The mega traditional press manufacturers such as Heidelberg have been relatively slow to embrace the sustainability message. However, a bit like turning an ocean tanker, once the turn is underway it is slow but it is decisive. So it is with Heidelberg who is investing substantially into carbon calculation, in order to offset its emissions. We spent sometime at drupa with the folks leading this work, to find out how much of it is greenwash and how much is for real. A detailed evaluation will take more than a quick blog to cover, but the gist of it is that Heidelberg’s efforts are as sincere as they are impressive.
As drupa winds its way to a grateful close we have been struck by the sheer enormity of the task facing the printing industry, when it comes to reduced environmental impact. If it’s true (and we reckon it is) that climate change can only be mitigated by a reduction of worldwide greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions, our industry must do more. If for no other reason than because print is central to our communications models and print is an important dimension for every other business.
Sustainability is the hot term at drupa this week and we are seeing more and more companies jumping on the bandwagon. And not just companies. Industry associations such as the German VDMA are working with their members to measuring the energy usage and CO2 emissions of printing machines. Worthy work indeed and we hope to learn more about how the VDMA is doing its calculations.
These days standards govern every part of a successful printer’s life. Many printers choose to gain accreditation because they understand it’s a good way to keep demanding customers happy. Or because they want to measure their business against a set of external metrics. More and more printers are gaining accreditation to standards such as ISO 9001 for a business’s quality management and ISO 14001 for environmental management.
Agfa Graphics has been working with an independent Flemish institute to find out more about print’s environmental impact, with some interesting results. VITO specialises in research into energy, environment and materials, and has been around for some thirty years. VITO has done a carbon footprint analysis of several of Agfa’s plate technologies, however its conclusions are relevant for all plate technologies.