Avery, UPM Discusses Sustainability, SMI Urges Printers To Be Solution Providers

July 23, 2015 by Megha Kalra

The major topic of discussion among the labelstock manufacturers at the LMAI Conference, which was held in Jaipur from 16 to 18 July 2015, was the issues of sustainability.

Shailesh Kapur of Avery Denison argued that sustainability is a game changer. It makes business sense, and it’s not a niche idea anymore. According to Lee Unsworth of UPM Raflatac, sustainability must be a joint effort among manufacturers, suppliers, representatives, printers, print buyers and end users. Otherwise, it would be tough to sustain.
Ajay Mehta of SMI Coated Products, the biggest Indian label stock manufacturer, on the other hand, argued that it is time label printers/converters upgraded themselves as solution providers.
Thinking green
Gurgaon-based Avery Denison has been the biggest supporter of LMAI since its inception. “Sustainable development means designing products, processes and services with environmental and societal concerns in mind,” said Shailesh Kapur during his speech. “I think waste management is the key to sustainability. It is a big pivot. Reduction and reusability of waste are the best way to sustain.”
Maintaining that half of the material is lost even before it reaches the end user, Kapur said with sustainability, one can save cost and become cost-effective. “It’s an opportunity,” he said. “It can help save around three thousands of rupees per tonne.”
He said the waste reduction is also beneficial to the environment, as no waste means no landfill. “We have achieved 99.6% landfill-free waste in our production facilities, and we are working on the rest 0.4%,” he said.
It is the concern for the environment that led the company to follow Avery Dennison Greenprint, which combines lifecycle assessment with creative design to enhance product presentation while reducing the impact on the environment. “It is a tool designed to accelerate customer collaboration. As a label stock manufacturer, people, planet and prosperity are our priority,” said Kapur. He added, “We want LMAI to play a lead role in sustainability initiatives, the way FINAT plays the role in the US. We need the partnership of the industry and a leader to take the initiative.”
Focus on lifecycle of labels
Quoting the United Nations definition of sustainability, Lee Unsworth of UPM Raflatac said that sustainability is a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability to produce needs of the future generations. “We need to keep this definition in mind whenever and whatever we do,” he said. “Ultimately waste is a cost. We have to make sustainable choices. It must be a clear agenda of the brand owners. We all need oxygen. The best time to plant a tree was around two decades ago and the second best time is now. Reduction in the number of trees is a global problem.”
Unsworth said the industry must work on the lifecycle of labels. “Production and use of low-weight and less-grammage labels is a sensible decision. The scarcity of water and increased carbon footprints will be a global problem, he said. “For a label printer, whenever you go to buy FSC and PEFC-certified material, affordability becomes a major issue as the price of such material is too high.”
Being a solution provider
During his presentation, Ajay Mehta of SMI Coated Products emphasised on the shift from a label printer to a solution provider. “You have to change the way of working,” he told the label printers, “You have to bring overall change. There is stiff competition in the market because of availability of a number of jobs and the number of machines. Also, new players are coming to the market.”
He said the traditional way of printing label has become history. Now, print buyers do not just want a printer, they want a solution provider, which can improve upon the product. “As a solution provider, you will also realise that your wastages have come down and ultimately it’s a cost. So, it will be a win-win situation for you,” Mehta said.
Everyone has the infrastructure of some kind. The awareness of the usability of the available infrastructure is the key, he said, adding that technology will keep changing, and the converters will have to learn to use the changing technology to their advantage. “Change paradigms and convert them into opportunities. You have to decide what you have to do.”
Article Source: printweek.in

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