Great news for one of the graphics industry’s best supporters of environmental sustainability. Kodak has entered into a partnership with Wenn Digital to build and launch an image rights management platform for photographers. Wenn is a blockchain developer and the platform Wenn has developed is called KodakOne. The associated cryptocurrency is KodakCoin, a delightful echo of Kodachrome for the digital age. The launch of KodakOne and KodakCoin confirm Kodak as the industry’s leading photographic company.
It’s hard enough getting to grips with carbon footprinting, but that is only a small part of the environmental impact calculation. In 2018, regulators and shareholders in mature markets are sharpening their focus on the life-cycle environmental impacts of products. This will impact all parts of the graphics supply chain, from design to procurement. At least it will in markets where political leaders take seriously their environmental responsibilities, such as China and the European Union.
What should the graphics industry expect for 2018? This is easy to answer: more of the same. It would be great to hint at exciting new technologies waiting just around the corner. Or to share with you some amazing new business models for print and publishing. But in fact the graphics industry is awash with new technologies and examples of how to apply them. The problem is that there is still so much reluctance to get with the programme and to fully embrace digital processes and ideas.
Since drupa 2016 and even prior to that show, there has been a lot of interest in packaging printing. Several manufacturers have introduced digital presses for this application, most notable EFI and HP. Printers can be confident that they will have solid support if they decide to get into this business. But all parties should be aware of the tightening regulatory framework and in Europe this means the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD).
For Kodak, reborn and re-energised, sustainability in every sense has become the company’s foundation. According to its recently published 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report (CRR), the first since 2013 when the company had just emerged from Chapter 11, Kodak aims to be the leading company for sustainability in the graphics industry. It has published some ambitious future goals and in doing so sets a standard not just for graphics technology manufacturers, but for large companies in other sectors too.