Kodak has been running the Sonora Plate Green Leaf Awards for the last six years, despite other distractions and challenges. The awards underscore how seriously Kodak takes it’s environmental commitment and how important it is for this industry to raise its sustainability game. The Sonora Green Leaf awards go to printing companies around the world who use the Sonora processless printing plate and are “leaders in adopting sustainable practices”.
This year there are thirteen recipients. They are Artes Gráficas Sagitario (Bolivia); Presse-Druck- und Verlags-GmbH (Germany); Blackmore Group (UK); Colour King (South Africa); PT. Gelora Aksara Pratama (Indonesia); Hebei Xindong Printing Co. (China); Leanin Tree (US); Mitchell Press (Canada); The Profeather Printing Co., Ltd. (DongGuan) (China); SRB Printing (South Korea); Stuff New Zealand (New Zealand); Toyokuni Printing Co. (Japan); Wijeya Newspapers (Sri Lanka).
These awards take into account various criteria in addition to being a user of Sonora plates and following sustainability production principles. Entrants are also judged on their environmental management activities including water and energy usage and their use of sustainable materials. Kodak’s judging panel also consider participation in projects to improve local sustainability.
Promoting the graphics industry’s sustainability is one of many ways of changing opinions about print’s environmental impact. But for a rising number of printers, sustainable business practises are paying off in other ways, such as delivering cost savings and overall process efficiency. This is probably the bigger driver. Kodak has over 4,000 Sonora customers and considers the technology to be relevant for 80 percent of the global printing industry. The company says that the most recent version of the technology, Sonora X, is a logical replacement for unbaked wet processed plates for many applications. On commercial heatset and coldset printing presses Sonora X lasts for up to 400,000 impressions, and on sheetfed presses for up to 200,000. For applications that use UV inks the plate is sufficiently robust for 75,000 impressions. Printers producing commercial work, newspapers and packaging are obvious candidates for the Sonora X technology. The Sonora Plate Green Leaf Award is the only such global prize in the graphics industry that recognises environmental excellence. Over the last few years the winners and their fellow nominees have driven the graphics industry’s sustainability forwards and that has to be a huge plus for print.
– 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, HP, Kodak, Kornit, Ricoh, Spindrift, Splash PR, Unity Publishing and Xeikon.