Digital Magazine

Printing Industry Banks on Sustainability

Sustainability is a permanent fixture in the printing industry. This will also be reflected at the drupa 2024 trade fair (May 28 – June 7, 2024, in Düsseldorf, Germany) where sustainability will be a major topic. “Sustainability is a set theme in the print industry and forms an integral part of transformation,” said Sabine Geldermann, Director drupa, Portfolio Print Technologies at Messe Düsseldorf.

Druckstudio GmbH was founded by Werner Drechsler in Düsseldorf 47 years ago. Since then, his company – now employing a staff of 50 – has delivered premium-quality offset, digital and packaging print products – but not only that: today’s owner-managed Druckstudio Gruppe is among the most eco-friendly print shops in the D-A-CH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) region today; certified according to ISO standards for energy, environmental and quality management and awarded the “Blue Angel” seal of approval and the EMAS Certificate – two awards for particularly high environmental commitment.

For Werner Drechsler and the entire management team who has accompanied this process every step of the way since 2007, sustainability is more than a green ethical choice: “Ecological makes business sense. Quality, efficiency and the eco-friendly and energy-efficient production of printed products can go hand in hand,” stated Werner Drechsler, who has been running his printshop successfully since 1977. 

Especially in times of rising energy prices and CO2 taxes, these early innovations are paying off. A PV system was already installed on the roof of the company building back in 2009 and has since produced almost 700,000 kWh of electricity. New, energy-efficient printing presses were purchased at regular intervals, heat recovery systems were installed and many other environmental measures reduced the relative energy consumption by some 35% compared to the reference year 2008.  

Touchpoint Sustainability: VDMA focuses on sustainability 

Druckstudio Gruppe is one of the pioneers in the industry proving that green printing has become a success factor – a success factor that also pays off in business terms. This was also pointed out by Thomas Schiemann, Managing Director of VDMA’s Print and Paper Technology Association: “More sustainable processes and products especially when combined with digital solutions hold a very high potential for making processes more and more cost-effective.” The transformation in the paper and printing industry is therefore already heading towards the circular economy also thanks to the substantial cost savings to be expected in the long run. 

What is already possible today will be demonstrated by the central trade fair forum Touchpoint Sustainability, which is organized at drupa by the VDMA, the Machinery and Equipment Manufacturers Association. In addition to a comprehensive stage program, a total of 30 companies will present pioneering best practices for sustainability in the printing and machinery industry. The spectrum of exhibitors will range from industry leaders such as Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, Koenig & Bauer, HP and Voith to specialized start-ups (Touchpoint Sustainability, Hall 14, Stand D60).

Environment. Conscious(ly). Printed: Education campaign by the Print and Media Associations

The environmentally friendly production of print products is an integral part of the industry. The facts speak for themselves: More than 80% of graphic paper in Germany is recycled to a high standard. In paper production, 90% of the water is reused. All print products account for less than 1% of the CO₂ footprint per person in Germany.

With facts like these, the German Printing and Media Industries Federation (“Bundesverband Druck und Medien” – BVDM) and its regional associations have launched the campaign “Environment. Consciousl(ly). Printed.” It is designed to strengthen the perception of printed products as sustainable communication media: “With this campaign we want to raise awareness for the sustainability of printed products thereby also stealing the thunder on greenwashers. After all, there are often completely other reasons for foregoing print than the alleged ‘love for the environment’,” commented Kirsten Hommelhoff, Managing Director of the BVDM. At drupa, these associations will also be represented at the Touchpoint Sustainability.

For further information about drupa 2024, visit www.drupa.com and www.mdna.com.

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