26 Jan 2021

New National Secretary for PEFC UK

PEFC logo

The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) schemes is delighted to announce that Alun Watkins has been appointed as the new National Secretary for PEFC UK. Alun Watkins will take up his post in January 2010.

He will take over the reins at PEFC from William Walker who announced his intention to retire earlier this year. 

Watkins has been working in the timber and furniture industries for the past 25 years, the last 15 of which has seen him strengthen his involvement with environmental issues.

Before joining PEFC UK, Alun Watkins worked for The Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA) as Health, Safety & Environmental consultant where he provided services including offering advice and guidance to the furniture industry on all aspects of environmental compliance including chain of custody, as well as managing the industry specific initiative - Club Green. He was also instrumental in the development and promotion of the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme (FISP) and chaired the Furniture Industry Environment Committee.

Commenting on the appointment, PEFC UK Chairman Peter Latham said, "William has done a splendid job as National Secretary for the past five years in getting the PEFC programme to its current position. When he took on this role in 2005, there were only 70 companies with PEFC chain of custody certification and the figure currently stands at over 1,300.  The Board recognises the immense contribution that he has made to the organisation and we now look forward to his successor building on the firm foundations that William has laid down. We are confident that Alun's previous experience in the timber and furniture industry and knowledge of certification will be invaluable in helping PEFC to strengthen its position in the UK market".

For the sake of the environment: solvent-free, odourless and durable

Neschen logo

When it comes to the environment, Neschen AG and HP work together. As a certifi-cated development partner of HP, coating specialist from Bückeburg Neschen AG has collaborated with the inkjet manufacturer to develope digitally printable media which are ideal for HP’s latex inks and printers.

In terms of quality and versatility, the water-based HP latex inks are similar to solvent-based inks. On Neschen media, they have maximum brilliance – a deep black with glossy, intense colours. The pictures are pin-sharp and are radiant on the materials. But as far as the environment and health and safety are concerned, they are significantly less polluting. Digital prints produced with HP latex inks have no odour and release extremely low levels of volatile organic compounds.

During printing, they produce no ozone and are free of any other hazardous air pollutants. Special ventilation is not neces-sary and there are no requirements for emissions. Neither are they flammable or combustible, and they are not classified as hazardous wastes.

“Neschen AG traditionally relies on environmentally friendly products and processes” said Frank Seemann who is in charge of Marketing and Communication at Neschen AG in Bückeburg. “This now includes the eco-friendly digital print using latex inks. We worked in close collaboration with HP to develop the print media to suit. Thus, high quality is ensured.”

Used together with the HP Designjet L65500, printing services are now able to cover a wide variety of different applications. These range from POP, street and building advertising to exhi-bition design and vehicle signing as well as a huge variety of signs for events and functions. For these applications, latex print technology provides durable, odourless prints. They also offer a high level of versatility and productivity so that printing services are able to increase their capacities while minimising their impact on the environment.

“Resource and energy-saving production is increasingly impor-tant these days” continued Frank Seemann. “New concepts are required as a result of stricter environmental controls and the greater consumer awareness of green issues. As one of the leading suppliers in the book protection and graphics industries, Neschen AG recognised this trend some time ago and consis-tently relies on green production processes and materials. A current example of this is the print media for latex inks.”

Neschen AG also offers a high level of production security with a comprehensive service including advice on all its products and applications. The consistent high quality and wide choice of media for commonly used ink systems goes without saying. Neschen customers enjoy a special free service – download-able ICC profiles and the Neschen Colour Concept.

Neschen reminds us of its Green Credentials

Neschen logo

As one of the leading providers in the graphics sector, Neschen recognised the trend towards greater green awareness some time ago and consistently uses green production porcesses and materials.

For example, its Pro Nature product, which is subjected to the most stringent internal norms and checks, is a result of this, but as Neschen’s Frank Seemann, Head of Marketing and Communications Department at Neschen AG in Bückeburg, Germany points out: “Pro Nature is not just a label for the customer – the advertising materials for this line are made exclusively of environmentally and resource-friendly materials. One of these is cotton – a natural, fibre that is not just pleasantly warm and soft, but also kind of the skin. So it goes without saying that cotton is becoming more and more populat, particulary in interior graphic design”.

Corn is another new trend. As a result, Neschen also offers digital print media that is made entirely of cornstarch. Printed with eco inks – also made from cornstarch – this combination provides environmentally friendly advertising materials that are also completely biodegradable.

Since both corn and cotton are renewable natural materials, no finite fossil fuels are required. But even synthetic materials or plastics that are usually manufactured form oil can be produced sustainably. One example is the polyolefin group (PO). These include several wellknown materials, such as polypropylene (PP), which Neschen uses as a basic material in banner production.

The material used to make PP is a by-product of the petroleum industry, which is generated each day in the refineries and is also used in the food industry.

During combustion of the raw material or the PP film, only water (H20) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are emitted as reaction products. No other hazardous by-products are generated and modern cleaning and filter systems also further minimise emissions. This is a key difference when PP is compared to the majority of other synthetics and plastics that have to be specially disposed of and are often very harmful to the environment.

In addition to maintaining quality, Neschen is keen to save energy. As a result, it has fitted its own water filtering system that, after thorough purification, feeds the water from film production back into the public water supply. This revolutionary system decreases water consumption by several thousand cubic meters annually. Further, the company has implemented a highly efficient energy recovery system that has reduced the consumption of its manufacturing machinery to a minimum.

Frank Seemann comments: “In the final analysis, Neschen is not just a product trendsetter in its markets. It has also been a green pioneer and its continuing commitment to top-level research and development will ensure it continues to break new ground in the future.”

Hahnemuhle Green Initiatives

Hahnemuhle Fine Arts Papers and Canvas

Hahnemühle FineArt GmbH celebrated its 425 anniversary this year, making it one of the world's oldest continuously trading paper mill. Throughout its history, Hahnemühle has been uniquely sensitive to environmental issues in an industry that is notorious for its exploitation of the natural world. Today Hahnemühle continues to lead with its sustainable production processes.

"The green rooster, the brother of the Hahnemühle red rooster, was created to show that we care about the environment. Caring means offering environmentally-sound products, use of green power production and the sponsorship of environmental initiatives. In doing so, last year we saved 3000 tons of carbon dioxide, introduced bamboo fiber and sugar cane waste- based papers and donated more than $100,000 to environmental initiatives," said Joerg Adomat, Hahnemühle CEO.

The main resources necessary for the product of paper are water, pulp and a tremendous amount of electrical energy. Hahnemühle has addressed all of these from a product quality and sustainability perspective:

Water: The Hahnemühle paper mill was originally established on the banks of the pure, spring-fed Ilme river near the town of Dassel in the beautiful Solling region of Lower Saxony, Germany. This essential in the manufacture of premium quality fine art paper. Today this region has been designated as a Nature Protection Area by a European Flora Fauna Habitat directive. As a resident of this beautiful area, Hahnemühle has adapted sustainable fresh water and contaminant-free sewage recycling programs that exceed even the most stringent FFH directives. Now, 425 years later, the water of the Ilme is still classified as "drinking quality".

Pulp: The Hahnemühle product portfolio encompasses more than 500 different types of fine art, filter, and technical papers, many of which are used in precision industrial and medical applications that require the highest degree of purity. Since many of these applications rule out the use of recycled paper fibers, the importance of using sustainable forest resources becomes paramount to the company's green initiatives.

The company uses pulp from 20 different deciduous and conifer tree species worldwide and insists that its suppliers be certified for sustainable forestry practices that meet or exceed the equivalent of Forest Stewardship Council directives.

In addition to wood pulp, Hahnemühle also uses six different types of cotton linters and rags made from the super-soft, non-aging fibers of totally renewable cotton plant seed vessels.

In recent years Hahnemühle has developed two new "green" papers that have been added to the Digital FineArt Collection. The first was Bamboo 290gsm made from the fast growing fibers of the bamboo plant. The latest is Sugar Cane 300gsm, 75 percent of which is made from bagasse fibers, a by-product of sugar cane processing that would otherwise be burned. Cotton fibers gleaned from recycling our own paper waste make up the remaining 25 percent.

Electricity: The production of paper is an energy-intensive process; most of which is electrical. In January of 2009, Hahnemühle switched to one of Europe's most eco-friendly electrical energy providers called LichtBlick. The power provided by this company is generated entirely from easily sustainable power sources. No atomic, coal, gas or petroleum fuels are used. This will allow us to eliminate approximately 3,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually, a figure that roughly equals Hahnemühle's total paper production for a year.

Recycling: Whenever possible, Hahnemühle processes its own paper trimming waste and returns it directly into the production cycle. The excess waste trimmings that Hahnemühle cannot use are accumulated and forwarded to other fabricators, effectively eliminating virtually all its mill waste. Finally, all Hahnemühle packaging is made from fully recyclable materials.

Robert Horne POS Board - Beautifully Green

Robert Horne Group

Décor, POS and display panels are essential to create the ambience, style and sophistication of in-store presentation associated with the leading retail names. More ‘environmentally conscious’ retailers aim is
to reduce their impact on the environment across the whole of their operations.  This philosophy if often relected in their choice of substrates including display boards which increasingly have to be FSC certiied
whilst providing all the traditional beneits of stunning print associated with promotional displays. Enter Beautiful Board, created to exacting speciications especially for this purpose by Robert Horne and their
manufacturer and printed by SP Group for one of their clients, a leading UK retailer.

Louise Howard, Account Director for SP Group in Redditch explained why the production of Beautiful Board  was nothing short of a “minor miracle” ensuring SP Group was able to meet the demands of their client.

“The request from our exclusive client was short but speciic; they required a POS display board that was both high quality but also FSC certiied. In this case they had a promotional deadline which required the sourcing, trialing and printing of this new material in six weeks!  Robert Horne ensured that this could be done, speeding up the timescales involved and developing this new product from scratch in a matter of weeks. Beautiful Board provided exactly what they were looking for and ensured that SP Group was able to provide the environmental credentials, quality and impact required within the times scales expectations of our client.

To complete the whole chain of custody procedure, Robert Horne was paramount to SP Print gaining FSC, with their help and guidance we were able to push through our certiication. The success of this project has ensured that SP Group will continue to provide quality POS work for our clients, especially those who require FSC certiied options in the future.”

RHG launch Revive display board

robert horne rhg revive 

The Robert Horne Group is delighted to announce the launch of revive display board made from 100% recovered fibre of which a minimum is 65% post consumer waste. revive display board has been developed exclusively by Robert Horne, answering the vital market need for an environmentally preferable alternative to traditional display boards.

Due to growing pressure driven by both corporate social responsibility and commercial needs, demand for environmental boards has been growing significantly. It is well publicised that the UK's leading retailers are looking to promote a more environmentally conscious image and are increasingly becoming more committed to responsible sourcing.

This philosophy is reflected in their choice of recovered fibre substrates, including display boards, which must be made from 100% recovered fibre content. At the same time there can be no sacrifice in terms of print quality - particularly for promotional display purposes. Robert Horne has been actively working with major retailers to develop a product that can meet these demanding requirements. The launch of revive display board represents the culmination of 12 months work and now means that these boards are available as a nationally stocked range.

The revive family was established in 2000 and has built a strong reputation for providing a choice of recovered fibre content levels for gloss, silk, matt and uncoated papers and boards.

revive display board has a smooth coated surface with a silk finish and a bright white appearance providing superb colour lift and reproduction. It is even sided making it very stable during printing and conversion. Suitable for litho (thinner calipers), screen-printing and flat bed digital printing, it is the perfect substrate for all quality POS, construction, hanging signs, show cards and other display applications.

The range will initially comprise of 1000mic - 2000 mic boards in range of sheet sizes with special makings also available

Steve Lister, Business Development Director for Robert Horne Sign & Display, explained the rationale behind this exciting launch "Research has shown a real demand for environmentally friendly display boards that are comparable with virgin fibre products in terms of both quality and price. We firmly believe that revive display board will be a major player in unlocking this niche and will really help bring environmental boards into the mainstream of the retail display sector. It will also assist our customer to differentiate their business offering to their clients, offering them a real choice of an environmentally conscious product for the first time with the quality reassurance associated with the revive range."

For more information on the NEW revive display board or for samples please contact your local Robert Horne branch.