17 Aug 2018

Agfa Graphics recognised for its commitment to the environment

Agfa Logo New

Agfa Graphics' manufacturing facility in Branchburg, New Jersey, USA, has been recognised by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) for its commitment to the environment.

The company was cited for its “voluntary and proactive measures taken to go beyond compliance in an effort to improve the environment and ensure a sustainable future.” The recognition honoured Agfa in various categories, including Environmental Policy, Materials Conservation, Hazardous Materials Reduction and several others.

The NJDEP noted in its report that Agfa has demonstrated its dedication to the environment by reducing the company’s water usage, decreasing manufacturing waste by making production improvements and line operating efficiencies, and by lowering power consumption through increased use of energy-efficient lighting.

“Sustainability is part of our strategy,” said Jonathan Ashton, vice-president, Operations, Agfa Graphics North America. “We are committed to systematically improving the cost and environmental performance of our products and operations. We are always looking for ways to operate according to sustainable production processes, to conserve natural resources, to operate our facilities safely and minimize the impact of these activities and products on the environment.”

Agfa Graphics’ facility in Branchburg, NJ, is the company’s largest manufacturing location in the United States, at which the company produces various products for the printing and publishing industries. The facility also features a state-of-the-art technology demo centre.

HP announces details of drupa Eco Leadership Forum

Hp Eco Forum

HP has announced details of the forthcoming Eco Leadership Forum at the drupa exhibition in Düsseldorf (3rd - 16th May), intended to address the key sustainability questions that matter most to today's printing industry.  To help address these questions and the issues related to them, HP has assembled a panel of experts, each of whom are at the forefront of printing industry sustainability.

Visitors to drupa will have the chance to attend each hour-long panel discussion and participate in the debate, which will take place at the HP tent, located outside of hall #4.  The Eco Leadership Forum schedule comprises two sessions examining how the printing industry can develop a common understanding of what sustainability means, as well as considering how environmental performance can be improved across the industry:

  • Sharing knowledge across the supply chain - Saturday 5th May, 15.45h
  • Improving environmental performance - Tuesday 8th May, 15.45h

The sessions will be moderated by Stephen Goddard, Environmental Leadership Program Manager HP GSB, and will welcome a cross-section of print service provider, consultancy and industry association panellists, including:

  • Laurel Brunner, Verdigris
  • Frazer Chesterman, EcoPrint
  • Marci Kinter, SGIA and Sustainable Green Printing Partnership
  • Matthias Hausmann, CEWE Color (5th May only)
  • Richard Owers, Pureprint (8th May only)

"Sustainability is becoming increasingly critical to the future success of printing businesses around the world, and even to the future of the printing industry itself," comments Goddard.

"An important aspect of the Eco Leadership Forum events will be to look at how knowledge can be best shared across the supply chain to help align the industry behind common objectives," he adds.

"The need to build a more sustainable future for the printing industry remains a significant challenge and print service providers are at the sharp end of this challenge. As such, we encourage anyone wishing to hear what the experts have to say - as well as have their own voice heard - to sign up for what we anticipate to be a thoroughly lively and informative event," he continues.

Those wishing to attend the Eco Leadership Forum and participate in the discussion are invited to register at: www.hp.com/go/ecoleadershipforum.

Get live updates and connect with HP leading up to and during drupa on the HP Graphic Arts Twitter Feed at www.twitter.com/hpgraphicarts and YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/hpgraphicarts.

Sustainability in print has to be about the money, money, money….!

Ecoprint Blog Moneytree

Sustainability in print has to be about the money, money, money…!

However there does, to me, seem to be some confusion over what sustainability is. Is it about being nice about the environment? Yes, but it has to be about profit first and what’s in it for me!

Money is important. Because without money, we simply won’t be able to make a social or environmental contribution. It’s obvious isn’t it? Well no, not when you get such a clouded issue as sustainability.

Let’s go back in time. When I joined the print sector back in 2006, there was a lot of talk about ‘overcapacity’ and the challenge of competition and price. If you think about it, it is a little crazy to think that when the market was so strong and growth was so normal, we were complaining about there being too much capacity and that price was an issue, especially when times were so good.

But it was clear back then, that many print companies really just print. The focus was on technology and print production in line with consistent customer demand and economic growth. The general interface between customer and printer was relatively transactional.

Most print companies said ‘I can do whatever you want’ and they let the technology and their ability to print do the talking.  I could see this wasn’t the future. I could see there were some very switched on businesses out there pushing, being proactive and innovative.

These were the businesses that were profitable, growing and that were commercially sustainable.

The rest were simply printing to demand, they were reactive and transactional.

And then 2008 came, the great downturn, and demand contracted. Waiting for the phone to ring wasn’t any more acceptable, as price competition became even fiercer and a lot of the medium size print businesses suffered, downsized, got acquired, or went out of business. The smaller were small enough to either withdraw their spending or survive in a subsistent way or they niched their offering and survived by being unique. The top just survived because size protects!  This to me is strong evidence of how a price focused business model isn’t sustainable. There will always be someone who does it cheaper. I was hearing crazy stories about print businesses out there that were printing and knowing they were losing money, but they felt justified in doing so, as at least they were working.

That isn’t sustainable. The commodity print model isn’t sustainable. So it is heartening to see leaders in technology creating products and education that provide the printing company with the ability to create value through innovation.

This is a more sustainable path, and one that will lead to profit. It’s good business. And if we have a good business that is profitable, we can think about doing the right thing for the society and the environment.

EcoPrint is raising the issue of sustainability to the print community. We believe our print community has to change focus and become more oriented towards value creation. The first step for any sustainable business has to be about generating profit.

So to those who don’t think sustainability is about profit. You are really missing the point.

Without money, value and profit we are nothing, we are non-entities and totally powerless to make a positive environmental contribution through business.

And business, I believe is the biggest opportunity for widespread change.

So discover how to make money through sustainability at EcoPrint 2012.


Miller Zell's Atlanta-based Graphics Center certified by SGP


Miller Zell's Graphics Center in Atlanta, USA, has been Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) certified. SGP is a non-profit organisation providing sustainability certification in the graphic communications industry.

The Miller Zell facility provides wide and super-wide format printing of POP and other in-store signage. The company chose to certify its facility due to increasing supply chain demands to adhere to environmentally-friendly methodologies and/or principles. With SGP Certification, Miller Zell has implemented best practices in sustainability and is staying in the forefront of this movement.

"Miller Zell is excited about going down the path of sustainability," comments Ford Bowers, General Manager, Graphic Center of Miller Zell. "We are working with every facet of our production model, from sales to the end user, to ensure everyone is educated on our initiatives to improve our environmental impact."

"It takes commitment for print facilities to become SGP Certified, and the benefits are worth it," comments Marci Kinter, SGP Chairman of the Board. "In addition to improving its operational efficiencies and reducing its environmental footprint, Miller Zell is well-positioned to meet the growing supply chain requirements."

Miller Zell is a G7-qualified proof provider, as well as a screen, litho, and digital printer. It uses state-of-the-art screen presses, computer-to-screen laser imaging, and the latest in digital print technology to provide its customers with the best value available in the print marketplace.

For more information, please visit www.millerzell.com

Impartial business advice on sustainable printing techniques at FESPA Digital 2012

Fespa Planet Friendly Logo1

FESPA’s commitment to supporting the global print community in becoming more sustainable will continue at FESPA Digital 2012 in Barcelona from February 21-24, 2012.  Printers can benefit from free, independent advice from global experts on how to embed sustainable printing techniques within their business practices at the FESPA Planet Friendly Printing Zone (stand B15a) which will be open every day of the show. Printers can register for an appointment with an expert in the zone at http://www.fespa.com/digital/en/planet-friendly-printing/117-fespa-planet-friendly-printing-zone.html

Visitors will also have access to a whole host of environmental features and content at the show. Whether a printer is already involved in sustainable printing techniques, or is just setting out and is unclear where to start, FESPA has gathered together global experts in the field of sustainable printing who will be able to offer invaluable advice and tips to ensure their business is leading in this key area.

The global sustainable printing professionals offering their expertise include Paul Machin (author of the FESPA Planet Friendly Printing Guide); Laurel Brunner (leader of the Verdigris Project, and co-author of several EU standards relating to sustainability); Clare Taylor, (leading sustainable printing consultant); Dennis Geelen (FEBELGRA secretary and environmental expert); and Michel Caza (FESPA board member, screen-printing legend and co-author of the FESPA Planet Friendly Guide), plus a host of guests from organisations such as the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), an international not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting Sustainable Forest Management.

The two-day Planet Friendly Printing Conference within the Explore Conference programme (room 4.1) is focused on sustainability and the content is designed to offer insight from customers, printers and consultants on the drivers for adopting a more sustainable approach to business, the ‘why to be green’ – and on the many routes to improving the sustainable performance of your business - the ‘how to be green’.

The 'how to be green' presentations and debates are underpinned by three hour-long Planet Friendly Printing Workshops (room 4.3) giving more detailed insight and advice on improving your sustainable credentials in the area of carbon footprinting and energy efficiency.

Since 2004, FESPA has published the Planet Friendly Printing Guide which interprets and distils environmental best practice and legislation for printers and offers detailed advice on environmental management. To date, the Planet Friendly Printing Guide has only been available to members of FESPA’s 37 member associations. The latest version of the guide (11th edition) will remain exclusive to FESPA members. However, recognising that sustainability is a significant issue for all printers, FESPA will make an abridged version of the guide available to non-member printers around the world. Visitors can register for a free copy of the abridged Planet Friendly Printing Guide from the FESPA stand (B15).

FESPA’s Managing Director, Neil Felton comments, “Sustainability in printing is an issue that FESPA has championed within our community since 2004 as we encourage printers to embrace more planet friendly printing practices. The latest FESPA Economy Survey also highlighted that over 62% of respondents indicated that ‘green’ printing, or printing using more environmentally-friendly practices has seen an increase in demand as a service. Our continued emphasis on Planet Friendly Printing further helps to reinforce the message that sustainability can support profitability, while our vendor – neutral approach means that our advice and content is free of commercial ties.”

FESPA’s Planet Friendly Printing initiatives are part of its ongoing Profit for Purpose programme.

The changing face of sustainability – from Swampy to Wal-mart

Mike Duke Swampy

In his latest blog, Marcus Timson, Director of FM Brooks and co-founder of the EcoPrint Europe Live 2012 event, writes about the changing face of sustainability...

"One of the problems that some people seem to have with sustainability is its image.  For many people, the image of sustainability is that of an anarchic, righteous, self-satisfied, virtuous individual who recycles, eats pulses, campaigned for nuclear disarmament in the 1980’s and wears odd clothes.  While this image - or indeed stereotype - still exists, is making way for a modern, local, global, trend-aware and visionary individual who wants to conduct their life and business in a different way. Of course, it is difficult to shake of the image of the past, but in my opinion, sustainability has definitely moved mainstream and is becoming more and more business- focused.

And that is good because for sustainability to succeed, it has to be commercially successful.  No business is sustainable if it doesn’t make money.  No business can grow unless there is something of value that is being created and sold for a healthy profit.  And no business can generate social and environmental value without money and a commitment to innovation. A strong sustainable business has to be innovative throughout its processes, its personnel development and its product ranges in order to thrive in the long term.

But let’s get back to the image of sustainability.   In the UK in the 1990s, we had a character called Swampy (out of interest - where is he now?)   Anyhow, he was pilloried by the UK media and the political institution as an example of an irresponsible, but educated youth who had nothing better to do than cause a nuisance of himself.  Regardless, he raised the profile of the pro-active eco-warrior by protesting against road building in certain parts of the UK.

I am not doubting his good intentions or accusing him of anything other than good-natured and committed protesting.  However, he went some way to generate the stereotype that many people still have of environmentalism and sustainability: the generic view that - to be sustainable - you must be part of a small minority of misfits, with whom the mainstream cannot identify.

The current lead eco-warrior, as far as I am concerned, is Mike Duke, the CEO of Wal-mart.  The single biggest retailer and commercial employer on the planet, Wal-mart is making great strides in sustainability. It asks its enormous supply chain to align with Wal-Mart’s goals for carbon reduction. This is a real force for change and the brands, productions, employees, suppliers and customers of Wal-mart are all gaining some green credentials from this strategic and significant change. The collective impact of change on a massive scale reaches out and can make a big difference.

So over the past 20 years, the face of sustainability has completely changed.  For those who don’t understand or don’t want to understand sustainability then fine, continue doing what you have always done.  However, the world is changing and soon enough bad print won’t be tolerated by the mainstream.

ASDA, which is owned by Wal-mart, recently reported that its customers consider that green is actually the ‘new normal’. To them, it isn’t such a big deal or nor does it represent a big change.  So people are changing and have changed; businesses are changing and have changed; ergo so must print. Whether you are a wide format printer, offset, litho, flexo, label, screen or digital, narrow, whatever, and however you describe yourself, change will occur.  The EcoPrint Show will help any print company make sense of this change, align with the new face of sustainability and profit in the process."

For more information on The EcoPrint Show, please visit www.ecoprintshow.com