GreenCircle’s Certified Energy Savings Certification, conducted in compliance with ISO 14021 and FTC Green Guides, demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to reducing impacts during the use phase of a product’s life cycle.
Esko has announced its XPS Crystal flexo imaging unit has achieved both Certified Energy Savings and Dematerialisation certifications from GreenCircle, an internationally recognised third-party certification entity that independently verifies the validity of sustainability claims.
Following months of testing, measuring and detailed customer reports, GreenCircle validated Esko claims that the XPS Crystal delivers energy savings of 41% for tradeshops and savings of 59% for converters. In terms of broader environmental sustainability, the Esko XPS Crystal also achieved Dematerialisation certification, with GreenCircle validating a staggering 92% reduction in waste, and 100% removal of hazardous waste, over the lifetime of the machine.
‘Having sustainable operations has rapidly evolved from being a ‘nice to have’ strategy to a ‘must do’ critical demand for brands and their packaging suppliers,’ said Jan De Roeck, Esko Director of Marketing, Industry Relations & Strategy. ‘For the packaging industry, this means supporting brand owners who are under considerable pressure to respond to consumer needs and need support to accelerate their sustainability commitments.
‘The XPS Crystal uses a UV LED array instead of mercury tubes used in a traditional main exposure bank light table,’ said De Roeck. ‘Its digital UV LED exposure not only significantly improves the quality and consistency of flexo plates, but the UV power required for perfect curing of a flexo plate is provided absolutely uniformly through the preset parameters by a single click per plate type and plate thickness. In contrast to bank exposure frames, which consume a relatively large amount of energy from preheating, through the exposure time and idle time during the entire working shift, the UV LEDs of the XPS Crystal are only activated for the back UV exposure and the main exposure of the flexo plate. The energy consumption in the idle state is almost zero.
‘Having GreenCircle quantify and certify these savings validates those claims and is attestation that we as a business are not only engaging in the debate over sustainability, but we are also delivering against our own objectives, and those of our customers.’
‘Over a period of months, GreenCircle assessed the XPS Crystal and conducted their own independent testing,’ said De Roeck. ‘During a site visit, GreenCircle calculated energy savings by comparing the power consumption of the unit when exposing flexo plates designed for UV LED exposure, and the power consumption of a UV bank light frame exposing flexo plates designed for UV lamps. The analysis, based on observing an eight-hour working shift, determined that tradeshops benefit from an energy saving of 41%, while converters benefit from savings of 59%.’
The XPS Crystal also achieved GreenCircle Dematerialization certification, which relates to the absolute or relative reduction in the quantity of materials used, and/or the waste generated in the production of a unit of economic output.
‘GreenCircle’s Dematerialisation certification demonstrates our commitment to developing products that consume less material over their lifespan, or that use fewer materials within the product and its packaging,’ explained De Roeck. ‘The Dematerialisation certificate highlights how a product is consuming less material and eliminating more hazardous waste than a comparable product or previous version.
‘GreenCircle assessed the XPS Crystal by comparing the ‘product recipes’ to a traditional main exposure bank light table and verified a reduction in material inputs during the product lifecycle,’ he said. ‘The assessors used the average number of UV LED light bulbs to determine the number of plates produced in an eight hour shift. A traditional main exposure bank light was used to represent the equivalent quantity of light bulbs needed to match the output of one plate from the XPS Crystal. After the units were measured and collected, GreenCircle calculated the percentage of material saved through using the XPS Crystal as an incredible 92%.’
De Roeck said with brands and their packaging converters facing growing customer demands and regulatory reform, it is now incumbent on them to ensure they operate in a carbon neutral way, true to the definition of sustainability: to not harm the environment in their operations.
‘Esko is acutely aware of the role it plays in providing digitisation, automation and connection of packaging development processes to deliver quality and operational efficiency gains for businesses,’ he said. ‘We are developing technologies that eliminate errors and waste, while speeding up and connecting processes and devices efficiently, building solutions that enable businesses to minimise their impact on the environment by reducing waste in the production process. We are proud that our efforts have achieved GreenCircle certification of the Esko XPS Crystal, but this is really just the latest step in our own sustainability journey. We have much more to come in the near future.’
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