hubergroup as the main partner at the C2C Congress 2020


Sustainability as a business model: By participating as a main participant in the Cradle to Cradle Congress, which ended in early February in Berlin, one of the leading international printing ink manufacturers highlighted the importance of the topics of sustainability and environmental protection. “We are aware of our social responsibility and see it as our task to not only optimize our own products and processes, but also to pass on this knowledge and to do a bit of educational work,” says Heiner Klokkers, the chairman of the hubergroup’s board of management, as he gets to the point of the deep social roots of the 255 year-old family-owned and operated company.

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The international Cradle to Cradle Congress (C2C) was held for the sixth time this year. It is increasingly becoming a mandatory stop for all those who want to establish a real circular economy according to the C2C set of rules. The contributions of renowned representatives from economics, science, education, politics and society made it clear that environmental protection and economic growth are in no way mutually exclusive, but rather can enter into a meaningful symbiosis. In Berlin, the printing ink manufacturer presented innovative ideas and projects as a pioneer and important contact in the printing ink sector.

The hubergroup’s claim is clearly defined: Cradle to Cradle should increasingly become the industry standard. In order to meet this challenge, the printing ink manufacturer is setting a good example. The company has already received the Cradle to Cradle Material Health certificate for the offset inks produced at its Indian plant in Vapi and is working on the full certification. hubergroup Italy is also already certified with a wide range of Cradle to Cradle gecko inks.

As part of its presentation at the congress, Heiner Klokkers made an appeal to companies, consumers and politicians and called for action. The printing ink manufacturer itself has already gotten several lighthouse projects off the ground. One success story is the partnership with the brewery group Carlsberg, which had a joint stand together with the hubergroup at the C2C Congress. In cooperation with the beer producer, the printing ink specialist exhibited its great commitment to sustainable products once again. For example, the bottle labels for Carlsberg have been printed with the Cradle to Cradle silver-certified hubergroup Eco Offset Inks Premium Plus since the start of 2019. In the near future, this concept is to be expanded to include additional beer brands of the major brewery. However other strategic partnerships, such as with a leading German discounter or an international furniture company, are also to be expanded further.

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“Sustainability is an issue that affects us all. We can really do something if we all pull together and change the market permanently. The C2C Congress was an important platform for us to communicate and network with strategic partners. We see ourselves not only as a technology leader that deals with its competitors in the world of printing inks, but also as an influencer that has followers in all areas of society and not just in the printing industry,” says Bernd Groh, Global Product & Portfolio Manager SF/UV hubergroup, in closing.

Sustainability has many facets The hubergroup plant in Vapi, India, is a practical example of the circular model. In order to reduce wastewater to zero, a water treatment plant was built that recovers 95 percent of the water from the wastewater flow. Only 5 percent of required freshwater needs to be supplied. It also compensates for water loss through evaporation during recycling.

In Germany and some European regions, the manufacturer takes the water that accumulates during the washing process of coating units back from its customers and also processes this. 25 percent of this water is used in a purified form for the production of non-food coatings.

The social commitment of the printing ink manufacturer is manifested in the seven-figure euro contribution per year that the hubergroup has been making to the MAA Foundation for more than ten years. The MAA Foundation implements educational projects for teachers, pupils and students to improve the level of education in rural areas in western India. This makes it possible for children and adolescents there, who cannot afford the necessary financial means otherwise, to receive a good education.