As of May 2015, products meeting our Cradle to Cradle™ printing standard are now also available in the following countries: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Greenland and Iceland. The Danish printing company KLS Grafisk Hus has become our first network partner.
As of a few days ago, it is official: effective immediately, gugler* network partner KLS is the new contact company and producer for Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM printed works for the countries Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Greenland and Iceland. This means that offset printing of a high level of sustainable quality equal to that provided by gugler* is now available in Northern Europe as well. There are other parallels between the two companies too: ISO 14001, EMAS environmental certification, CO2 neutral printing, the use of FSC certified paper and the active shouldering of responsibility for the environment and their own employees, to name just a few.
‘The challenge today is to produce things in a way that ensures that they will remain 100% in closed cycles, or that the resources used in them remain exploitable over the long term’, emphasised Ernst Gugler, CEO and sustainability pioneer, at a reception hosted in Denmark by the new partner, whose invitation list also included individuals such as Ida Auken, former Minister for the Environment in Denmark. ‘That’s why we approach printing the way that nature would, in a way that ultimately results in nutrients for the soil.’ Printed products from gugler* have been optimised for the recycling process, meaning that sludge generated from them can flow back into the biological cycle.
In this way the innovation ‘Made in Austria’ is making an important contribution to the ambitious circular economy strategy and the circular economy of the European Union, the full scope of which is scheduled to be presented later this year. The strategy’s target is a 30% increase in resource productivity across Europe by 2030, to be achieved through improved, ecologically-conscious product design and a ‘zero-waste’ policy. The objectives behind this EU strategy are not limited to a reduction of greenhouse gases however, but also the creation of two million new jobs and an increase of the EU’s gross domestic product by one per cent.
It has become clear to many, including at the European level, that, from an economics perspective, resource-poor Europe can no longer afford to squander natural resources. The chief architect of the new EU strategy, Janez Potočnik, who served as EU Commissioner for the Environment until 2014 and has been volubly deploring the shocking figures associated with today’s ‘throw-away’ society for years: approximately 80% of all the products we produce are used once and then land in the trash. Our products are manufactured in large quantities through energy intensive, centralised production fuelled by expensive petroleum products or non-renewable energies, only to be buried forever in the earth after a single use.
‘The path our consumption economy has been on up to now – from the cradle to the grave – must come to an end’, affirmed KLS CEO, Kasper Larsen. ‘What we need are cradle to cradle approaches, and to use our resources efficiently.’ So it is hardly surprising that demand for Cradle to Cradle™ products is on the rise. Globally, there are already 2,000 certified products in all product areas: office chairs, toilet paper, cleaning products, trainers, even seat covers for aeroplane and automobile seats. On average, 70 new certificates are issued each year.
In 2014, gugler* print, a unit of the communication company, was able to generate a 20% share of its turnover through Cradle to Cradle™ printing. Its aim is to increase that figure to 50% by 2017.