Lidergraf, Artes Gráficas SA recognises environmental responsibility as one of the values of the organisation.
It is the duty of present-day organisations to reconcile economic growth with sustainable development. Our decisions and choices are focused on all our partners, from employees, customers and suppliers to society in general.
We carry out our activity taking into account environmental prevention and protection, and we value suppliers who share our principles. We all have a responsibility to ensure that future generations enjoy the same natural resources we have today.
These guidelines are our commitments to continuous improvement in our environmental performance:
a) Complying in full with all legislation applicable to our environmental issues and taking on pollution prevention as a management principle;
b) Promoting a management policy of careful control of processes and materials with a view to maximising productivity and efficiency, and minimising errors, waste and environmental impact. Promoting the correct sorting and recycling of the waste generated;
c) Reducing the use of chemicals such as solvents and their emissions of volatile organic compounds.
d) Promoting awareness among all our employees of the importance of rationalising consumption of resources such as paper, water and energy;
e) Investing in awareness and training for all our employees and those who work with us, in order to reinforce adherence to this policy;
f) Implementing and maintaining the chain of custody requirements of the PEFC and FSC®;
g) Regularly auditing our activities’ adherence to our policy and submitting environmental performance reports to the relevant organisations.
In practical terms, and building on some of the topics above, our commitment also includes:
Managing renewable resources
The use of renewable resources is becoming increasingly important in reducing the current dependency on fossil fuels and promoting a more natural management of existing resources, without compromising future generations.
Lidergraf promotes the use of renewable resources, with greatest emphasis on the main raw materials used in the printing industry, that is, paper and ink.
Lidergraf can offer its clients products from certified forests, based on the acquisition of paper from responsibly managed forests.
The company is committed to implementing and maintaining the chain of custody requirements of the PEFC and FSC®. In partnership with its suppliers, it aims to ensure that its paper does not come from controversial sources and/or clearances.
All Lidergraf inks, from print to sheet-to-sheet, are vegetable oil-based, and the varnishes used are water-based.
Chain of custody certification
In December 2008, Lidergraf, Artes Gráficas S.A. obtained chain of custody certification from two reference bodies for forestry certification: the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) (http://www.pefc.org/).
Lidergraf is proud to have been the first printing company in Portugal to be able to offer its clients products from certified forests. It can also ensure that other paper used is fundamentally from a controlled origin.
This certification involves managing the origin of the raw material, paper, throughout the whole transformation chain until the production of printed material by Lidergraf. Shipments from the forest, paper production, distribution and finally printing are controlled. These practices are regularly audited by accredited entities. This certification guarantees to the consumer that products sold by Lidergraf as certified are genuine and authentic.
The use of recycled paper is often perceived as being the most environmentally beneficial, but this is not always the case. The overall environmental impact from a virgin pulp paper can be less than from recycled paper, depending on the pulp and paper production.
Recycled fibres are normally better used in the production of card, cardboard and some newsprint. In these cases the environmental costs associated with ink removal and paper bleaching are significantly lower than those for the production of printing and writing paper. In addition, paper fibre cannot be recycled indefinitely; due to loss of properties, it is estimated that it can be recycled up to seven times. In most cases, virgin fibre is also used in the production of recycled paper.
Paper has the advantage that it can be recycled and becomes a valuable raw material. It needs to be recycled to stop it building up in landfill sites with all the associated environmental impacts, such as emissions of methane into the atmosphere.
Regardless of customers’ final choices, recycling printed products should always be encouraged.
Reduce paper and water waste
Lidergraf continually invests in technology that contributes to a more efficient use of Resources. We were one of the first national companies to invest in technology for the pre-print area, namely in terms of equipment that uses less water and fewer chemicals, for example, Computer to Plate.
In terms of compressed air systems, we have the most technologically advanced equipment available, which avoids draining water contaminated with oil. This means non-contaminated water can flow into municipal collection tanks without the need for it to be pre-treated or monitored.
Some of our printing processes, specifically the Heatset web-offset printing process, work without using isopropyl alcohol (IPA) in the liquid solution. This option means the waste generated can be treated without using evaporation systems, saving on energy and allowing the treated water to be released into the exterior water environment.
Most waste from Lidergraf is environmentally recyclable, allowing water to be recovered for release into the exterior water system. In the case of solvent-based waste, its treatment enables regeneration of solvents, meaning it can be returned to productive processes that use recycled solvents.
Lidergraf makes a continuous effort to reuse some of its waste, such as for example, reusing draft plans, and in the administration area, using scrap paper for current print runs or printing multiple pages per sheet. It also reuses plastic packaging to repackage some of the waste produced.
Most of the waste produced by Lidergraf, Artes Gráficas is not dangerous. Lidergraf makes a considerable investment in maintaining its waste collection and storage infrastructure. This includes the centralised waste paper blowing system, sorting containers and storage conditions.
Other recycled materials are plastic, card, aluminium sheet, scrap, batteries and electrical and electronic equipment. This degree of sorting requires dedication from all our employees in the production area as well as in the administration areas.
Air quality affects people’s lives, so controlling it is essential.
The European Union has very demanding rules, particularly for the control of solvent emissions into the atmosphere, and it requires a management plan for controlling them, including diffuse emissions. The print sector in particular has restrictions on its emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC), and correct equipment selection is essential in meeting them.
Lidergraf was the first company in Portugal to install a heat oxidation incinerator integrated into Heatset web-offset printing to control gas emissions into the atmosphere and thereby reduce consumption of fossil fuels. All commercial Heatset web-offset printing machines have this technology installed and their efficiency is monitored.
The inks for Heatset web-offset printing contain solvents that, at oven operating temperature, encourage the VOCs to become volatile. These VOCs, due to their calorific capacity, allow the energy consumption needed to maintain oven temperature to be reduced, with pollutants then being destroyed by incineration. This incineration process is more than 99% efficient and is considered one of the best available technologies (BATs) in printed arts. As this process works in a closed circuit, it also enables a reduction in diffuse VOC emissions on the premises.
Lidergraf, Artes Gráficas S.A. is committed to minimising the use of substances or preparations containing solvents that are dangerous to the environment or to its employees’ health. To do so, it has implemented the practice of prior analysis of all chemicals before their purchase. Lidergraf controls the raw materials purchased in a way that ensures articles sold are in accordance with REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) regulations.
Efficiency means producing more products and/or services with fewer resources, in this case less energy. This requires a continuous attitude of implementing efficient technologies as well as effective management of all types of energy, e.g. electricity and natural gas.
Improving productive equipment is essential to optimising energy use. One good example is the selection of equipment with varying frequencies and the choice of incineration systems (BAT) for gas emissions from commercial Heatset printing, which minimises energy consumption.
Lidergraf is also working on modifying processes and methods used, with the joint objectives of improving print quality and reducing waste in general and wasted energy in particular. Following printing process standards, such as finding colour profiles, combining with the type of paper and controlling colour in the print process, reduces the amount of ink, paper and energy used.
Using less of these energy sources, which mostly come from fossil fuels, makes a small contribution to reducing global warming and decreasing our carbon footprint.