Infusing sustainability into the operations of a printing company demands dedicated effort, but the long-term benefits encompass not only improved business prospects but also elevated employee morale and a healthier planet. Just ask KLS PurePrint, a trailblazer in the realm of circular economy, who embarked on an ambitious journey towards more sustainable production and eco-friendly products.
KLS PurePrint a valued customer of PrintVis, stands as one of Denmark’s premier printing enterprises, specializing in the creation and refinement of a diverse range of graphic products. Boasting a legacy spanning over 70 years, the company had already demonstrated a strong commitment to environmental concerns, evidenced by their exclusive use of electric vehicles and reliance on wind turbine-generated energy. Years of concerted endeavours to minimize environmental impacts had already been invested before a resolute vision emerged within their boardroom – that of becoming the world’s most sustainable printing house.
Cradle to Cradle certification
The catalyst for this endeavour was a strategy centered on meticulously scrutinizing every facet of their printed material and packaging production. The overarching objective was to ensure the complete exclusion of harmful chemicals from their production processes. This bold aspiration led them to pursue one of the most rigorous and uncompromising certifications on the global stage: Cradle to Cradle. This international, independent environmental certification evaluates the composition of every ingredient within a product. Compliance entails a stringent adherence to the “Banned List of Chemicals,” thus guaranteeing the absence of any hazardous substances.
“In our pursuit to become the world’s greenest printing company, we searched for the ecolabel which we believe is the world’s toughest and which best documents our work to close loops and create a circular business model without waste. We also wanted to work with zero tolerance towards harmful chemicals. In our opinion, we achieved this best with the international environmental label Cradle to Cradle Certified™. In addition to the above, Cradle to Cradle also requires continuous improvement. The goal is that the product only consists of materials that are healthy for people and the environment. That’s why it became Cradle to Cradle Certified” explains Kasper Larsen, the Chief Commercial Officer at KLS PurePrint.
Since 2015, KLS PurePrint has held the Cradle to Cradle certification. This holistic environmental certification centres on the principle that a product should neither pollute nor deplete the Earth’s resources, instead harmoniously participating in the natural cycle. The crux of this concept lies in perpetual product circulation and reuse, eliminating waste production and negating harm to both people and the environment. This embodiment of principles constitutes the essence of a circular economy.
Involve the entire organization
Kasper Larsen offers advice to fellow print companies aspiring to adopt a circular business model. Primarily, top management’s unanimous support and decisions to achieve this goal are crucial. Subsequently, comprehensive organizational involvement, especially from internal advocates who can champion these changes, is paramount.
The development of KLS PurePrint’s eco-friendly approach initially spanned over 3 years for printed materials and 4 years for packaging. The journey is ongoing, with the company continuously innovating and introducing even more sustainable products and services. The journey is done in close cooperation with the 2 other Cradle to Cradle certified printers Gugler in Austria and Vögeli in Switzerland. Together, the 3 printers even reached a Cradle to Cradle certificate on Gold level earlier this year, as the first printers in the world.
“Undoubtedly, the company embarks on an ambitious expedition, demanding unwavering determination and a willingness to grapple with the more intricate challenges. Drawing inspiration from segments of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals and constructing cohesive value chains connecting suppliers to customers can be immensely valuable. Ultimately, sustainability resides in tangible action, not mere communication,” emphasizes Kasper Larsen.
Both customers and employees alike rally behind KLS PurePrint’s strategic direction, as evidenced by the consistent organic growth the company has experienced throughout the years. KLS recognizes that establishing a secure and positive work environment for all employees resonates with their overarching vision. The company firmly believes that present and future employees prioritize engagement with an enterprise that embodies sustainable values and strives to enact positive change.