Being sustainable is more than just a company-wide initiative at C&C Offset, says deputy general manager Francis Ho. “It is a transformational path that affects our staff’s living spaces and workspaces, and one major goal is to increase awareness of such impacts.”
C&C Offset’s clean production program, which the company kick-started in 2008 at its Shenzhen factory, is all about energy savings, emissions reduction, and the judicious utilization of resources. Switching to energy-efficient lighting, substituting LPG with natural gas for its heat-set web presses, and replacing obsolete air-conditioning units with inverter units came first. “Then we installed inverter water pumping for the central air-conditioning system and magnetic suspension air conditioner at our workshops,” Ho says, adding that solar arrays currently under construction at C&C Shanghai are projected to supply nearly 30% of the facility’s energy requirement. These projects have led to the creation of the C&C Energy Management Center, where 160 monitoring instruments record and analyze daily energy usage.
Key to this center is a customized interface that combines the Shenzhen facility’s ERP and MES information management systems with the Smart Energy Management platform. “The data collected offers a better understanding of our consumption structure, trends, and efficiency levels while pointing out weak spots ripe for tweaks and improvements,” Ho says. “The center is currently looking at ways to, say, reduce power consumption during machine standby and make-ready and evaluating the relocation of certain processes to maximize energy utilization.”
Waste treatment systems for gas and water are found throughout the Shenzhen facility. The first system was established in 2017, and from there the team went on to upgrade the VOC treatment system and to recycle or reuse PS plates, waste plastic films, and so on to protect the environment and its staff. Now the facility is using automatic guided vehicles, robotic arms, and electric forklift trucks.
“The installation of a centralized ink supply system marks a major step in our sustainability efforts,” Ho says. “The approximately 200,000 metal ink cans previously required for transport and storage were things of the past. With this centralized system, our annual ink loss is reduced by around 8%.”
Additionally, C&C Offset is recommending to its publishing clients environmentally friendly Kraft paper adhesive tape for cartoning, PE films with 30% recycled material for shrink-wrapping, MOF inks, and water-based varnish. An expansion-shredder has been brought in to turn ordinary corrugated cardboard into fluffy fillers that can be used in lieu of bubble wrap. The team is also evaluating alternatives to polybags, including PLA bag wrap and nonplastic-coated, heat-sealed Kraft paper bags.
Achieving sustainability, Ho says, “requires buy-in from staff at all levels. A top-down approach is not sustainable. As such, the projects often involve everybody so that each staff member has a part to play in protecting the environment and being sustainable.”