Heidelberg to drive circularity in packaging

Joins international alliance 4evergreen

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Heidelberg
Heidelberg is now a member of the international alliance 4evergreen, driving resource efficiency and circularity in the packaging segment. Photo Heidelberg

By joining the international alliance 4evergreen, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is affirming it is fully committed to environmentally friendly products and technologies. Handling natural resources sustainably and continuously improving circularity, that is to say, the circular economy, are key concerns in the growing packaging segment. Consumer demand for sustainable and fiber-based packaging solutions is increasing further still. As a partner of the folding carton industry, Heidelberg, therefore, supports the 4evergreen alliance’s holistic approach throughout the value chain for climate-friendly, green packaging in an enhanced circular economy. “Environmental protection and sustainability are global issues that are also becoming increasingly important in the print media industry,” says Heidelberg chief executive officer Rainer Hundsdörfer. “For many years, Heidelberg has been promoting environmental and sustainability initiatives when developing and manufacturing machinery and units. We are also looking to drive forward and further improve options in terms of recyclability and the use of resources during production in the growing packaging segment,” he adds.

“Here at 4evergreen, we believe in the power of a holistic approach and are bringing together stakeholders from the entire value chain to make fiber-based packaging more recyclable. The commitment Heidelberg is demonstrating toward environmentally friendly products and developing new technologies to boost circularity is central to our work,” emphasizes the alliance’s Program director Susanne Haase.

New technologies contribute to eco-friendly folding carton production

Using energy efficiently, conserving resources, reducing emissions, and ensuring effective lifecycle management are all crucial aspects when manufacturing and operating printing presses. Sustainability is a core element of the strategic agenda pursued by Heidelberg. The company’s environmental policy provides a binding framework for all Heidelberg divisions that also extends to its external partners and suppliers. This policy reflects the comprehensive and holistic approach that Heidelberg follows in its environmental concept. Every single stage in the product lifecycle is taken into account – from development and production through to operation by the customer and recycling or disposal.

What’s more, Heidelberg is continuously expanding its green portfolio. This commitment to the environment is demonstrated by machinery, units, and especially consumables such as Saphira Eco products. As far as possible, these are all manufactured on the basis of renewable raw materials and/or contribute to the end products’ recyclability. Products bearing the Saphira Eco label generate lower emissions than most comparable products. Besides environmental benefits such as reduced emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ammonia, and particulate matter, Saphira Eco consumables also use fewer chemicals and result in less wastewater.

With a market share of close to 50 percent, Heidelberg is said to be the world market leader when it comes to sheetfed offset presses for folding carton and label printing, and the company covers the entire value chain, including digital workflow integration.

4evergreen is a cross-industry alliance perfecting the circularity of fiber-based packaging to contribute to a climate-neutral and sustainable society. The goal is to raise the overall recycling rate of fiber-based packaging to 90 percent by 2030, focusing in particular on packaging with poorer circularity at present – the types used for household, out-of-home, and on-the-go consumption.

The alliance brings together industry representatives from across the fiber-based packaging value chain – from pulp, paper, and board manufacturers and recyclers to packaging producers and converters, including brand owners, retailers, and waste management companies. It also includes suppliers of chemicals (such as adhesives, inks, and coatings), technology providers (such as machinery, collection, and recycling solutions), and leading research institutes.

To date, 4evergreen has brought together more than 70 market leaders representing all the players in the fiber-based packaging value chain. The host of the initiative is Cepi (the Confederation of European Paper Industries), which is headquartered in Brussels.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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