Nine ways to go green and reduce carbon footprint

Temperature data from February has been smashing a century of records. June was abnormally hot across India. With 50.8 degree celsius, Rajasthan’s Churu was the hottest place in India. Paris, Prague and Berlin were sizzling. Environmental scientists called this phenomenon a shocker and warned of a climate emergency.

07 Aug 2019 | By Noel D'Cunha

Every industry – indeed every individual - has an important part to play in tackling climate change. Going green is an initiative not just for the love of the planet earth, but also has a significant and tangible impact on the bottomline.

At PrintWeek India we conducted a small survey among print companies and found nine measures which are popular in the industry.

1. Solar: Many companies across India make good use of solar power, and printers are no exception. Trail Blazer, Bengaluru installed 120 panels of 360W. These panels generated as much as 5,000 to 7,000 units of electricity a month. This is a savings of about Rs 65,000 per month.

2. Electric vehicles: Our editorial colleagues at Autocar have informed that there are a handful of electric four-wheelers, which are available in India. Given Nirmala Sitharaman's budget thrust towards a global electric vehicle manufacturing centre, things may change in the next twelve months. The difference in using a petrol and a electric car is Rs 5,200 where the cost of petrol is Rs 77 per litre and electricity is Rs 6.5 per unit.

3. Energy-efficient lighting: An easy-to-do initiative when it comes to saving energy cost. Printline Reproductions in Mumbai changed all its lamps to LED in its factory. This has resulted in lesser consumption of power. This has benefited the company, both economically and environmentally.

4. Control that compressor: A fifth of a factory's electricity bill is attributed to the production of compressed air. Parksons Graphics did research and implemented new technology to reduce its resource consumption. Variable Frequency Drive compressor system has been installed to match the supply of air with the variable demand in production. Using a more expensive aluminium piping loop for the compressed air has reduced leakages in the system, thereby further reducing the compressed air generation requirement.

5. Voltage optimisation: According to Parksons Graphics, the most important aspect of any improvement is benchmarking. Using power tracking systems, it monitors exactly how much power each department is consuming daily. It enables the company to invest in power-saving technologies and monitor improvement. 

6. Watch waste: Kumar Labels introduced a technology called Single Release with Two Facestocks (SRTF). This reduces label material-related environmental pollution by 50% and it is growing and spreading each day.

7. Processless plates: Printers depend on chemicals, which is why kit manufacturers are focusing on chemical-free plating processes. All the plate manufacturers have their own avatars of processless, or process-free plate technology: There is the Azura range, the Brillia, and Sonora. Progressive Press in Surat has been deploying Sonora plates. This has reduced water consumption during processing by 95%. This translates into plate chemistry savings of 87%. The company is also saving man hours, which would be spent cleaning processor units. 

8. Monitor and audit: It’s not enough to install new technologies and hope for the best. Ensuring equipment is maintained properly and works well can have a significant impact on efficiency. According to a certification and audit expert, gross material waste (tonnage of paper for recycling and waste compared to tonnage used) is an easy measure for most litho printers and usually ranges from 15%-30% – a significant opportunity to reduce cost and environmental impact.

9. Something in the office: Given the nature of the printing business, it’s no surprise environmental concerns are largely given over to the kit, but significant savings can be made in administrative areas, too. For example, Printstop has installed water aerators across all taps. These water aerators reduce the speed of water flow from 15 lpm to 3 lpm (litres per minute). Ensuring kitchen appliances such as kettles and fridges are operating as efficiently as possible will reduce electricity bills. And making sure your office space is well-insulated will also pay off.

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