Everyone wins with RafCycle – Biofore in action

18 March 2015

CASE1: Reklam Speciaaldruk boosts sustainability – and profitability

High end label specialists Reklam Speciaaldruk are a third generation family business with a sharp eye on the future and sustainability.

When the Netherlands-based Reklam Speciaaldruk adopted the innovative RafCycle waste management system to recycle label liners into paper, energy and UPM ProFi products, it was a major boost for their sustainability efforts. But there was an additional, unexpected, benefit – the move also attracted attention from new customers.

Positive customer attention

Yves Smit, owner of the label printer serving the retail, luxury, wines and spirits sectors, says the rewards are swift and excellent.

“We first saw RafCycle really make a difference when some of our potential customers immediately wanted to be involved,” he said.

“As a company we were thinking about how we could become more sustainable for a long time, but UPM Raflatac really helped make sustainability part of our DNA. With them, we gained a partner that understands sustainability not as a marketing tool, but as a helpful way of reorganising your business.”

Aiming for a substantial EBIT rise

“The support we received in logistics was great and the collection of the materials has been on a level never before seen in this industry. Implementing small changes not only make big steps for sustainability, but also save costs in the long run.”

Smit says it will be worth the wait for the full economic benefits of RafCycle to come through.

“The return on investment for the initial set up costs was about eight months, but after two years we aim for a huge rise in EBIT on this market.”

Reklam Speciaaldruk believe that sustainability is no longer a trend, more a necessity, though very few industry leaders are taking steps to make it a reality.

“Now is the time for the label industry to develop their sustainable performance,” he says. “We must set a benchmark for the next generation and the many that will follow.”


CASE2: Coveris aims to be the best – with the least effect on the environment

As one of Europe’s largest manufacturers producing over 1.5 billion labels every month, Coveris already has great credentials in environmental efficiency and sustainable process.

Now the RafCycle waste management system has helped the company advance its 360-degree model of responsibility so the 3R principles – reduction, recycling and reuse – are complemented by a fourth R – recovery.

As Sian Bates, Marketing Managerwith Coveris in the UK, explains: “As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of plastic, paper and cardboard packaging solutions, we recognise our responsibility to minimise, and where possible, offset, the environmental impact of our packaging products, to ensure a more sustainable future for our environment, customers, staff and our local communities.

Reduction, recycling, reuse and recovery

“Our passion and aim therefore is to be the best supplier in our field with the least effect on our environment, which we facilitate through the universal application of the 4R principles of reduction, recycling, reuse and recovery. These are embedded across our entire value chain to deliver a 360-degree model of responsibility.”

Coveris is a global player, with more than 70 operations in 20 countries, 9,000 employees and more than 60% of group-wide operations in food.

Such massive production results in a significant amount of by-product and production waste, and Coveris has made major financial and technological investments in creating a sustainable infrastructure and an environmental services model for managing the complete label lifecycle.

“We segregate, sort and redistribute our waste, along with the backing paper collections from our customers in order to redirect, and in a lot of cases recycle, over 2,500 tonnes of process waste from landfill every year.”

Turning a chain into a cycle

Now their UK division has an environmentally leading cradle to grave model for Coveris label products which they want to take further, recognising Rafcycle as a major benefit to the business.

“We are very much within the early stages of supporting the ProFi process but by working in partnership with UPM Raflatac, we are looking to expand this supply significantly using their environmental transport structure to put even more of our waste and by-products to regenerative use. This process effectively enables us to turn our chain of custody into a cycle of custody through a closed-loop system of sustainability.”


Text: Pirkko Koivu

UPM Biofore

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