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Xeikon extends environmental sustainability leadership

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Lier, Belgium – Xeikon, a division of Punch Graphix, announced it is under contract with one of the primary energy suppliers in Belgium to utilize 100% green power from renewable energy in its toner manufacturing operations based in Heultje, Belgium, as of January 1, 2010. Xeikon has been a leader in the digital printing market in ensuring that its technology results in as little environmental impact as possible throughout the entire printing supply chain.

"Often when people speak about 'green' printing, they are primarily concerned with whether materials are printed on recycled paper or paper from managed and renewable forests," explains Lode Deprez, Vice President of Toner R&D and Production at Punch Graphix. "But that barely scratches the surface. The printed paper must also be recyclable, the printing process must conserve water and use no VOCs, and the energy use and production of waste must be drastically reduced. Xeikon has met all of these requirements and more, both in its manufacturing processes and in the way its customers use the equipment throughout its lifecycle in the field. The new energy contract ensures we are using 100% green electricity in our toner manufacturing operation and we are proud to again assert our leadership position in an area of growing importance: environmental sustainability."

Xeikon Sustainability Highlights
Over the years, Xeikon has taken many steps to ensure that its products and their output have the smallest possible environmental footprint. These include:
- All Xeikon plants strictly comply with the EU WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Directive to reduce the annual volumes of waste from discarded equipment. Xeikon also pursues the objectives of the Environmental Action Plan (MAP) for energy conservation, promoting the use of renewable energy. In addition, all facilities have separate systems that remove wastewater and rainwater separately, reducing the pressure on wastewater processing.
- At Xeikon's toner plant in Heultje (Belgium), energy consumption per kg of produced toner has decreased by more than 35% over the last years. This is accomplished through recovering heat from the toner manufacturing process to heat the building and investments in new production technology
- Xeikon recovers and reuses toner waste generated during the manufacturing process to the greatest extent possible and recycles toner packaging. Toner that cannot be recovered and reused is compressed with wood pulp for use as fuel in the cement industry. This means that zero toner waste from the manufacturing process ends up in a landfill. As a result of this and other efforts, the volume of waste produced over the past years has decreased by more than 50%.
- Compared with the traditional offset process, Xeikon presses consume more than 6 kilowatt hours less energy in a typical print run of 5,000 full color duplex-printed A3 sheets. For the same print run the offset process consumes 6 liters of process water, whereas Xeikon presses use none at all. Presses are equipped with a closed loop circulation cooling system, use no process water and do not cause any water pollution or air pollution since no VOC's are involved in the production and printing process.
- In collaboration with all parties involved in the logistics process, Xeikon created an intelligent total packaging concept for its presses based on reusable packaging. In addition, toner comes in recyclable HPDE bottles, again minimizing the impact on the environment.
- Material printed on a Xeikon press has a deinkability score greater than 90% according to INGEDE Method 11, an international standard, guaranteeing recyclability of Xeikon printed product.

"These are just the highlights of the actions we have taken to ensure that Xeikon and its customers are ahead of the curve in complying with environmental regulations," concludes Deprez. "By now adding 100% green energy into the mix, we have taken another giant step to maintain our environmental leadership in this industry. Our results prove that ECO-logy and ECO-nomy can go together. Our efforts to make our products sustainable and safe does not make them more expensive or less competitive. As a result, our customers are able to cost-effectively market safe and sustainable technology in a world that is growing increasingly sensitive to environmental issues."




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