Word’s first carbon balanced press for Polar Print

CSR Printer invests £3million in KBA pressroom technology to support Printing Responsibility™ stance

Würzburg, (PresseBox) - Leicester-based B1 printer Polar Print Group and manufacturer KBA today officially announced that they have signed a ground-breaking deal which will see Polar take delivery of what is believed to be the world’s first carbon-balanced printing press.

Working closely with KBA, Polar Print Group is investing £3million in new KBA pressroom technology. The first of two machines, the Rapida 105 six-colour sheetfed press is due to be installed in November. In what is to be an historic first, an independent scientific auditor will calculate the CO2 emissions from the manufacture and installation of the new Rapida 105. The calculated carbon footprint will then be offset with carbon credits associated with carbon offset schemes. The past year has seen Polar Print carry out the most exhaustive investigation of sheetfed press technology across all four top manufacturers resulting in KBA being voted the chosen supplier.

The advanced technology of the Rapida 105 will enable Polar to make its much-awaited move to alcohol free printing – further strengthening its Printing Responsibly™ stance – and add extra punch to the firm’s existing press line up. The second press, a KBA Rapida 105 ten-colour machine, will be delivered in the second half of 2008, replacing Heidelberg presses which have dominated the Polar Print press room for the past 17 years.

KBA, with its market-leading thrust for eco-friendly manufacture and operation, is delighted to be Polar Print Group’s partner. "Environmental concern has long been a global priority for KBA," said KBA UK managing director Christian Knapp. "This is an exciting project that sees KBA press technology fine-tuned with Polar’s Printing Responsibly™ stance."

Polar Print has marketed itself strongly on similar ethical printing standards and is resolute in continuing its growth with new business derived from customers willing and able to share its Printing Responsibly™ stance. With KBA as its initial partner, Polar Print Group is talking seriously with paper, ink and consumables companies with a view to creating a powerful and effective consortium of green-minded suppliers.

Polar Print Group managing director, David Gask, added: "Polar has spent the past eighteen months giving careful consideration to our next step as far as investment is concerned. We have developed a close working relationship with KBA during our discussions and they have given us confidence that we are committing to a press which will not only serve the commercial needs of our business and our clients, but that also fits with our Printing Responsibly™ stance – the foundation of our company."

He explained: "Technological advances are now providing green-conscious printers like Polar with the opportunity to further reduce emissions associated with the printing process, such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds), by removing the use of alcohol completely and by using vegetable-oil based inks. The commitment shown by KBA and our other partners in this project is proof that more can still be achieved to minimise the environmental cost of the printing process."

It is believed that early adopters buying into the environmental and printing benefits that the new press will deliver can add £2 million turnover to the company’s existing sales of £4.5 million. Gask added: "With its six colours plus the latest coating and hybrid-ink technology, the KBA press opens up new possibilities for improved productivity and quality as well as offering a range of innovative printed finishes, most importantly without the environmental cost, and will play a key part in supporting our plans for future growth. Given our commitment to ISO12647/2, the strong colour management and quality assurance capability were also important contributing factors to our final decision."

Polar’s Printing Responsibly™ stance has seen it win the support of leading environmental and charitable organisations such as Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and Comic Relief, as well as a host of other ‘CSR aware’ commercial organisations.

About Polar
Polar is a PrintWeek Top500 company and through its Printing Responsibly™ stance is recognised as a leading CSR printer of choice within the UK.

The printer is ‘carbon balanced’ and accredited to International Standards: ISO14001 (Environment); ISO9001 (Quality); ISO12647/2 (Colour Management); OHSAS 18001 (Health & Safety); British Kitemark® PAS75 (Customer Service Excellence); and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certification. Polar has earned a reputation for operating its business ethically, putting corporate social responsibility at the heart of its decision-making.

Koenig & Bauer AG

KBA is totally in accord with Polar’s wish to increasingly adopt environmental practices for the benefit of society and print employees. Preserving the natural environment has been a central plank in the company’s corporate philosophy for many years. Seven years ago, at Drupa 2000, KBA was the first press manufacturer to achieve environmental accreditation for its Rapida sheetfed presses.

KBA’s president and chief executive officer, Albrecht Bolza-Schünemann, recently reaffirmed the Group’s commitment to preserving the environment:: "Why not seize the initiative and do everything technically possible and economically feasible to protect both the environment and employees? It can pay to go green."

Green and clean is a claim totally appropriate to the products of KBA, one of the largest printing press manufacturers worldwide and the manufacturer with the broadest product range. In the United Kingdom KBA UK has successfully enlarged its installed base with many purchasers of KBA presses using their choice of KBA for environmental marketing advantage.

It is the market-leading Rapida range which has attracted the Polar Print investment – sheetfed presses offering exceptional output, unrivalled substrate flexibility and reduced alcohol or alcohol-free operation.

From small innovative presses like the Genius 52 UV, through the market-leading Rapida sheetfed presses up to giant commercial web and newspaper installations, KBA is a powerful presence in every sector. Across this wide spectrum KBA is striving to advance eco-friendly waterless offset, restrict CO2 emissions and other environmental pollution whilst serving the economic needs of the print media industry.

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