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.
Another week another sector specific sustainability initiative, this time in the cosmetics business. The Responsible Beauty Initiative (RBI) wants to improve sustainability in that sector along with improving ethical and social performance, focusing on sustainable procurement. At the core of RBI is EcoVadis a provider of supply chain sustainability ratings, working with four big names in the beauty business: Clarins, Coty, Groupe Rocher and L’Oréal. These companies have committed to drive sustainability by making procurement companies in their supply chains aware of RBI so that they can share its goals. The RBI members buy an awful lot of packaging, so it makes sense for packaging printers and manufacturers to be aware of this initiative and its procurement emphasis.
Today’s graphics industry is data driven. From digital prepress through to performance analytics, data is the only way to get accurate printed output and to measure business performance. The need for greater environmental accountability, either voluntary or regulatory, means that we have a new category of data to worry about.
One of the biggest problems for makers of paper based on recycled printed matter is quality, meaning cleanliness. Ensuring that the waste paper entering the recycling stream is sufficiently uncontaminated for use as a raw material for new products is hard. Generally pulp and paper mills rely on a test procedure to check that the inks and coatings on a batch of printed matter can be removed, prior to processing. This is one of the basics of quality assurance in this sector.
How do you make an environmental impact declaration for print? And why would you want to? These are questions most printers would prefer not to answer, but the second question is easier than the first: customers.