The Verdigris Blog by Laurel Brunner

This article was produced by the Verdigris project, an industry initiative intended to raise awareness of print’s positive environmental impact. This weekly commentary helps printing companies keep up to date with environmental standards, and how environmentally friendly business management can help improve their bottom lines. Verdigris is supported by the following companies: Agfa Graphics, EFI, Fespa, Fujifilm, HP, Kodak, Miraclon, Ricoh, Spindrift, Splash PR, Unity Publishing and Xeikon.

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Sonora and sustainability

medium_2015_Laurel B.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Awards for sustainability in the graphics sector are not particularly common, and few have lasted more than a couple of years, despite the industry’s need for positive environmental messaging. But since the inception of the Sonora Plate Green Leaf in 2013 awards Kodak has continued to acknowledge customers for their commitment to improving the environmental impact of their businesses. For the 2019 Sonora Plate Green Leaf awards Kodak has recognised 52 printers, an astonishing increase in the number of recipients over the last few years. The programme started in 2013 and in 2016 there were eight winners. This year’s crop of 52 represents a more than 600% increase. That says a lot for the technology, but also for the commitment of printers to improve their sustainability.

Chromium trioxide in the printing industry

Laurel-2018.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

According to the European Union’s (EU) REACH legislation, chromium trioxide (CrO3) is a substance of high concern and its use should have been banned by 21 September 2017. However the EU Commission has authorised its continued use because CrO3 has been shown to be indispensable for a number of industries. These include printing, aviation and cars. CrO3 is used in cylinder plating in gravure printing and an alternative to replace it for cylinder plating and other applications is still not in sight.

More Drupa environmental expectations (not)

medium_laurel2015.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Drupa 2020 is off until April 2021, which hopefully will give the organisers time to rethink their sustainability strategy. The event originally conceived for this year was to have had other priorities than sustainability. The speaker programme includes relatively limited sustainability input, for instance Achim Halpaap, a senior advisor from the United Nations Environmental Programme was to have been talking about sustainability in the printing and packaging industry with a particular focus on trends, tools and leadership

Brand recognition

medium_2015_Laurel B.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

It’s taken a while but interest in calculating the carbon footprint of print is starting to rise. Brand supply teams are finally showing mild engagement with the idea of carbon footprinting their prints, because it could improve production efficiencies and their bottom lines.

Eco hype or eco reality?

Laurel-2018.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Nailing down what makes a system sustainable or not exercises some of the best brains on the planet. Mostly this is in response to the threats of climate change, but the graphics industry’s sustainability credentials are mostly based on responses to existential threats. The industry has been blessed with two life threatening events: digital technology gave us electronic prepress and typesetting; the internet wiped out whole sectors of publishing and production. Both events forced many businesses to the wall, albeit for different reasons, but the net result has been positive. We have seen huge innovations in production software and hardware and in applications. More importantly we have a far more environmentally sustainable industry. Waste continues to be forced out of print media production systems and process control cuts energy usage and the associated emissions. Printing close to the point of use reduces transport emissions too.

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