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.

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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