Printers, trade shops and manufacturers alike are capturing accolades for their endeavors to protect planet, people and profession through smart production and collaborative partnerships.
FTA’s 2023 Sustainability Excellence Award winners are but four examples.
Their game-changing packaging processes/applications were engineered explicitly to tackle challenges of environmental responsibility, while working within existing infrastructure. Each continues to win praise, recognition, acceptability and adaptation within the package printing and converting community.
By their very nature, the processes and product lines increase recyclability, promote circularity and shrink carbon footprints. They encompass:
- Expanded gamut (EG) printing
- Recyclable and resealable flexible packaging
- Lamination-free monoweb films
- Printable and tunable light barrier coatings
Firms receiving the prestigious honor recognizing faithful stewardship of the environment—two process-based, two product-connected—list out as follows:
- RKW Finland Oy/Marvaco Oy: Winner, Sustainability Programs
- Sun Chemical Corp: Winner, Innovations in Sustainability
- AWT Labels & Packaging: Honorable Mention, Sustainability Programs
- Siegwerk: Honorable Mention, Innovations in Sustainability
On the plant or sustainability programs level, processes developed and implemented by Marvaco/RKW and AWT were deemed to have served to reduce the environmental impact of printing and simultaneously improve workers’ health/safety.
Innovations in sustainability distinctions highlighted Sun Chemical’s and Siegwerk’s inclusion of new technology, formulations or techniques, developed to mitigate printing’s effect on Earth’s ecosystem, as well as its contributions to bettering people’s physical well-being.
RKW Finland Oy & Marvaco Oy’s Winning Entry
“Total Solution for Expanded Gamut Printing in Collaboration with Prepress Supplier”—the entry submitted by Marvaco and RKW Finland Oy of Pori, Finland—credited elimination of spot colors to particular benefits accrued. Specifically listed: reduction of ink and volatile organic compound (VOC) volumes, energy conservation, shortened setup time, lower amounts of setup waste and elimination of press stops.
In addition to process efficiencies, smaller environmental footprints and enhanced price competitiveness were associated with RKW and Marvaco’s move to EG. While transitioning:
- RKW, guided by Marvaco, moved from thicker plates to thin plates (45 mil)
- Plate production changed from mercury-containing UV light tubes to energy-efficient, solid-state LED plate format
- Printing plates produced near RKW’s production site (5-km. from the factory) eliminated unnecessary transportation
- VOC emissions attributed to plate processing were reduced up to 50 percent
“Our vision and goal are to provide our customers always the highest possible print quality and service level at the lowest possible environmental impact. Sustainable packaging solutions are today’s winners,” said Pekka Saariluoma, marketing director, RKW Finland.
She lamented, “The key drivers for this are highly motivated and well-trained personnel, the best available technology, close cooperation and a shared long-term commitment with our prepress partner. Receiving the esteemed FTA Sustainability Excellence Award definitely gives us extra energy and motivation to continue our journey toward an even more sustainable future.”
Judge Nikola Juhasz of Sun Chemical decreed, “Marvaco and RKW’s application was excellent, comprehensive, quantitative and detailed… It had a very clear description of the EG program and benefits, including with substantial data to support. Well done!” Judge Brigitte Bisson of Just Born added, “I was pleased to see advancements in EG and plate innovation.”
FTA congratulates this year’s winners on such outstanding accomplishments!