Concept of green company
Green is a trendy word and it states a kind of behavior: it is the person’s intention to adopt a specific life-style, which is attentive and respectful for the environment. It is close to the concept of sustainability. But what about a green company?
When this feature is transferred from an individual to an organization, we are in front of a company which is committed to modify its working process and its purchase management. In short, being green means to have the aim to play an active role in solving a number of global importance issues.
When we come to know that a company is considered “green”, we often wonder whether they really are or it is only about words, but most of all we want to know exactly why they call themselves eco-friendly. We often hear about production facilities that begin to use recycled paper and think that is enough to be green. It certainly is a start, but a single action is far from being enough for declaring a production system ecological.
A real green company has one single important feature: the whole production process must have the aim to reduce, as much as possible, the impact on the natural environment.
The case study we want to take as an example is a company based in the municipality of Treviso, which totally restructured its core business to make it way more sustainable and environment-friendly. We are talking about Cursi Laboratorio Poligrafico, located in Pieve di Soligo.
One can wonder if that hard and essential choice has anything to do with the cultural influence of one of the most important Italian poets, maybe at an unconscious level. The poet Andrea Zanzotto, in fact, praised the landscape of this district and fought for it, so much so that many fellow citizens benefited from his actions.
What is Cursi Laboratorio Poligrafico and what does it do?
Laboratorio Poligrafico is specialised in offset printing and screen printing, on large quantities.
Thanks to its more than one-hundred years long history, the company has the knowledge to manage any kind of substrate, especially the non conventional ones such as polypropylene, transparent papers, opaque PVC, mirror-metallized silver or black cardboard, and many other materials.
Cursi is particularly engaged in the processing of synthetic materials and this is why it has been using recycled-derived films for many years now and they are 100% recyclable at end-of-life.
Production process: here the green interventions
The first step towards a green life-style is to verify the certifications of the products, as the paper for example. That is the reason why the company only uses recycled paper or paper with an FSC certification (Forest Stewardship Council).
The FSC label, indeed, can only be used by certified companies or on certified products. It guarantees that the product is made with wood or paper coming from a sustainable source.The second thing to do is to take action on the production processes. Laboratorio Poligrafico eliminated every toxic-harmful waste in liquid form that was once produced during the preparation of the printing forms. This kind of liquids were once considered necessary for the tyre and development processes, but then new sophisticated technologies arrived.
One of the most important shifts in direction of Cursi company was the total elimination of this kind of liquids, instead of replacing them with less harmful ones. The cleaning solvents for the printing machines ink are not disposed of, they are distilled one more time and reused in other processes. The waste of the distillation never exceeds 5% of the distilled product.
These choices came with two advantages, at least: the first one is an economic one, since the solvents cost is now almost zero; the second one is an ethic one because they solved the problem of the polluting and toxic sewage disposal.
The company also made the important choice to purchase a system of automatic pre-set for the printing machine, that reduced by over 60% the ink and paper consumption. These are fundamental values for the achievement of their quality standard. Furthermore, the pre-set devices help to reduce production waste.
For the cooling of the environment there is a system which is similar to the geo-thermal one. The cool water circulates from the company’s well to the hydraulic circuits of the air conditioning system. This is how Cursi succeeded in avoiding to use air conditioning systems that work with refrigerant gases to low the departments’ temperature. Furthermore, this method boasts the advantage of energy saving. With this view of energy saving, the entire company uses LED lights or high performance energy-saving light bulbs.
The main system of ink drying is a LED system too and this choice both eliminates the production of ozone gas (which is generated during the polymerization of UV inks) and the use of mercury, which is necessary for the classic UV Curing systems.
Moreover, the LED UV system made them save 80% of energy in comparison with a classic UV mercury drying system.
The paper and recyclable film wastes are given to specialised firms, that process them and give them new life, turning them into clothes, common use objects, or they are once again turned into material for graphic industries.
The offset printing forms are aluminum made and they are therefore melted in order to fully recover the aluminum they’re made of, so the raw material can be reused.
So, what does it mean to be a green company?
It means to get to the heart of every production process and to find alternative methods to reduce to a minimum, or even fully eliminate, materials or productions that produces hazardous substances. It also means to create a new corporate philosophy and to share it with every worker and employee.