedish media’s annual contribution to climate change (greenhouse gas emissions)? In sub-project 2, we aim at defining the media sector including different types of media channels. We will then use available data to estimate the climate impact of Swedish media.

3. Environmental impact of mobile media

In this sub-project, we will focus on mobile services via 3G/4G, mainly content distribution. No detailed planning has yet been done. An example of what may be studied is a news broadcast streamed to a mobile phone, using data from sub-project 1 for news production.

4. Environmental aspects of magazine production

In sub-project 4, we will do a survey of parallel publication flows from an editorial process perspective. The production, distribution and consumption of a specific printed magazine will furthermore be studied and compared with a magazine, distributed digitally to an e-reading device using life cycle assessment.

Project leader

Åsa Moberg


Bonnier, Ericsson, Stampen, SVT, TeliaSonera, Tidningsutgivarna


Åsa Moberg (

Belongs to: Centre for Sustainable Communications
Last changed: Jul 18, 2013