Ecological print products

Green means go!

When it comes to sustainability, actions speak louder than words. It isn’t enough to take up an ecologic cause or meet standards that feel sort of “green” enough for a target group. Awareness must be followed by action. This is what we’re focused on in all areas of our company – even if it takes more effort.

Everyone wants to say they’re sustainable. We take it seriously. We take the same approach with our printed material.

What does sustainability actually mean?

The word can be found in almost every annual report or strategy paper, but until you look behind the scenes, all claims of environmental friendliness seem the same. For us, sustainability means that we take full responsibility for the future.

Hard facts, not just PR

We take this seriously, and we invite you to learn about our strict guidelines and double-check our claims. Take our print products as an example; even the printing of our brochures follows environmental guidelines.

We’ve got the right partner in gugler

Marcus Renn (Head of Marketing at BG-Graspointner):

FILCOTEN® is only the beginning. Our ecological orientation is also reflected in other areas. As an example, since mid-2017, we have been working exclusively with the renowned printing company gugler to produce our print products.

The company based in Melk, Austria could not be a better fit. Since 1989, they’ve been combining economic success with the highest socio-ecological demands.

Better than recycling

gugler is the only printing company in the world manufacturing according to the Cradle to Cradle® concept. Other products in line with this concept include pens by Stabilo or detergents by Frosch. The design concept was developed by Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart, William McDonough and EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung Hamburg (Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency) in the 1990s, and has been setting far-reaching, strict criteria ever since.

Only products with components that can be recycled to 100 % as part of technical or biological products are certified as Cradle to Cradle®. It is important to ensure that all components are either composted or recycled as nutrients or as source materials for new products once they are no longer used, as early as the concept phase. In this way, raw materials are never lost, but rather, re-used infinitely.

Marcus Renn:

To us, it makes sense to have a partner who shares our values and whose standards regarding ecological action are just as strict as ours. Being verifiable is especially important to us. This is how we distinguish ourselves from those who just pretend to take ecological responsibility seriously.

Hard criteria for a soft topic

The comprehensive concept is based on the five criteria of water, electricity, social matters, material health and material recycling. Only renewable energies can be used for the certification according to Cradle to Cradle®, and waste water must be free from process chemicals.

Material health is where it gets interesting. Conventional environmental certificates merely assure manufacturers that their suppliers are not using any known harmful substances. But what about the unknown? After all, scientists are always finding new culprits. This is where Cradle to Cradle® steps in.

Ernst Gugler (founder and managing partner of gugler):

Cradle to Cradle® only approves substances that are proven to be harmless. Substances that have not been proven to be harmless or that have not yet been examined are not permitted.

However, this also means significantly more effort. The final product is produced in several loops, getting closer and closer to the perfect solution combining harmlessness and functionality. gugler now uses 22 certified components, more and more of which are approved for the gold version of the certification seal.

Way ahead of the infrastructure

And what about recycling? Today’s recycling systems have not yet adjusted to the idea. In the recycling process for print products, color and paper are separated from one another. Using conventional printing inks produces toxic sludge that must be disposed of as special waste.

Ernst Gugler:

For Cradle to Cradle® products, these color residues become organic sewage sludge that could nourish the next set of growing trees on fields and meadows. However, since there is no separate, self-contained recycling system for Cradle to Cradle® paper waste, these harmless printing by-products are simply included in the normal recycling loop, merely reducing its toxicity.

Therefore, Gugler is planning its own recycling system in Austria for 2022 which makes it possible to also apply the potential of Cradle to Cradle® to recycling.

A step further

In addition to Cradle to Cradle® and the FSC seal that implies strict requirements for sustainable forest management, BG Graspointner’s brochure also includes another seal: greenprint*. This certification was developed by Gugler and is provided to the printing company’s customers on request.

It defines climate-positive printing, and means that the product’s CO2 emission is not simply conserved or satisfied by certificates (this would be climate-neutral). Instead, the printing company’s customer undertakes to acquire additional certificates worth 10% of the actual CO2 footprint to benefit the environment

Marcus Renn:

Of course, we decided in favor of this option.

The core of the matter

There is no alternative when it comes to ecological action. We must learn to use resources in a responsible way and minimize the use of harmful, toxic substances. We figured this out a long time ago and developed a construction material that meets this ideal: FILCOTEN®. This environmental-conscious approach is an integral part of our brand essence and accompanies us in our everyday decision-making.

Marcus Renn
Head of Marketing
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