Serious, with a smile

Editorial by Stefano Lavorini - “Victorious warriors first win, then they enjoin in battle”: thus wrote Sun Tzu (Sunzi, the art of war), 2,500 years ago.

And it would be nice if this precept were more taken to heart when dealing with problems of economic, social and environmental “sustainability”: a compulsory subject in debates where simplification is still all too often paramount - where people, even in good faith, appear to be convinced that simple solutions exist to complex problems. But the subject of sustainability is all the more strategic focus for a growing number of concerns committed to the design and production of packaging and machines… this at least in their intentions. The doubts and contradictions are many: aboveall the often overlooked fact that, what with limited environmental resources, our economic system contemplates unlimited growth. What is to be done?
Albeit there are many virtuous examples, people who manage to translate their barely whispered or as yet undeclared intentions into facts. That is to say, as far as one can get from the pernicious temptation of ‘green washing.’

I here propose two cases, in which “battle” has, it seems to me, been enjoined with a successful outcome. This too on completely different levels: institutional the example of the competition announced by the Italian packaging consortium Conai, corporative that of the Sun Chemical Group. Both show the same responsibility and commitment, as well as sincere enthusiasm and a sort of lightness or even headiness. Something though that should not be confused with superficialit

Preventive action pays
The Conai call for prevention - Making packaging more environmentally sustainable.

The initiative is part of the broader Conai “Think Future” project, that has the end of gathering, highlighting and disseminating concrete experiences regarding prevention.

Reuse, raw material saving, optimisation of logistics, facilitating the activity of recycling, use of recycled material, simplification of the packaging system and optimisation of production processes: these the levers on the basis of which the companies taking part in the Conai prevention competition have overhauled their packaging to render it more innovative and to improve its environmental sustainability.

Full 120 entries were made by 82 concerns, 89 of which have been validated using the Conai Eco Tool, that enables, via a simplified LCA analyses, the effects of the preventive actions implemented to be calculated, comparing the packaging solution “before and after” the interventions made.
Eco Tool hence enables the singling out of only those packaging proposals capable of bringing overall benefits to the environment, rated in terms of saving energy, water, and reduction of CO2 emissions.

For the 2016 edition, the National Packaging Consortium has raised the total prize to 300 thousand euros, broken down into 60 thousand euros for the 6 most virtuous proposals for each packaging material segment and 10 thousand for the proposal considered the most significant from a technical/design point of view, which I personally had the task and the honour of choosing.
The winners will be announced on the Conai website in November and awarded in December, as part of the event Corriere Innovazione.

Responsible by choice
Inks: cooperation and transparency for a better world

You cannot remain indifferent before the images of the documentary “Home”, made by the GoodPlanet foundation, that invites all of us to engage in making choices, before the world’s environmental resources run out and thus prevent catastrophic climate change.

The mention is not made by chance, because by choosing to screen some of the sequences of this long video, Sun Chemical Group gave color and content to its traditional end-of-summer converter get-together, featuring a limited number of guests, that was carried out with garb but also with great clarity, to show what the ink multinational has done and is actually doing to make its own business sustainable, also in terms of product safety.

The subjects raised included raw materials, shared responsibilities, guarantees for the users, that is to say matters of “substance”, as group CEO Fabio Deflorian underlined in kicking off the event, because when it comes down to it, it is time to cooperate, given that we should not consider the opportunities we have wasted up to now, but the opportunities that remain….to get things done and «only by working together can we leave the future generations a better world».

Focussed on “achieving more with less”, the eco-efficiency policy adopted by Sun Chemical (DIC Group) has for years highlighted the proactive role taken on by the inks manufacturer in reducing the carbon footprint of its activities along the entire supply chain, as was explained by the evermore close-knit duo Paolo Caiani/Egidio Scotini, respectively SF + UV & Screen and liquid inks technical director in the company.

Sun Chemical Sustainability Report 2015 what is more includes solid examples of eco-efficiency, rated on the basis of rigorous scientific criteria also by the performance of raw materials and service suppliers (including distribution, internal logistics and transport).
The way to achieving this objective thus goes by way of three “key dimensions”: processes, products and risk evaluation.

«Being sustainable does not simply mean complying with the regulations, but voluntarily giving up on something» Caiani started out by saying.
«In actual fact we are “converters”, a link in the sustainability chain» Scotini chips in, adding: «Our suppliers are fundamental for achieving the objectives we set ourselves, and hence it is our task to encourage them to develop technologies that reduce the environmental impact of their own products».

Moving on to product safety, referring to packaging destined for food contact, the speakers presented the structure developed at global level by Sun Chemical, to give their customers exact and reliable answers.
What is key is that, in formulating their own inks, Sun Chemical has voluntarily chosen to exclusively use substances that cannot migrate or that are on Part A of the Swiss Ordinance, that is substances the toxicological levels of which have been formally evaluated and the specific migration limits have been set.

And this allows Sun Chemical to provide its clients with a declaration of composition that includes the list of substances subject to restriction and that can lead to migratory phenomena, as well as “dual use” food additives that can be found in the ink but also in the foodstuff. Added to that, the calculations of the maximum possible migration of a substance on the basis of a “worst” or  “worsening” scenario model are indicated.

Cooperation and transparency are definitively a sine qua non to tackle - as the speakers underlined - the challenges of renewal, such as for example the problems of NIAS (Not Intentionally Added Substances) or that of inks for food packaging destined for heat treatment.

The importance… of taking the right road

Somebody crossed the finishing line when time had run out, and the party was over. A slight oversight close to a turning meant one of the teams of the 25 vintage cars made available to participants by the organization got “ingloriously” lost amidst the rolling Morenic hills of lower lake Garda.

What happened in the afternoon of 16th September during the Sun Chemical Enigma Vintage Tour, seems a kind of metaphor, almost a factual comment, to what was repeated many times over during the technical seminar that morning, dedicated to “sustainability”, that was held at the Chervò Golf & Resort, Pozzolengo (BS): improvising is no good, you must act with determination and method.

You are invited to take a look at the Sun Chemical Enigma Vintage Tour film clip. Click here...





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