Fujifilm wins sustainability award for its completely process-less printing plate in the 19th Green and Sustainable Chemistry Awards: Awarded by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
May 25, 2020
Tokyo — FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) is proud to announce that it has won the 19th Green and Sustainable Chemistry (GSC) Awards, Awarded by the Minister of the Economy, Trade and Industry, organized by the Japan Association for Chemical Innovation, for the “development of the completely process-less printing plate for newspaper.”
The Award was granted in recognition of Fujifilm’s development of the completely process-less printing plate for newspaper, which has eliminated the use of chemicals, water and electricity, liquid waste in the development process. At the same time, this has substantially reduced the need for packaging materials, thereby contributing to mitigating the environmental impact, one of the tasks for the newspaper printing industry.
The GSC Awards are extended to businesses and individuals for their contribution to promoting “green and sustainable chemistry (chemistry that is kind to people and the environment and supports the development of sustainable society).” Awarded by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry recognizes outstanding contribution to industrial technology development.
[Product recognized by the Award]
Completely process-less printing plate for newspaper, “SUPERIA ZN-II”*1
[Background of development]
Newspaper production involves using laser to output electronic data onto printing plates and setting the plates on a newspaper press to print. In this procedure, CTP plates are used as printing plates. In Japan, some 50 million copies*2 of newspapers are circulated every day, and all of them are printed on “offset printing” using CTP plates. Conventional CTP plates must undergo the development process using a processor, in which data is output to prepare printing plates. This process poses an environmental challenge, as it requires harsh alkaline chemicals, water and electricity, and generates liquid waste associated with the use of chemicals. Fujifilm has worked on developing a new type of CTP plate that does not require the development process, in an effort to achieve newspaper printing with a lower environmental impact.
[Overview of the developed product]
In 2015, Fujifilm released completely process-less CTP plates for newspaper which do not require the development process. The omission of the development process meant the elimination of chemicals, water, electricity and liquid waste. The “SUPERIA ZN-II”, completely process-less printing plate for newspaper was released in Japan in 2018. Fujifilm utilized its unique technology to control the shape of the back side of the plates so that they no longer needed surface-protection paper (interleaf paper), used to prevent scratches during the transportation and reloading of CTP plates. This reduced packaging materials by 94%. Fujifilm has also established the “PLATE to PLATE” closed-loop recycling system in Japan, collecting used Fujifilm CTP plates from printing companies and reusing the main material, aluminum, to manufacture CTP plates of similar quality. The company is promoting resource recycling to reduce the environmental impact across its supply chain.
[Contributions to society and the environment]
The introduction of the “SUPERIA ZN-II” mitigates the use of chemicals by 2.4 tons, water by 12.1 tons, power consumption by 12.6 MWh, liquid waste by 3.9 tons and interleaf paper by 2.4 tons*3 per newspaper publisher plant per annum. When combined with the benefit of aluminum recycling, this equates to CO2 emission reduction by approximately 390 tons per annum. The introduction of this completely process-less printing plate throughout the entire newspaper printing industry in Japan will reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 67,300 tons*4.
Shuji Shimanaka, Research & Development Management Headquarters Graphic Systems Laboratories
Yusuke Namba, Research & Development Management Headquarters Graphic Systems Laboratories
Yuya Miyagawa, Research & Development Management Headquarters Graphic Systems Laboratories
Shunpei Watanabe, Research & Development Management Headquarters Graphic Systems Laboratories
Tomoki Ochimizu, Technical Manager, Graphic Systems Business Division
Fujifilm will continue to tap into its unique technologies, nurtured over many years, to make even greater efforts to supply products and services that lead to resolving social issues, thereby contributing to a sustainable society.
*1 Commercially available only in Japan and there is no plan to be sold in other countries.
*2 2019 newspaper circulation data according to research by the Nihon Shinbun Kyokai (The Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association)
*3 Based on the average plate use per plant (5,000 m2 per month)
*4 Calculated by Fujifilm based on the calculated amount of CO2 emission reduction associated with Fujifilm’s process-less CTP plates for newspaper printing and the number of newspaper publishers in Japan as of fiscal year ending March 2020