Fujifilm wins sustainability award for its process-less printing plate

19th Green & Sustainable Chemistry Awards

Fujifilm thermal CtP printing plate

Kenji Sukeno, president Fujifilm Corporation announced that it won the 19th Green and Sustainable Chemistry (GSC) Awards, awarded by the minister of the Economy, Trade and Industry, organized by the Japan Association for Chemical Innovation, for the development of the completely process-less printing plate for the newspaper, Superia ZN-II.

The award was granted in recognition of Fujifilm’s development of the completely process-less printing plate for the newspaper, which has eliminated the use of chemicals, water, and electricity, liquid waste in the development process. At the same time, this has substantially reduced the need for packaging materials, thereby contributing to mitigating the environmental impact, one of the tasks for the newspaper printing industry. The GSC Awards are extended to businesses and individuals for their contribution to promoting green and sustainable chemistry (chemistry that is kind to people and the environment and supports the development of sustainable society).

Newspaper production involves using a laser to output electronic data onto printing plates and setting the plates on a newspaper press to print. In this procedure, CTP plates are used as printing plates. In Japan, some 50 million copies of newspapers are circulated every day, and all of them are printed on offset presses using CTP plates. Conventional CTP plates must undergo the development process using a processor, in which data is output to prepare printing plates. This process poses an environmental challenge, as it requires harsh alkaline chemicals, water, and electricity, and generates liquid waste associated with the use of chemicals. Fujifilm has worked on developing a new type of CTP plate that does not require the development process, in an effort to achieve newspaper printing with a lower environmental impact.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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