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Sustainability is more than just buying certified paper!

Lode Deprez, Vice President Consumables & Process GroupLode Deprez, Vice President Consumables & Process GroupXeikon has said that it will participate with an information booth at the new EcoPrint show taking place in Berlin on the 26 and 27th September, 2012. The company says it fully supports the initiative to gather all the relevant players in the graphic arts industry including brand owners and print buyers in order to create higher sustainability awareness and more motivation to go beyond just ‘ordering certified paper’. The company said that at the show, Xeikon intends to inform print buyers and print providers on all aspects of the sustainability discussion.

The show organisers chose the motto ‘Think, Talk and Take Action’ for this first ever purely ecology focused event for the print industry. With over 20 years of experience in digital printing, Xeikon said it is well placed to think, talk and act on topics such as sustainability and recyclability of print. Michael V. Ring, VP of Worldwide Marketing at Xeikon said: “Xeikon started its eco initiatives around VOC reduction, waste reduction, recyclability, energy consumption and other sustainability efforts at drupa 2004. Sustainability is one of the four core criteria that every Xeikon solution has to meet, in addition to customer profitability, quality and flexibility.” Ring also pointed out that the new Trillium HVT liquid toner, announced at drupa 2012 by Xeikon, also meets all  the requirements in terms of no VOC emissions and paper recyclability.

Digital printing in itself has an immediate ecological impact by ‘printing only what you need, when you need it’. The result is a reduction of waste and downsizing storage space. In its product design and manufacturing, Xeikon maintains that it optimizes the use of raw materials, improves process efficiencies, increases product life cycles, as well as product recycling and disposal. The company is keen to point out that it also uses 100 per cent Green electricity in its plants, thereby bringing the CO2 emissions during toner production down to nearly zero.

Eco goals at Xeikon also include meeting environment related product standards and customer requirements before, during and after printing, minimizing water pollution and easy paper de-inkability. It was granted the Belgian Environmental Award for sustainable product development in 2003-2004 and honoured for its re-usable packaging design in 2007.

The European study ‘The Future of Paper Recycling in Europe’, a final report of COST Action E48, states that between 2005 and 2015/2020, the need for paper will grow by 20 per cent, in spite of the rapid move towards  electronic communication. Apart from planting more trees, the majority of the increasing demand for paper fibre will have to be supplied by an increase in collection and reuse of paper fibres. And this in essence is where there is an absolute necessity for recyclable printing technology.

Lode Deprez, Vice President Consumables & Process Group and ‘Prime Eco Ambassador’ at Xeikon clarified the situation. “Based on this study, the whole paper recycling industry wants to make sure that as much paper can be used as many times as possible,” he explained. “This is to guarantee that enough paper is available to fulfil the demands at affordable prices.  Big threats to the paper recycling industry, therefore, are printing technologies that reduce the efficiency or the yield in the paper recycling process.  This will not only cause business problems, but could also result in an inability to provide the paper material needed.”

So now is the time for all users of printed materials across all industries to step up and complete their efforts in terms of sustainability. Focusing on sustainable production and manufacturing themselves is the first step. Selecting suppliers that do the same is the next step. Being consistent in their actions across their entire company’s operation is the final step… and that includes the printed matter they produce. Selecting ecologically certified substrates is great, but printing them with a sustainable and recyclable technology is as important!

Xeikon stated that dry toner based prints have been in existence for more than 50 years and represent approximately six-seven per cent  of the total amount of printed material.  They are recyclable without any additional costs. In the companies view dry toner is the solution.

During the seminar, Xeikon‘s customer Versand Service Plate (VSP) will present their views on sustainability. Xeikon encourages visitors to stop by its booth (# 3-423), talk to the company staff and get a free copy of the Xeikon white paper on recyclability and sustainability.

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