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Toyo Ink: Promoting Environmental Leadership and Sustainability

Press release from the issuing company

September 10, 2007 -- ADDISON, Ill. -- Toyo Ink Group's main strength in the printing inks business can be attributed to its integrated system from raw materials production to the final products. The ink manufacturer's acumen for research and development has helped drive Toyo products' differentiated functions and efficient performance.
Toyo Ink has long been at the forefront of product development that considers the safety and health of consumers. More than 30 years ago, Toyo Ink began institutionalizing at the organizational level its response to environmental issues. Starting with the launch in 1973 of the Environmental Improvement Center and implementation of Environmental Awareness Committees charged with controlling pollution at each plant, efforts to cultivate a robust environmental management system have moved forward.
"Toyo Ink Group has been active in various environmental initiatives in the broader context of developing an action plan to help carry the industry forward in the 21st century," said Fusao Ito, president of the Toyo Ink Group in America. "It is imperative that we take a leading role through reduced waste and resource usage and elimination or safer disposal of harmful byproducts."
Key examples of these actions include drafting internal environmental safety regulations in 1990 and attaining membership in the Japan Responsible Care Council in 1995. Toyo Ink established its Environmental Charter and Action Policies in 1996 to outline official management policy based on the philosophy of sustainable development. Likewise, the ISO 14001 certification system and standards related to environmental management issues provide additional tools to continually improve environmental performance.
Ecology Center
Further steps to bolster environmental activities company-wide led to the creation in 1999 of the Ecology Center at Toyo Ink's Tokyo headquarters. A detailed Environmental Report was published that same year. Subsequent reports, issued annually, have documented progress in such areas as managing chemical substances, developing environmentally responsible products and fostering corporate social consciousness.
"The challenges posed in recent years have proved more opportunity than threat," Ito observed.
Environmental stewardship as a top priority is strongly reflected in Toyo Ink's printing materials. With the Ecology Center as its focal point, the company's R&D team is developing and supplying new products, ranging from process inks and water-based gravure inks with no organic solvents to aromatic compounds-free inks and non-toluene-type inks. In addition, Toyo Ink is making advances in developing a solvent recovery system for gravure inks, from the conceptual stage to actual implementation.
Setting Standards
The Ecology Center screens products for compliance with environmental standards. Products that satisfy the standards are then registered as environmentally friendly. These products not only reduce the residual organic solvents contained in food packages, books and other printed materials, but also improve the environment of printing operations.
At Print 05, Toyo Ink introduced HyPlus 100 Process Series inks. HyPlus 100 allows sheetfed printers to replace inks containing petroleum-derived solvents with formulations for all four basic colors that are entirely free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Sales of HyPlus 100 have skyrocketed since its introduction.
Additionally, printers can choose low-VOC vegetable-based inks, among them the HyUnity, HyLite and HyPlus EC series.
Environmental Acceptance
Toyo Ink makes good use of the Japan Environment Association's Eco Mark for third-party certification of printing ink. The Eco Mark identifies products that exert less of a burden on the environment, enabling consumers to make environmentally friendly product choices. Over two dozen Toyo Ink product series, including offset, newspaper, gravure and ultraviolet (UV) inks, display the Eco Mark.
Furthermore, Toyo soybean oil-based inks carry the American Soybean Association SoySeal in addition to the Eco Mark. Toyo Soy Process Series sheetfed inks are formulated with 20 percent natural soy and contain no aromatic compounds.
Diverse Products
Toyo Ink has developed soy-based heatset and coldset web inks for the commercial web and newspaper markets as well. Graph Expo 2007 will serve as the premiere for the SoyaNews newspaper ink series.
The company produces UV and electron beam (EB) inks that can be printed on sheetfed and web presses. Because they contain no solvents, they release no VOCs into the atmosphere.
A line of food-grade inks includes black ink made from squid ink. In addition, the Liofresh Color series, which is made from natural plant materials, is used in confectioneries, cosmetics and dyeing.
As for non-ink products, Toyo Ink offers coating agents that are entirely free of VOCs and cleaning solutions derived from natural fat and oil components.
"Customers receive many benefits from our environmental practices," Ito stated. "These include better quality work through the use of highly pigmented, low-VOC or VOC-free inks."
Toyo Ink America will present its numerous environmentally products in Booth #455 at Graph Expo 2007, September 9-12 at Chicago's McCormick Place.