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In the summer of 2003, Kodak HSE and the Sustainable Design and Manufacturing program (previously Environmentally Conscious Design and Manufacturing) at Georgia Institute of Technology began a joint project to assess the environmental impacts of products involved in imaging. One of the most quantitative methods of analyzing the environmental impacts due to specific products is a tool called Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The products that where initially chosen to be assessed were limited to consumer imaging; however, it was noted that this project should be developed in such a way as to allow the inclusion of additional products from consumer imaging and other markets such as medical imaging in the future.

With the advent of the digital camera, consumers have more choice than ever in how they capture, store, process and display their images. The number of choices consumers have in this matter creates a complicated system of products that can interact with each other in many different ways. Kodak’s perspective of these imaging activities is to break them down between Image Capture and Image Processing and Image Output. The table below indicates the various imaging components that were initially selected for this project.

Table 1.1: Imaging Products

Image Capture Image Processing Image Output
Reloadable Film Camera
Retail film processing
Wholesale film processing
Retail print output
Wholesale print output
Digital Camera Computer processing
Inkjet Printing
Thermal Printing
Soft Display (CRT or LCD)

A representative product was chosen for each one of these product groups and an LCA was completed for them. These product studies were structured in such a way that they could then be connected in order to assess various consumer scenarios.