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Green printing house director: We became sustainable to save the earth and the business

Sustainability and the UN’s global goals ensured the survival of KLS PurePrint in an industry under threat. Last Tuesday at Industriens Hus, the company described their journey from normal printing house to “the world’s greenest”.

At DI’s “From Philanthropy to Business” event, KLS PurePrint described how their sustainable transformation has won them clients like Ørsted, E.On and McDonalds.

Publiceret: 14.06.2018
Af Felix Bekkersgaard Stark mail

Nearly eleven years ago, the printing industry was facing a crisis. Digital transformation meant that the industry’s approximately 2,000 companies were forced into ruthless competition, and today less than a hundred remain.

One of the survivors is KLS PurePrint. The company picked up on society’s growing concern with sustainability and climate and realised that this was an opportunity to set itself apart from the crowd.

Last Wednesday, CCO Kasper Larsen shared the company’s story at the conference: “The UN’s Global Goals: From Philanthropy to Business” at the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI).

“We began to see how sustainability is increasingly on people’s minds. Climate has become an urgent issue, and we therefore understood that this could be a way for us to turn things around – while simultaneously making a positive difference,” said Kasper Larsen and added:
“I’d like to say that we became sustainable to save the earth. And we did – but it was just as much to save our business.”

Global goals put sustainability into words

The printing house claims to be the world’s greenest, and it prints magazines and other graphic products completely without harmful chemicals and heavy metals. When its products are decomposed, they become part of natural cycles.

Today, the company partners with the Danish Society for Nature Conservation to ensure “responsible consumption and production”, which is one of the UN’s seventeen global goals.

The global goals have given KLS PurePrint a “common frame of reference”, which the company can use to discuss sustainability with both clients and other businesses.

“First of all, it provides us with visual goals that we can present to clients, and which they can then use as a reference point in their work. But they also offer us a way of labelling or describing our sustainability. ‘This project fits with this global goal’ and so on,” explained Kasper Larsen.

The company finds that consumers have become more conscious about their environmental footprint, and the company’s green transformation has therefore been the deciding factor for the survival of KLS PurePrint, the CCO believes.

“We’re still here – that alone is quite a feat in our industry. But we have also had a solid increase of clients,” said Kasper Larsen.
After KLS PurePrint’s transformation, its clients include companies such as Ørsted, COOP Denmark and E.On.

A commercial necessity

Several companies had showed up at Industriens Hus to hear about KLS PurePrint’s journey.

Participants also had the chance to hear from Geoff Kendall, CEO of Future Fit Foundation, who has developed a method for connecting the global goals to his business strategy.

Afterwards, there were workshops with the case companies Peter Larsen Kaffe, Krüger and FLSmidth, all of whom have come a long way with implementing the global goals into their business.

Senior Adviser at DI and project manager of “Philanthropy to Business” Henrik Schramm Rasmussen is pleased that so many companies have opened their eyes to the commercial potential of sustainable solutions.

“It is a mega trend that is rooted in enormous global challenges. These are challenges that Danish companies are extremely well equipped to transform into opportunities, and this gives them a major competitive edge,” says the senior adviser.

I’d like to say that we became sustainable to save the earth. And we did – but it was just as much to save our business.
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PUBLISHED: 6/14/2018 LAST MODIFIED: 6/14/2018