Heidelberg Hosts Environmental Dialog, International Award Winners

Participants at the second international Environmental Dialog met at the Print Media Academy to discuss the latest trends in ecological printing. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG was the host.

Participants all agreed that a commitment to sustainability pays dividends. A growing number of end customers expect suppliers to employ an environmental production process for print products, while state-of-the-art machinery and improved processes also help cut costs.

“We process around 6,000 jobs a year and five percent of these are now produced using climate-neutral printing,” explained Rob Nugent from Australian print shop Vega Press, which won the award for the top sustainable innovative solution at the Heidelberg ECO Printing Award. This proportion is set to rise in the next few years, as the Australian government is planning a CO2 tax.

Integrating staff and end customers is key
“We’re passionate about environmental protection and are true believers,” explained Werner Drechsler, Managing Director of the Druckstudio Group in Düsseldorf. The print shop has tripled its sales in the last few years and the proportion of jobs produced using climate-neutral printing has risen to 10 percent over the same period.

A five-strong environment team with members from all departments and supported by external consultants serves as a forge for new ideas and putting in place a continuous improvement process. Employees are integrated and committed—this is one of the reasons why Druckstudio GmbH was selected as one of the 100 best employers in Germany.

The environment team at the Druckerei Lokay print shop in Reinheim in the German state of Hesse is soon to be expanded by “Social affairs and occupational health and safety.”

“Our vision is a code of practice for all employees, where fun also has an essential role to play in keeping people motivated,” observed Thomas Fleckenstein from Lokay. In his view, the environmental management system based on EMAS III, staff training, and external activities such as marketing and customer support are key to sustainability.

Ann Marie Keene from The John Roberts Printing Co. in the United States—which this year won the award for most sustainable printing company—agreed, “People are important to us—we train our employees, produce a sustainability report every year, and offer our customers tours of the company during which we show them the printing process and how we can save resources. Our customers never fail to be impressed by how much paper waste we eliminate by using Prinect Inpress Control.”

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