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FLEXO Magazine : Sustainable Fall 2009
As retailers continue to drive sustainable initiatives into the packaging market, it becomes increasingly more important to find ways that the flexo industry can provide solutions to these challenges. For decades flexo print- ers/converters have looked to the substrate, the inks and the structure of the package to achieve a high level of success. As the bar continues to be raised, we need to explore technolo- gies that impact the process of creating a printed package while driving profitability to the bottom line. In this article, we will explore the use of select new and not-so-new technolo- gies that will drive sustainable solutions into the flexographic printing process. Through the implementation of a combina- tion of these globally-proven technologies, the results will reduce costs, time, and a dependence on a broad range of eco-unfriendly materials, all of this while reducing overall impact on the environment and improving print quality. SUSTAINABILITY IN SALES STRATEGY Pursuing sustainable initiatives is high on the list of many retailers and consumer products companies (CPCs). None of these organizations have placed it higher on the list than Wal- Mart. So much so, that Wal-Mart states on its Web site that "...we see sustainability as one of the most important opportunities for both the future of our business and the future of our world." Now that's a pretty serious statement of its position on the subject. This is a clear indication that, if you would like to sell to the world's largest retailer or its vendors, you had better pay attention to sustainability. This sentiment and focus is echoed throughout the retail market from grocery to con- sumer goods. In addition, a growing number of CPCs have defined themselves and their brands with sustainability in mind. Some of these organizations are the largest players in the packaging market. Kimberly-Clark, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Frito Profitable Solutions to Sustainability Challenges Ideas for Going Green---in Both Senses of the Word By Brad Vette • Sales strategy for flexo printers/converters and CPCs need to contain a sustainable component. • Within a flexo converter, raw materials that can be eliminated or significantly reduced include: substrate waste, stickyback, photopolymer plates, water and cleaning solvents. • The retail-driven sustainability initiatives encourage, not only a sound and necessary component to sales strategy, but a continuation of the responsible opera- tional practices employed by most organizations. All art courtesy OEC Graphics Inc. 10 Sustainable FLEXO FALL 2009 www.flexomag.com