Sustainable Innovation

Eco-responsible printing at ‘Impression Durable’
December 14, 2009, 6:52 pm
Filed under: Best Practices in France | Tags: , ,

In 2004 Arnaud and Francois Tavard decided to change their printing business. They wanted to apply more durable and responsible printing processes. Based on their own values and a growing market awareness about environmental footprint, they decided to modify their company.

Mister Francois Tavard, Director(s) of  ‘Impression Durable’.

The new ‘Imprim’Vert’ label on the French market is going in the right direction. The Imprim’Vert label requires waste split, non-toxic detergent, and seperate ink stockage. Hower, much more could be done, according to Tavard.

In cooperation with the French Engineering University and Ecological DivisionEcole de Mine’, the company developed a methodology for durable printing process of printing from conception up till delivery.

Impression Durable offers a guarantee of a complete eco-responsible process :

1. Using Eco-label Paper. Impression Durable only uses recycled paper, FSC paper or mixtures. (FSC is paper made of durably produced wood).

Logo of FSC, label of the international Forest Stewardship Council

2. Using 100% Renewable Energies. In all production stages, Impression Durable uses renewable energies (is it solar ? eolien ? thermic ? is EDF or GDF supplier ?)

3. Producing less chemical Waste. A specific ‘vegetal ink’ is being used to print. A new innovative printing procedure is adapted to create the printing plates. Both actions lead to significantly less chemical waste. As well, the aluminum printing plates are recycled to serve elsewhere as raw material.

4. Transporting by ecological trucks. Printed products are all transported by ecological trucks (hybrid electrical/petrol or low carbon emission trucks ?) 

5. Presenting the Environmental Footprint per product. All products contain an environmental analysis, including the Eco-label, quantity, energy and ink consumption and green house gas emission.

Practice what you preach

The companies first Bilan Carbone was made in 2005. Based on this knowledge the carbon impact of individual printing projects could be calculated. Impression Durable s constantly analyzing, measuring and trying to balance environmental impact. Between 2005 and 2008 the company has reduced its environmental impact by 9.2% (audit by Bureau Veritas). Impression Durable aims to reduce 3% per year even more. New actions will be applied amongst others, to reduce the stock. 


Heidelberg printing machines – photo credits to ‘Machinerie zones ‘

Benefits of Printing at Imprimerie Durable

         Eco-Conscious  : With the Label and Environmental Summary on every Printing project, enterprises become more aware of the value and the environmental impact of the printed paper products.

         Market Pricing : Impression Durable is engaged to deliver its printing services conform market pricing.

Customers and partners

Among the customers are smaller enterprises and organizations, such as l’Oreal, Saneflo, Ikea, Naturalia, Ecovalis, Bouygues and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).  Among the partners of Impression Durable are Arjo Wiggens (paper supplier) who offers a variety of FSC and recycled paper and WWF (NGO).

Trends and Developments

The new Carbon Progress Tool, actually tested at Impression Durable by Bureau Veritas.  It is offering much insight in environmental footprint, and even more than the classical Bilan Carbone. It visualises different indicators with a given ‘note’ from 1-5, which enables to track progress over the years.

Entreprises becoming more cautious about environmental footprint. This is either driven from within the company (like supplier criteria as for instance the Bouygues Group uses).

National and international norms are also pushing companies to calculate the environmental footprint of their company an products. The new ISO 26.000 norm as of 2010 will be applied by many companies. In France, a new series of Eco-Labels will be operational in 2011 created by AFNOR. The French Eco-Labels will require certainly an indication of carbon footprint per product.

The electronic media is intensifying. People however will continue to appreciate the value of paper, is Tavards conviction. But there is a mind shift going on : The value, touch and smell of paper will be very much appreciated for quality products such as nicely illustrated books. However, flyers for quick messages and publicity are however are becoming more and more banned. It is Tavards ambition to continue working on quality paper products with a limited environmental impact against a reasonable market price.


Salon Entreprise Durable II
October 27, 2009, 9:56 am
Filed under: Sustainability in France | Tags: , , ,

Innovative products  presented at the Salon Entreprise Durable:

Office furniture of Arfeo. The French office furniture developer and producer Arfeo has a history of over 160 years. The company stands out in sustainable development, as it consequently uses Life Cycle Management Analyses in its development process : Only ecological materials and paint are being used (like FSC wood and solvable paints). Tables and chairs are always developed only for long term use (> 5 years). Furniture is constructed in a modulair way and components are easy to assembly and to disassemly. This facilitates the replacement of just one or two components and increases the life time. To make sure the furniture components could be given a 2nd life purpose, Arfeo has even set up a chain of recycling services.

Arfeo table

Arfeo Office Table and chair, Sis-Téma

Real Time Electricity Metering of Fludia

Spin-off from the French Energy incumbant EDF in 2002, Fludia offers real-time energy metering to companies. The technical metering and software tools are accompanied with demonstrations and trainings. Also real time presentation boards are installed at the companies entrance or restaurant to show the employees the effects of energy saving behaviour (shutting off lights, computers, printers, closing windows, etcetera..)

Energies Attitude

Real Time Energy Use Presentation at Companies Entrance, by Fludia.

Computer Processor Sleepmodes of AVOB

Over 90% of the time computer are on, the processor is only used partly or not at all.  The Avob Energy Saver makes sure that the computer processor energy used is tuning down to a lower and appropriate level to the task. This can save more than 50% of the energy use and consequently substantial monthly energy costs.


Principle of saving energy be adapting processor power, by AVOB

Sustainable Printing of Impression Durable

Despite the all present electronic office (emails, sites, electronic bills, electronic agendas, blogs, twitter and LinkedIn) the paperless office has not arrived yet. Companies are searching for responsable alternatives to reduce their paper use and minimise their environmental impact. (best practices at La Poste, Veolia) Impression Durable offers a Sustainable Printing solution, developed in cooperation with the French Engineering University ‘Ecole de Mine’. It includes the principles of a paper label (recycled, FSC), use of renewable energies, reduction of chemical waste, distribution with responsable transport and carbon footprint measurement per product.

Impression Durable

Sustainable Eco printing and communication, at Impression Durable


The Seminar has given a interesting panorama of companies that step in the ‘new market’ of Sustainable Development. It is recognised that companies are very careful about making new investments given the economical crisis. Nevertheless all industries are moving towards social and environmental policies. Innovation is a survival strategy. And they better be sustainable.