Sustainability through digital processes

When we discuss the topic of sustainability, most people immediately conjure up images of green oases, rainforests, green meadows and flowing streams. However, the topic of sustainability does not exclusively concern the preservation of nature.

In a business discussion, sustainability does not only concern actions that minimise the ecological footprint. The perspective goes beyond this aspect and also considers economic processes. These are the very processes that sustainably ensure the success of the company.

Sustainability is an ecological and economic issue

Konica Minolta describes the process by “creating resources and conserving resources”. At this year’s PRINT & DIGITAL CONVENTION, Thorsten Kinnen, Business Development Manager Commercial Printing, spoke about sustainability in companies and described the opportunities for the print industry. For him it is clear: sustainability only works in an interplay between the environment, the company and society.

The digital possibilities offer just that in the printing industry as well. Many machines are already capable of working with reduced waste, avoiding stock bottlenecks and preventing excess inventory. All this is valuable both economically and ecologically.

Automated ordering processes for printing materials

The networked systems trigger orders automatically. From paper to finishing: all materials are ordered when the order is received. As soon as the order is released in the system, the required production materials are calculated and the stored supplier receives an order. This frees up warehouse resources and protects the environment. At the same time, administrative tasks are handled by automation processes. Your human resources thus have more free space for value-adding activities. The aspects of environment, company and society intertwine and each has an impact on the other building block.

Detect machine faults before they occur

Digitalisation also saves resources by detecting faulty production and machine errors before they occur. By means of a digital twin, you recognise every change immediately and can react even before faulty production occurs. The digital twin of your machine also recognises maintenance potentials and necessities as well as wear parts that need to be replaced. By avoiding faulty production, which then goes one-to-one into the famous bin, you protect the environment. Resources are no longer wasted unnecessarily. Regular maintenance of your machine prolongs its life, whereas the production of a new machine emits huge amounts of CO2. In the long run, the process of regular maintenance is also easier on a company’s wallet.

Environmentally friendly processes for your customers

Let’s look beyond our own horizons and realise what we can achieve with sustainable, digital processes outside the printing industry. Digitised and automated print processes are a service that not only benefit the industry itself, but also the customers. A big buzzword here is “Programmatic Print” – automated and personalised advertising that lands directly in the end customer’s letterbox. In the meantime, it is no longer just the black balance that is possible here. Entire catalogues can be automatically individualised from graphics to text.

This has many advantages for the print customer: Print becomes a silent sales consultant that reflects the customer’s wishes. In addition, we save resources and money.

Sustainability arises automatically through digitalisation

In terms of the environment, digitalisation can make a quantum leap. Digital systems are already capable of conserving resources. In the printing industry in particular, we have proven that sustainability is not an exclusively ecological issue and, above all, should not be regarded as an expensive luxury. Quite the opposite: sustainability is created through digitalisation. Especially when efficient processes have been created.

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