Comparative Carbon Footprint Analysis of New and Remanufactured Inkjet cartridges

HP21 and HP22 versus Generic Reman

In 2009, EBP were approached by the Centre for Remanufacture and Reuse (CRR) to work together to complete a comparative carbon footprint analysis of new and remanufactured inkjet cartridges.

The CRR are a government funded body formed to promote, where appropriate, the activities of remanufacturing and reuse. The Centre is embedded within Oakdene Hollins Ltd, a clean technology and resource management consultancy based in Aylesbury, Bucks.

A key strand of CRR’s activity deals with the development and implementation of standards to underwrite remanufacturer quality. They are in the process of establishing an accreditation service for businesses wishing to adopt the standards of BS 8887-220:(2009).

The study’s scope has been designed to reflect the true real world use and experience of the average consumer. Previous studies have:

A full copy of the study is available here

The carbon footprint analysis was conducted for the popular HP inkjet cartridges HP21 (C9351A) Black & HP22 (C9352A) Colour. These cartridges are typical HP cartridges for the current generation of HP printers and reflect broadly across the full range of HP inkjet cartridges using print head technology.

The analysis includes materials, manufacturing & remanufacturing processes, transport, recycling and disposal stages and is based on a recycling ratio of 1.11 times for each inkjet cartridge core.

This relative assessment has been conducted under the guidelines of PAS2050:2008. This is the current standard for the interpretation of the relative carbon footprint of remanufactured products, although these guidelines are still open to review and are not universally accepted by the remanufacturing industry and other leading experts. (http://www.thegreencard.org.uk/index/beyond_compliance/pas_2050.-contextmargin-43652-files-40690-File.cpsdownload.tmp/PAS2050%20Guide.pdf)

It is the intellectual position of others, including EBP, that the inclusion of the “benefit and burden” premise used in these guidelines is conceptually flawed. In simple terms, this states that the remanufacturer absorbs half the responsibility of the carbon footprint from the production of the original inkjet core at time of manufacture.

On the basis that this inkjet core was originally designed to be disposable rather than reusable, it is the position of EBP that the responsibility for the core should remain with the original equipment manufacturer.

In either case the environmental advantages of remanufacture cartridges are clear, but to illustrate the significant benefits particularly when the responsibility for the Inkjet core is held by the original equipment manufacturer, both are compared side by side below.

"Burden shared

  1. Accumulated carbon impact of remanufacturing an inkjet cartridge is 0.82 kgCO2eq compared to 1.21 kgCO2eq for manufacturing an equivalent new cartridge.

"OEM Burden"

  1. Accumulated carbon impact of remanufacturing an inkjet cartridge is 0.22 kgCO2eq compared to 1.21 kgCO2eq for manufacturing an equivalent new cartridge.

  1. Remanufactured inkjet cartridges have 32% less carbon impact than the new ones when excluding the use phase.
  2. Saving achieved by EBP in 2009 alone by simply remanufacturing HP 21 & HP 22 cartridges is over 163 tCO2eq.
  3. Estimated saving by EBP in 2009 by remanufacturing of all inkjet types sold is 995 tCO2eq.
  1. Remanufactured inkjet cartridges have 81% less carbon impact than the new ones when excluding the use phase.
  2. Saving achieved by EBP in 2009 alone by simply remanufacturing HP 21 & HP 22 cartridges is over 445 tCO2eq.
  3. Estimated saving by EBP in 2009 by remanufacturing of all inkjet types sold is 2,720 tCO2eq.