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Heidelberg extends environmental commitment

Monday, February 14, 2011

Press release from the issuing company

The closing report for the dialog on climate protection between politicians and business leaders was handed over to Germany's Minister for the Environment Dr. Norbert Röttgen on February 7, 2011. This dialog is a shared platform between the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Reactor Safety (BMU) and well-known representtatives of German industry. It is geared towards finding joint approaches for minimizing greenhouse gas emissions such as CO2. For example, Germany aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 and by at least 80 percent by 2050 compared to the base year 1990. The dialog on climate protection consisted of four working groups: Building services, financial management, trade and industry, and products. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) was invited by the BMU to represent the mechanical engineering industry in working group 3 "Climate protection in trade and industry". This group focused on making proposals for improving the underlying political conditions and devising incentives for easing the development and implementation of energy efficiency and climate protection measures. In total, specific measures were recommended for six areas: Funding and financing, energy management systems, public procurement, export promotion, communication, and training/qualification. The following companies and associations worked alongside Heidelberg in working group 3, which was headed by Siemens AG and the BMU: ALBA, Aurubis, BASF, BMW, Endress + Hauser, HeidelbergCement, Linde, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, Prinovis, Robert Bosch, Schott, Siemens, ThyssenKrupp, Trimet Aluminium, the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), and the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH).

Environmental protection demands an integrated approach

Heidelberg is fully committed to the climate protection targets of the German government and the measures laid down to achieve them. Environmental protection has been firmly established as a corporate goal of Heidelberg since 1992. Amstetten was the first Heidelberg site to be certified in line with EMAS back in 1996. Heidelberg works consistently to systematically improve its environmental and energy efficiency along the entire value-added chain. This takes in everything from product development and manufacturing to the operation of its machines at customer sites. Heidelberg also provides support for its customers in all aspects of ecological printing and plays a leading role in the industry. "We focus in particular on three points: Wherever possible, we want to reduce - or ideally avoid - resource consumption, emissions, and waste," emphasizes Stephan Plenz, Member of the Management Board responsible for Heidelberg Equipment and environmental management. "We are committed to providing our customers with sustainable solutions designed to protect the environment for both ourselves and future generations," he adds.

Improve resource and energy efficiency through continuous improvement process
Pursuing a holistic approach to environmental protection, Heidelberg analyzes and optimizes its own processes in development, production, and service. The company has ambitious goals for the future: "For example, we are seeking to reduce energy consumption in our plants by 30 percent by 2015 compared to the base year 2008. Fifty percent of the heat required is to be generated from biomass or combined heat and power," says Plenz.

Environmental management systems to ISO 14001 are in place at all Heidelberg production and development sites in Germany, with the aim of further improving the company's environmental performance. Trained environmental officers ensure compliance with the relevant environmental protection standards, identify areas where there is potential for improvement, and promote the use of efficient technologies.

The goals achieved and implemented thus far are impressive. For example, improvements introduced to the workflows and process parameters at the final approval stage for 70 x 100 press production at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site have cut paper consumption by around 30 percent in the last four years.

In addition, a new method for analyzing and releasing press testing paper has also cut paper consumption for this test by 94 percent.

A new cleaning chemical used since mid-2009 in the pretreatment of liquid coatings in Wiesloch-Walldorf gives rise to significant energy savings, enabling the bath temperature to be reduced from 60°C to room temperature and allowing the bath heating to be switched off. This saves 1,000 MWh of heating energy per year, which is equivalent to around 260 metric tons of CO2 if the heating is powered by gas.

Energy savings have also been implemented at the Amstetten site, which is home to the company's foundry. Since 2009, innovative technologies installed in the mechanical production facility make it possible to adapt the ventilation and air-conditioning equipment to the actual demand. This saves 3,500 MWh of energy a year, equivalent to around 1,150 metric tons of CO2 emissions based on the site's energy mix. As of 2010, the cold water used to cool the foundry is generated from waste heat, which saves a further 1,850 MWh of energy and approximately 630 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

Heidelberg pursues a green fleet policy, which sets an upper limit for the CO2 consumption of company cars. So far, around 200 company cars have been switched to more environmentally friendly models, thus lowering CO2 emissions by around 100 metric tons.

Entries to the Heidelberg ECO Printing Award for sheetfed offset print shops can be submitted till the end of February 2011 in the categories "Most sustainable print shop" and "Most innovative stand-alone solution". Being presented for the second time, this international award is designed to encourage the environmental commitment of Heidelberg customers.


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