Why We’re a Proud Member of „Klimaschutz-Unternehmen”, and Why We’re Backing Concepts Like Healthy Printing.

Climate change is a corporate issue, not just a social one. That’s why we’ve been a member of the Klimaschutz-Unternehmen excellence initiative for years now, and why we’ve made it one of our aims to promote initiatives like healthy printing more.

What is “Klimaschutz-Unternehmen”?

What will the planet look like in 50 years? And what sort of a world are we leaving behind for future generations? These are questions it’s been difficult to escape from in recent months. As a member of Klimaschutz-Unternehmen e.V., we’d like to answer these questions with tangible solutions by voluntarily committing ourselves to implementing ambitious, quantifiable goals for operational energy efficiency in our products, services and production processes, and to continuously develop them. To achieve this, we regularly analyse, check and, if necessary, readjust our plans. “That sounds like a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun – especially if you’re documenting positive developments at the end,” reports Hauke Klinck from our energy management, environment management and sustainability management department.

But who is actually behind Klimaschutz-Unternehmen e.V.? The association is an initiative of the German Federal Environment Ministry and Federal Financial Affairs Ministry and the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce. In addition to us, there are 30 other member companies, such as Aldi Süd, IKEA, Phoenix Contact, Provinzial and Viessman. Within the initiative, we’re united by a continuous exchange of ideas and supported by joint discussions and conversations about implementing concrete practical solutions. With our combined expertise in climate protection and energy efficiency matters and our mixture of companies from a wide variety of industries, we’re available as interlocutors and experts for society, politics and economics. Together, we’re on a mission to be examples and multipliers.

What is Healthy Printing?

In addition to being a member of Klimaschutz-Unternehmen, we want to support specific concepts for the sustainable, future-oriented production of printed products. So, last year we decided to take a long-term path with the Healthy Printing Initiative, an initiative which was started off by EPEA and the DOEN Foundation. The aim is the healthy production of printed products in the long term by returning to the ecosystem the resources that it needs to continuously regenerate the materials used. All ecological and social effects along the entire supply chain will be taken into consideration. Healthy printed products, which are a combination of paper, additives, inks and printing processes, are not yet available, or only available in niche markets. The start of mass production of a complete healthy product isn’t realistic yet, but we want to acknowledge it as a goal and to work towards it. Individual components like inks are already available and can be used as a starting point.

Above all, the main focus for the Healthy Printing concept is a healthy level of recyclability. In the future, printed products should be recycled according to quantifiable criteria, and by-products should be safely reused in other products or composted and returned to the ground. By setting these long-term goals with the Healthy Printing concept, we’re actively contributing to a healthier economy as it reduces recycling costs and improves resource productivity. We’ve been able to run a Healthy Printing pilot project already this business year: By switching sheet-fed and web printing ink to Cradle to Cradle® as standard for all productions, we’ve managed to produce a print run of catalogues for a customer which amounted to several million copies with improved and sustainable properties.