The Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs in Germany is funding a new Fogra project to look at the energy efficiency of small and large format digital printers. This project is evaluating different digital printers (excluding textile machines) in order to quantify how much energy they use. Fogra has based its method on existing approaches to evaluating power consumption in conventional presses. This is intended to provide some sort of control against which the performance of digital printing devices can be assessed. For digital printers Fogra has also included peripheral equipment and specified the measurement cycle.
Election fever all over the world has seen some dramatic results. Moribund governments are getting dumped as voters look to more energetic alternatives in the hope that they can deliver change and growth. Achieving growth while simultaneously improving environmental impacts is the trick new governments all over the world must achieve. For printers and publishers new governments are just so much samey samey, but their ideas and policies at least provide fodder for our industry. Whether we should expect a wave of new environmental legislation to come out of Europe, India, South Africa or wherever, depends on who makes it into government and the interests they want to further.
An initiative of Yale and Columbia Universities in the USA, the EPI ranks a country’s environmental performance according to how well human health and ecosystems are protected. They use nine criteria including child mortality and access to drinking water, plus twenty additional measures ranging from changes in forest cover to agricultural subsidies. In the latest iteration which grades 178 countries Switzerland is on top, followed by Luxembourg, Australia and Singapore. Somalia is unsurprisingly at the bottom, mainly because of low life expectancy and high infant mortality rates. The EPI is a useful and informative tool for measuring how well countries protect the environment and their citizens’ health, but could such a thing also be set up for industries?
Much as we would like to believe that people will do the decent thing, it generally takes the rule of law to make them behave. But the global television phenomenon that is Game of Thrones makes it abundantly clear that the rule of law on its own is not enough and nor is compliance. Characters regularly cheat and lie and commit atrocities that are against the rules, even in the most heinous and violent societies. In fantasy and in the real world, how well individuals and institutions fulfil their legal obligations changes from nation to nation and culture to culture. In the land of printing and publishing most players follow the rules reasonably well, but things are getting harder.
Asian Pulp & Paper (APP) really do seem to be living up to their promises. When they announced their Forest Conservation Policy just over a year ago it had a serious omission: reforestation and conservation plans. This had lead to some voluble criticism from NGOs such as the WWF and Greenpeace, however APP has now declared its plans for the restoration and conservation of one million hectares (about 2.5 million acres) of rainforest across Indonesia.