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Ideas for enhancing sustainability at Drupa 2021

21 April, 2020 - 09:03 -- tbrunner

Now that there is more time to plan the next Drupa, we thought it might be interesting to explore some ideas for what might be interesting environmental impact additions to the show.

First off the graphics industry could do with a bit of leadership on the sustainability front. We would like to see the organisers taking up this role, setting out a framework to support the exhibitors, visitors, local supply chains and local businesses who want to keep investing print.

Sustainability and environmental impact mitigation will naturally be part of exhibitor messaging at Drupa 2021. But amplifying that messaging takes leadership from the organisers. We all have to be aware of our ecological responsibilities, so we would like to see coordinated policies at the show for waste reduction, catering and waste management.

There are opportunities to support local print users by working to put press manufacturers in touch with local libraries, schools, businesses and governments. As part of showing off their presses’ capabilities, manufacturers could provide printed samples that people will actually use instead of junking. This means a bit of logistical creativity, but it could reduce waste to nothing because the prints are sent off to where they are required.

Such an effort would be consistent with Messe Düsseldorf’s commitment to the local Climate-Neutral Düsseldorf 2050 programme. Learning more about this is difficult; on the company website a search for the programme yields this result: Search for "Climate-Neutral Düsseldorf 2050" returns no results. And nor does Google find anything to match this search request. Whatever it is, the programme will hopefully be more fully developed by next April. Messe Düsseldorf has at least implemented ISO 50001, for energy management and has policies in place to support recycling as well. There is a chance for Messe Düsseldorf to take a real lead here by extending these actions to the shows the organisation hosts, especially Drupa 2021.

Sustainability and environmental impact mitigation should be part of all sessions. They are keen themes for all modern business, and printing companies and their customers are interested to have more hands on education. They can benefit considerably from informative sessions that help answer fundamental sustainability questions, such as why choose print over digital media.

Ideally Drupa 2021 will include workshops addressing the basics of how to improve environmental impacts, along with information about the role of process control. Leadership and support for the industry is vital, especially in times of uncertainty. Let’s hope the organisers take advantage of the opportunity postponement offers.

– 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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