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Global Print Industry Banks on Sustainability

Sustainability is a fixture in the print industry. This is also reflected by drupa 2024 where this topic occupies a large space. “Sustainability is a set theme in the print industry and forms an integral part of transformation,” says Sabine Geldermann, Director drupa, Portfolio Print Technologies, Messe Düsseldorf GmbH.

Druckstudio GmbH was founded by Werner Drechsler in Düsseldorf 47 years ago. Since then, his company has delivered premium-quality offset, digital, and packaging print products. But that’s not all. Today’s owner-managed Druckstudio Gruppe is among the most eco-friendly print shops in the DACH region; certified according to ISO standards for energy, environmental, and quality management and awarded the Blue Angel and EMAS certifications. While Blue Angel certifies the highest environmental standard for printed products, EMAS guarantees compliance with the highest global environmental standards.

For Drechsler and the entire management team that has accompanied this process every step of the way since 2007, sustainability is more than a green ethical choice. “Ecological makes business sense. Quality, efficiency, and the eco-friendly and energy-efficient production of printed products can go hand in hand,” says Drechsler, who has been running his printshop successfully since 1977.

Especially in times of rising energy prices and CO2 taxes, these early innovations are paying off. A photovoltaic (PV) system was already installed on the roof of the company premises as early as 2009 and has since produced almost 7,00,000 kWh of electricity. New, energy-efficient printing presses were purchased at regular intervals, heat recovery systems installed, and many other environmental measures reduced the relative energy consumption by some 35% compared to the reference year 2008.

drupa touchpoint sustainability

drupa touchpoint sustainability: VDMA places sustainability in focus

Druckstudio Gruppe is one of the pioneers of the sector proving that green printing has become a success factor – a success factor that also pays off in commercial terms. This is also pointed out by Thomas Schiemann, Managing Director of VDMA’s Print and Paper Technology Association. “More sustainable processes and products, especially when combined with digital solutions, hold a very high potential for making processes more and more cost-effective,” says Schiemann. The transformation in the paper and print industry, he adds, is therefore already heading towards the circular economy also thanks to the substantial cost savings to be expected in the long run.

What is already possible today will be demonstrated by the central trade fair forum touchpoint sustainability, which is organised at drupa 2024 by VDMA, the German Engineering Federation. In addition to a comprehensive stage programme, a total of 30 companies will be presenting pioneering best practices for sustainability in the print and machinery industry. The spectrum of exhibitors here ranges from industry leaders such as Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, Koenig & Bauer, HP, and Voith to specialised start-ups. drupa touchpoint sustainability is in Hall 14, Stand D60.

‘Umwelt. Bewußt. Gedruckt.’ (Environment. Conscious(ly). Printed.) education campaign by print & media associations

The eco-friendly production of printed matters is part and parcel of the industry. Facts speak for themselves here: over 80% of graphical paper is recycled to a high quality in Germany. In paper production 90% of the water is reused. All printed products account for less than 1% of the carbon footprint per person in Germany.

Presenting such facts, the German Printing and Media Industries Federation (bvdm) and its state associations have launched the campaign ‘Umwelt. Bewußt. Gedruckt.’ It is designed to strengthen the perception of printed products as being sustainable communication media. “With this campaign we want to raise awareness for the sustainability of printed products thereby also stealing the thunder on greenwashers. After all, there are often completely other reasons for foregoing print than the alleged ‘love for the environment’,” says bvdm CEO Kirsten Hommelhoff.

All these associations will also be represented at drupa touchpoint sustainability.

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