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Life cycle analysis and policy options: the case of the European pulp and paper industry

Author: Gabel, H. Landis ; Van Wassenhove, Luk N. ; Bloemhof-Ruwaard, J. M. ; Weaver, P. MINSEAD Area: Technology and Operations ManagementIn: Business Strategy and the Environment, vol. 3, no. 5, 1996 Language: EnglishDescription: p. 156-167.Type of document: INSEAD ArticleNote: Please ask the Library for this articleAbstract: Policy makers are seeking to reduce the environmental impact of the European pulp and paper sector by influencing technology choices throughout its lifecycle. Because of its preoccupation with existing technologies, policy risks cause perverse environmental outcomes or adverse affects on countries' industry and trade. The scientific basis for preferring one technology over another is unclear. The authors explore these concerns in the case of mandatory fibre recycling using an approach that combines materials accounting methods and operational research techniques. It is found that minor changes in technology assumptions result in sharply different environmental optima for the sector. Recycling offers rapid improvement in environmental performance with geographical specialisation in production. An alternative of cleaner primary pulp production plus energy recovery offers potentially greater long term environmental improvement and greater geographical self-sufficiency
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Policy makers are seeking to reduce the environmental impact of the European pulp and paper sector by influencing technology choices throughout its lifecycle. Because of its preoccupation with existing technologies, policy risks cause perverse environmental outcomes or adverse affects on countries' industry and trade. The scientific basis for preferring one technology over another is unclear. The authors explore these concerns in the case of mandatory fibre recycling using an approach that combines materials accounting methods and operational research techniques. It is found that minor changes in technology assumptions result in sharply different environmental optima for the sector. Recycling offers rapid improvement in environmental performance with geographical specialisation in production. An alternative of cleaner primary pulp production plus energy recovery offers potentially greater long term environmental improvement and greater geographical self-sufficiency

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