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Second Heidelberg ECO Printing Award: Winners Impress with Commitment to Environmental Protection

Press release from the issuing company

The winners of the second Heidelberg ECO Printing Award were honored at a ceremony at the Print Media Academy (PMA) in Heidelberg on July 6, 2011. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) initiated this international sustainability award for sheetfed offset print shops. Michael Keene, CEO of The John Roberts Company in the United States, accepted the EUR 30,000 prize for the most sustainably managed print shop, while a check for EUR 20,000 for the top sustainable innovative solution was presented to Rob Nugent from Australian print shop Vega Press. The winners also received vouchers for PMA seminars. Some 45 companies from 19 countries on four continents submitted entries this time round. For the first time, they included print shops from Brazil, Indonesia, and the Philippines. A four-strong independent international panel of judges voted on the most sustainable integrated solution and the most innovative stand-alone solution. Their decision was unanimous. "The proposals submitted for environmental activities in the industry were even better than last time round and were much more wide-ranging than in 2009. There were far more sustainable integrated solutions than innovative stand-alone solutions," observed the judging panel's spokesman Dr. Achim Schorb from the IFEU (Institute for Energy and Environmental Research) in Heidelberg. The other judges were William D'Alessandro, Executive Editor of the Crosslands Bulletin on Business, Law and the Environment in the United States, Anne-Marie De Noose from the European printing confederation Intergraf in Brussels, and Rainer Litty from the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). They, too, were very impressed by the print shops' highly innovative environmental and sustainability achievements.

"We work with our customers to systematically pursue our objective of a sustainable printing industry. The entries submitted demonstrate that customers are combining economic success, environmental responsibility, and far greater social commitment in their sustainable management strategies," explained Stephan Plenz, Member of the Management Board responsible for Heidelberg Equipment, at the award ceremony. Dr. Eckart Würzner, Lord Mayor of Heidelberg, gave a speech about the city's environmental credentials. The ceremony's keynote speech on the future of the print media industry was delivered by Beatrice Klose, Secretary General of the European printing confederation Intergraf.

Most sustainably managed print shop: The John Roberts Company, United States
The panel was unanimous in voting The John Roberts Company, based in Minneapolis in the United States, the most sustainably managed print shop. With a workforce of more than 300, this company has been actively committed to environmental protection for over 30 years. Its mission statement reflects the print shop's efforts to minimize its environmental impact. The company's numerous certifications include ISO 9001, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), and PEFC (Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes). This commitment has won it several environmental awards. For example, The John Roberts Company was the first industrial printer in the United States to receive the "Sustainable Green Printer" accolade. To achieve this status, companies must undergo regular external evaluation by neutral third parties. To ensure end-to-end sustainability, the print shop operates state-of-the-art equipment - from prepress to postpress - and focuses on reducing both paper and process waste. It also uses inks based on vegetable oils. What's more, the print shop has cut the proportion of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the dampening solution it uses by 60 percent, with a further 15 percent reduction planned for next year. It uses natural gas to heat the buildings and electricity generated from wind power. Consumption of both gas and electricity has been cut by 10 percent this year. "The John Roberts Company impressed us with its environmental achievements over recent years, its challenging and ambitious environmental targets for the immediate future, and its social commitment," said the judging panel's spokesman Dr. Achim Schorb. For example, the print shop intends to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by a further 15 percent this year. In addition to offering its employees sports and fitness facilities. The John Roberts Company also organizes an annual health day. Donations to cultural institutions, schools, universities, and NGOs - such as the one made to Children's Crisis Nursery or the American Diabetes Foundation - demonstrate the company's corporate social responsibility. www.johnroberts.com

Sustainable innovative solution: Vega Press, Australia
Submissions in this category primarily focused on saving energy and conserving resources. Melbourne-based print shop Vega Press impressed the panel of judges with its remarkable approach. It has coated the roofs of the print shop building with a special reflective surface that stops virtually any of the sun`s UV rays getting through. Together with highly efficient building insulation, this can reduce the cost of the air conditioning that is essential at these latitudes to an absolute minimum. The resultant lower electricity consumption plays a key role in preventing harmful greenhouse gases. The Vega Press print shop has just under 100 employees. This high energy-saving potential is a solution that can also be used for other regions - such as southern Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia - where presses are exposed to high temperatures all year round and normally require a great deal of cooling. www.vega.com.au

Environmental commitment pays off
Heidelberg announced the Heidelberg ECO Printing Award, the first international environmental award to give sheetfed offset print shops an incentive to focus on sustainability, at drupa 2008. Winners should set a benchmark for the entire industry and encourage others to adopt sustainable business practices and solutions. Heidelberg offers the printing industry a platform for dialog where this know-how can be transferred to the market and interested customers. "We have a responsibility to drive forward sustainability in the industry and we play a pioneering role with all the measures we introduce. Only a holistic approach can improve environmental performance. This starts with the development and production of our presses and also covers the printing process and comprehensive dialog with our customers," underlines Plenz. All the creative solutions and entries for the Heidelberg ECO Printing Award demonstrate that ecology and economy go hand in hand.

The Heidelberg ECO Printing Award is open to any print shop that operates at least one sheetfed offset press. The number of presses is unimportant, as is the volume of production, the vertical range of manufacture, and the size of the business. Print shops from anywhere in the world that use any kind of substrate (paper, card, or foil) can enter. There are categories for the most sustainably managed print shop and for sustainable innovative solutions. Selection criteria include application of environmental and quality management systems, sustainable and economical use of energy, materials, and media, eco-friendly logistics solutions, and social commitment.

Shortlist for the Heidelberg ECO Printing Award:
The panel of judges selected the two winners from a shortlist of 17 print shops. The shortlisted companies were as follows:

Most sustainably managed print shop:

Druckstudio GmbH, Düsseldorf, Germany
Druckerei Lokay e.K., Reinheim, Germany
Kessler Druck & Medien, Bobingen, Germany
Pinsker Druck und Medien GmbH, Mainburg, Germany
Druckerei Janetschek, Heidenreichstein, Austria
UD Print AG, Lucerne, Switzerland
Pureprint Group, Uckfield, East Sussex, United Kingdom
El Tinter, Barcelona, Spain
EarthColor, Parsippany, New Jersey, United States
Hemlock Printers, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Soar Printing, Auckland, New Zealand

Sustainable innovative solution:

DCM, Druck Center Meckenheim GmbH, Germany
E & B Druck, Karlsruhe, Germany
Schraag Industries Graphiques, Trévenas, France
Werner Kenkel Spólka zoo., Krzycko Male, Poland


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