At Druckstudio, a comprehensive approach to the issue of sustainability in its individual ecological, economical and social dimensions is by no means a recent trend, but has instead served as its guiding principle for the last several years. As such, the Druckstudio Group in Düsseldorf is the first printer in the world to implement that approach with regard to consumables and completely switch to Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG's environmentally friendly Saphira Eco line, which satisfies even the most stringent environmental standards for consumables in the print media industry. Saphira Eco is the first collection on the market of inks, coatings, printing plates and other consumables exclusively based on environmentally friendly criteria. It allows Druckstudio to complete its transition to a fully sustainability-orientated business model.
Clients are increasingly demanding proof of products' sustainability from their service providers. "In the printing industry, we are innovators in both sustainability and innovative technologies and processes", says Werner Drechsler, CEO of the Druckstudio Group. "We have been optimizing our business model and our printing processes for the premium segment for years. This, in combination with our comprehensive approach to sustainability, has helped us to become the preferred partner of well-known brands when it comes to producing extraordinary printed materials."
According to Drechsler, the switch to Heidelberg Saphira Eco has allowed Druckstudio to close the last gap in its portfolio of environmentally friendly products to meet even the highest quality standards. "Using the inks, coatings and printing plates from the Saphira Eco product line means completely adapting all of our printing processes - an investment we were glad to make in order to set new sustainability standards for ourselves and for our customers. Further, we can assume that standards will be introduced for environmentally friendly print products in the future. By switching to Saphira Eco now, we'll be well prepared for these changes."
The operating experience with the new products to date has been favourable: the Saphira Eco consumables offer the same continuous printing performance and quality as conventional materials. Among others, Druckstudio uses two Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 five- or six-colour machines with dispersion coaters, printing up to 18,000 sheets per hour in a three-shift system.
Standardised sustainability in print production
Although various manufacturers already offer print supplies with certifications for environmental friendliness, "there are no other standardised product lines produced in accordance with the strictest environment standards that cover the entire value chain in the print production process", Drechsler explains. "Up to now it has not been easy to find print supplies that are truly environmentally friendly. 'Green washing' is a common phenomenon in the print industry, and so far there have not been any standards concerning environmentally friendly printing processes." According to Drechsler, Heidelberg has implemented essential changes for print supplies in its Saphira Eco product line using the strictest criteria. "This will allow us to meet our customers' demands for both sustainability and high quality - and to document the environmental friendliness of our printed materials by using standardised products." This systematic orientation on sustainability has convinced e.g. Metro AG, which has commissioned Druckstudio to print its annual report, the first publication worldwide that will bear the new Heidelberg Saphira Eco quality seal.
The Heidelberg Saphira Eco line guarantees that all its inks, coatings, chemicals and printing plates meet the requirements of the most important international certification systems, such as the Nordic Ecolabel, EU Eco Label, the Austrian Umweltzeichen and the New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust. "This aspect makes Heidelberg Saphira Eco an essential part of our self-contained and sustainable production flow - and of our overall strategy, which ranges from certifications in accordance with the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and EN 16001 norms to carbon-neutral printing, green electricity and FSC paper," Drechsler says.
Success through sustainability
The uncompromising transition to a sustainable business model has completely changed the Druckstudio Group - and has spurred its success: today the Group is characterised by double-digit annual turnover growth, completely environmentally friendly operations, sustainably manufactured products, a corporate culture based on participation and responsibility, and various sponsorship projects throughout the region.
In the last six years Druckstudio has implemented various measures, e.g. in the context of its participation in the city of Düsseldorf's "Ecoprofit Project", including the use of energy-efficient lighting and the transition to green electricity, as well as investing in a photovoltaic system. The company is no longer dependent on oil for heating, having installed heat recovery plants on the printing presses. Thanks to these measures, the Druckstudio Group has not only reduced its carbon footprint by 485 tons of CO2 every year, but also serves as an exemplary model of sustainable business in the print industry. In terms of the two largest sources of CO2, namely heating and electricity, Druckstudio is virtually carbon neutral.
Druckstudio uses the following Saphira Eco products:
- Saphira Ink Excel / Saphira Ink Excel 400
Eco Dispersion Coatings
- Saphira Coating Extra Matt W 7760-45
- Saphira Coating Primer Matt W 8685-45
- Saphira Coating Matt W 7750-45
- Saphira Coating Semi-Matt W 7745-45
- Saphira Coating Gloss W 3950-45
- Saphira Thermal Plate Neg. NA 101
Eco Dampening Solution
- Saphira Fount 550 AR or Saphira Fount 550 AR Pure