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27 August 2013

Print Media Technology is honoured with Sustainability Award

9219733877_26d0a73311_b (2).jpgDuring the last three WorldSkills Competitions, the 46 skills have been striving to make improvements to their infrastructure lists, floorplans and the usability of their test project after the event. In 2009 the winner was: Beauty Therapy. In 2011 the winner was: IT Network Systems Administration.

The Sustainability award deals with ensuring a viable and successful future for the organization and its competitions. In order to deal with future growth, securing lasting benefits and returns on investment from running competitions while ensuring the competitions are high quality and professionally conducted, all Experts are tasked with reviewing and improving their own skill. Based on agreed criteria before the Competition starts, all skills are judged to determine which has made the biggest difference towards ‘sustainability’ since WorldSkills Calgary 2009.  

During WorldSkills Leipzig 2013, Print Media Technology was recognized as the skill that made the most advancements in sustainability. Not only is it important to take steps to reduce the negative impact on the planet in this competition area but it is important that we at WorldSkills set the bar high for the youth around the world to use their skills and knowledge to do the same.

Patrick Klarecki, Chief Expert of Print Media Technology, gave his reflection on winning the Sustainability Award and what it means to the skill and the industry below.

I am honored that Print Media Technology received the Sustainability Award in 2013. As an industry, Printing has attacked the issue of sustainability. Bruce Kenworthy (Deputy Cheif Expert) and I along with the other Experts have been practicing many of the things we did on a daily basis. One key thing that we have learned over the years is that it doesn't cost money to be environmentally friendly - in fact most companies save substantially contributing to their bottom line. The Printing Industry has been under attack for the past decade for "Killing Trees" when in fact over 90% of the paper consumed in the world is made from either recycled fiber or from managed Forest.

By Managed Forest I mean it is grown for harvest like corn, and replanted. Most people do not realized that if they stop using paper products then these forests will be harvested and not replanted. We believe we are one of the most sustainable manufacturing industries out there. When we look at our waste streams, it is second nature to look for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

When Bruce and I met with Stephen Boes, the Workshop Supervisor and Heidelberger Drukermachinen Project Manager, for the first time in January we had a discussion about what we could do for sustainability. Ideas that we came up with were:

  • Making our competition projects usable in the end - What could we print for WorldSkills that have a usable life after the Competition.
  • Using materials that were environmentally friendly - plant based inks and chemicals rather than petroleum based
  • SAPPI Paper stepped up by providing paper that was made with recycled fiber and the virgin fiber content was certified by the Forrest Stewardship Council, meaning there it has a cradle to grave documentation proving it was harvested from a managed forest and was disposed of through recycling or other sustainable means.
  • Stephen did an outstanding job of networking with the other Workshop Supervisors prior to arrival for the competition to see if any of our waste could be used in other competition areas. He found a second life for many items including printing plates and paper. For example, 20% of the aluminum plates used in the print production process were reused by Architectural Stonemasonry, Skill 8. 
  • The Heidelberg Equipment we used is amongst the most energy efficient available.
  • 83% of all printing equipment used during the competition for Print Media Technology has been presold.
  • Print Media Technology was 100% toolbox free, which means that the Competitors didn't have to bring any tools from their country/region, it was all supplied locally, with the exceptiong of protective footwear. This eliminated the carbon footprint generated by shipping toolboxes.

WorldSkills would like to congratulate all the Experts and the Workshop Supervisor in Skill 11, Print Media Technology for their outstanding efforts to reduce their environmental impact during the WorldSkills Competition. Keep up the great work.