Whilst many printers such as ours are doing their utmost to become more environmentally friendly, which can include such things as sustainable, recycled paper schemes, changes in ink and chemical make-up, energy saving initiatives and waste reduction, it is important that the suppliers to the print industry are doing their best to become more carbon neutral too.
Print Suppliers Cleaning Up Their Act
Well news reaches us that a lot of these suppliers are making a concerted effort to clean up their act and go above and beyond the call of duty. There was a very good article in Print Week on this subject by Hannah Jordan last month, below are some excerpts from this article regarding the companies HP and Epson:
Investing In Water Based Inks
“At the end of 2019, HP unveiled a major $200m (£152m) spend, as part of its ‘Sustainable Impact’ agenda, in water-based inks for the textiles and corrugated packaging industries, the former of which is one of the world’s biggest water polluting industries.
Improvements are being made in all sorts of ways as, rightly or wrongly, industry organisations start to be motivated by the business benefits too.
UK-based creasing matrix and accessory specialist C&T Matrix, by the very nature of its product, uses around 500 tonnes of plastic every year. “Not a very popular thing these days,” admits managing director Simon Shenton.
But rather than bury its head in the sand the company has taken action and dramatically reduced waste by investing in new equipment and increasing in-house recycling meaning that now 100% of its EVA and ejection rubber waste is put back into its product, with the objective to decrease overall waste by 40% by 2022.
“They have greater requirements from customers which is getting passed down the supply chain, so there is pressure on manufacturers to improve their green credentials,” says Shenton, citing many of the firm’s large, multinational customers.
“There has been investment needed on our part but there is also a payback on our investment – three years we think – in terms of putting the recycling back into our process and reducing spend on virgin material.”
Epson Reducing Emissions Across The Board
Epson Europe’s CSR manager Dan Welch says that rather than offsetting carbon, the company is focused on reducing its emissions across its business and producing technologies that have a positive impact on society and the environment.
He cites the firm’s cold print processes as well as its new PaperLab technology that can recycle used paper into a new product within one machine. Furthermore, he says Epson is looking at using 30% recycled materials in its machine builds with the desire to make it 100% in the future.
He believes the pace and demand for change in sustainability in manufacturing will only increase. “Ultimately the manufacturer will have the most responsibility,” he states.
“They will have to up their game in various areas that they may not have done previously, and I think that will happen in the next two to three years if you look at the Environmental Bill.
“We have a responsibility for our product and what we put on to the market but there is a certain element of responsibility for the consumer, whether it’s a business or a person, to ensure that when it’s in their hands they do what they can.””
This is excellent news, we take our responsibilities for the environment very seriously and it is good to see that the print industry as a whole is also taking steps to becoming carbon neutral as soon as it possibly can.