Innovation: Development Of Life-Cycle E-Tools For Improving The Environmental Performance Of European Graphic SMEs

Last update: 14.07.2013
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Keywords: 
integrated management‚ printing industry‚ environmental performance‚ life-cycle management‚
The European graphic sector makes a significant contribution to the European economy. It has an annual turnover of over €125 billion and employs more than 1.2 million people. It is made up of over 106 000 companies, 95% of which are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).The production life cycle of graphic products gives rise to different environment impact, through the consumption of raw materials, the distribution of products, and the use of production techniques such as offset printing, whereby inked images are transferred (‘offset’) from a plate to a rubber blanket and then to the printing surface.

Currently, the European graphic sector consumes over 8 million tonnes of paper and board annually, with 7% growth expected by 2013; over 1 million tonnes of ink, with 25% growth projected by 2012; and over 200 000 litres of chemical additives, with 11% growth by 2013.

The graphics sector is characterised by a lack of management skills and experience to develop and implement environmental policies. There is also a lack of appropriate tools and information about promising environmental technologies, processes and products.

PROJECT GOALS:

The main objective of SustainGraph is to develop a software tool for characterizing the environmental impact of graphic products throughout their Life-Cycle and to guide the European SMEs printers in developing new sustainable services and products, according to the Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy (SCP/SIP) principles.

Aims:
1. To improve the environmental performance of European Graphic SMEs throughout their products Life-Cycle
2. To ensure sustainable management and use of natural resources and waste reducing the production costs of the graphic products and then, improving the competitiveness of European SMEs graphic companies
3. To boost the development and demand for more sustainable printing (graphic media) industrial products
The SustainGraph project aims to develop an eTool for assessing the environmental impact of graphics products throughout their life-cycle. It will identify and promote good practice in the development of new, sustainable graphics products and services in order to guide European SMEs.
The eTool will be based on the European Printing Eco-indicators System and on current best practice. Its implementation by European SMEs will help to:

1. Improve the environmental performance of European graphics SMEs throughout their production life-cycle;
2. Ensure sustainable management and use of natural resources and waste;
3. Reduced production costs, thus improving the competitiveness of the European graphics sector.The project hopes to encourage the development of a more sustainable graphics industry. It also hopes to increase SMEs’ compliance with both the Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy (SCP/SIP) principles and the Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme for SMEs (ECAP).

Expected results:

1. Identified best practices for new sustainable graphics products and services;
2. An online eTool for life-cycle assessments of graphic products;
3. A 10% improvement in the environmental performance of the European graphics industry;
4. Improved SME compliance with SCP/SIP and ECAP.

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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Development Of Life-Cycle E-Tools For Improving The Environmental Performance Of European Graphic SMEs

Acronym: 
SUSTAINGRAPH

Runtime: 
01.01.2011 to 31.12.2013

Status: 
completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.

AIDO – INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATION OF OPTICS, COLOUR AND IMAGING

(Spain)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: BELTRÁN Susana Otero

Website: http://www.aido.es/

Phone: +34-96 1318051

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