ILFORD shares its vision of sustainability at the EcoPrint Show

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ILFORD has shared its vision of being a leading provider of environmentally responsible substrates for commercial printing at the EcoPrint Show.

Aiming to offer print specifiers and print service providers a range of high performance printing substrates with strong environmental credentials, ILFORD draws on complete product lifecycle thinking to demonstrate a multi-level commitment to environmental responsibility, encompassing the products the company brings to market, the sourcing of raw materials and its Swiss manufacturing operations.

Committed to progress: ILFORD BioMedia

Introduced in 2011, the ILFORD BioMedia substrate range has been developed in direct response to market demand for sustainable printing solutions and offers a PVC-free alternative to traditional vinyl display products. The range brings together display films, boards and laminates offering a number of biodegradable, recyclable, incineration-friendly and low-energy printing credentials.

ILFORD has established processes for continuous improvement of the BioMedia range from design through to final application, with active participation in the ESMA standards committee and in the EcoPrint Ambassador group, which works towards an agreement on standardisation.

Committed to change: ILFORD OMNIJET

Alongside ILFORD BioMedia, ILFORD has identified the longstanding ILFORD OMNIJET range of high performance commercial printing substrates as a priority for development. In a sustained effort to improve the environmental credentials of the range, ILFORD introduced the FSC® Certified (C107238) OMNIJET Photo Realistic photo paper in 2011, with PEFC certified RC papers becoming available in 2012. For 2013 ILFORD will introduce a recycled range of film-based display products.

Committed to a sustainable future: holistic product life cycle analysis

ILFORD develops and coats substrates at the company’s world-class coating facility in Switzerland, where stringent environmental controls are in place throughout the manufacturing process.

ILFORD is a voluntary member of the Swiss Private Sector Energy Agency CO2 Reduction Scheme, which certifies a commitment to the active reduction of CO2 emissions and to the optimisation of energy efficiency. Following an agreement signed with the Federal Environment Agency, ILFORD is on track to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% for the period between 2008 and the end of 2012. Projects implemented to achieve this goal have included installing a heat recovery system on the main boiler at the ILFORD site in Switzerland, as well as an improved drying process of coated ILFORD media. The recently passed Swiss CO2 Act for the 2013 – 2020 period will require ILFORD to reduce CO2 emissions by at least a further 10%.

ILFORD has also implemented a number of recycling initiatives, including incinerating 250 tons of miscellaneous waste locally, producing heat and electricity. With a focus on recycling, ILFORD has recycled 100 tons of polyethylene-coated paper into plastic moulded parts, 65 tons of paper and cardboard into cardboard and recycled 7 tons of glass.

Alongside compliance with strict Swiss environmental standards, ILFORD manufacturing involves no solvents or toxic waste and ILFORD sources raw materials through selection, assessment and control of suppliers.

ILFORD in the industry

ILFORD substrates are compatible with a wide range of printing equipment and at EcoPrint Live the professional results produced by its BioMedia range are demonstrated across a number of stands using technology from Epson SureColor (ILFORD Stand 3-318), Ricoh (Stand 3-1), Nazdar Hydrocolor ink technology (Stand 3-405) and the HP Designjet L26500 Latex printer series (HP Stand 3-11).

ILFORD substrates have been adopted by an international network of distributors and print service providers who are keen to boost their environmental credentials in order to acquire a point of differentiation in today’s competitive marketplace. The most recent distribution partnerships formed in 2012 for the ILFORD BioMedia range include Rauch Group (Germany & Austria) and Unisource Worldwide (USA), who additionally distribute the ILFORD OMNIJET range. German print service provider Erler + Pless has also recently begun to offer ILFORD BioMedia to customers, and during EcoPrint Live prints with the substrates using HP Latex technology at the HP stand.

With a growing international network of distributors, ILFORD sustainable substrates are being chosen by a number of high profile brands wishing to demonstrate commitment to environmental sustainability at all levels of business activity, including the sourcing of marketing and display products. These have most recently included Christian Aid and the Health and Safety Executive in the UK.

ILFORD substrates are currently available for order by distributors worldwide.