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Next steps in sustainable packaging with EGP

publication date: 2020/12/16

Many different packages have a GreenerPrinting™ logo to signal environmentally sustainable packaging printing

Next steps in a responsible packaging supply chain

The sustainable development of packaging and environmental considerations are highly valued by food and packaging companies. This is why we asked brand owners to share their peer-to-peer experiences to become an even more responsible and carbon-neutral operator in packaging printing.

A smaller carbon footprint has been sought through alternative packaging materials and increased corporate responsibility in the companies’ own operating environment. More effort is now put into broadening responsibility with the help of stakeholders, as well. Rising sustainability targets require new steps to be taken in order to cut emissions significantly. Through our choices, we can favor carbon-neutral alternatives and curb global warming.

Economical use of raw materials and energy

More environmentally-friendly packaging printing brings concrete opportunities to improve the efficiency of resource and energy use and to increase overall responsibility in the operating chain. The EGP™ (Expanded Gamut Printing) method is a way of reducing the environmental load of packaging materials.

The pioneering packaging printers and brand owners have been forerunners in adopting alternative printing methods. Based on positive experiences, brand owners would like printing houses to offer more eco-efficient printing, such as EGP, more actively. The Nordic countries have been environmentally focused in their printing choices, and these sustainability values are also gaining ground in Central and Eastern Europe.

In addition to sustainability, brand owners are attracted by the possibility of implementing smaller batch sizes and targeted packaging launches more flexibly. The next big step is to take advantage of gang-run printing, as well.

User experiences of fixed color palette 

Many brand owners are open to transferring their products to expanded gamut printing. Peer-to-peer experiences of EGP were shared by Raul Hartman (Lantmännen Unibake), Arja Kastarinen (Real Snacks), Anna-Maria Kinnunen (Raisio), Jarmo Marttala (Atria), Piia Soininen-Tengvall (Fazer) and Suvi Urvikko-Mäkivaara (Linkosuon Leipomo):

For us (Lantmännen), environmentally-friendly packaging printing is the next step in expanding sustainability goals in our delivery chains, since we are constantly seeking out new ways of broadening the area of sustainable development in addition to our own operations.” – Raul Harman

More environmentally-friendly packaging printing is a part of our goals (Real Snacks); we aim to do small deeds on a wide front as far as our resources allow.” – Arja Kastarinen

Environmentally-friendly packaging is an essential part of Raisio’s sustainability programme. We aim to improve the recyclability and overall environmental sustainability of our packaging, which also includes packaging printing. At the moment, we are using the EGP method in the packaging of our Sunnuntai flour products. When we make future packaging reforms, we will also assess if the method could be used for other products.” – Anna-Maria Kinnunen

”Our goal is to be carbon-neutral by 2035 (Atria). EGP offers the opportunity of reducing our current carbon footprint.” – Jarmo Marttala

”Fazer Bakery has a Sustainable Packaging programme through which we have reduced the use of plastic, improved the recyclability of packaging and developed innovative greener packaging with our partners. EGP has a major role in this. In addition to developing environmentally sustainable packaging materials, the packaging printing also needs to develop to a more sustainable direction.” – Piia Soininen-Tengvall

”Our (Linkosuon Leipomo) goal is to reduce packaging waste and the use of plastic and use environmentally-friendly packaging printing methods as extensively as possible. It’s important to us that packaging has as little harmful environmental impact as possible, and we want to develop packaging towards an environmentally-friendly direction.” – Suvi Urvikko-Mäkivaara 

Brand owners have received positive feedback from customers regarding the use of a more environmentally sustainable packaging printing method.

”In the future, we will communicate the responsibility of our products even more: both carbon-neutrality and the GreenerPrinting label are important in signalling our concrete actions for sustainability to consumers.” – Anna-Maria Kinnunen

”We communicate EGP printing by using the GreenerPrinting label on our packages.” – Suvi Urvikko-Mäkivaara

”A conscious consumer is interested in the product’s entire journey from the fields to the table, and this is how we can highlight a feature of our products that has a smaller environmental impact.” – Arja Kastarinen

The method’s very good proof correspondence helps to predict the print result and reduces the need for printing approvals. For designers, the method provides the opportunity for new solutions, and as Raul Hartman says, ”I don’t think designs have such elements that couldn’t be implemented through EGP with just a little adjustment.”

The experiences highlight that EGP allows for even more distinct packaging with a broader color scale. In addition to environmental benefits, brand owners are hoping to gain cost benefits for small packaging batches. They are also expecting printing partners to be prepared for expanded gamut printing. 

”We have been able to reduce the number of printing plates without compromising high-quality results. For the printing process, this means reducing process cleaning and idling.” – Suvi Urvikko-Mäkivaara

”We value the print quality we have achieved through EGP. In some designs, the quality has been even better than with conventional printing methods. Environmental sustainability also adds value. The EGP technology can replace much of the current manual ink mixing, in which case the amount of ink, wasted ink and cleaning solvents is minimized.” – Piia Soininen-Tengvall

”We hope we can implement all printing for our own brands primarily through EGP with a few years’ transition period from the decision to extensive adoption of EGP. We think it’s great that there are such opportunities available for improving efficiency and print quality while also promoting sustainable development and that Marvaco has taken an active role in showcasing the possibilities of this technology.” – Raul Hartman

The GreenerPrinting™ logo is often attached to packaging to tell the consumer about the concept change: 

More information:

Kai Lankinen
Partner, Marvaco Ltd 

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