Young girl at computer
Young girl at computer

PHD Presents The Harmonious Equilibrium Between Sustainability And Business

PHD Presents The Harmonious Equilibrium Between Sustainability And Business

As the human impact upon earth becomes ever more visible, sustainable initiatives are gaining traction. Plastics litter the coastline, waste pollutes the seas and emissions turn previously fresh air into toxic smog. A clear sign to humans of the crucial role that sustainable investments play, when looking towards entering the forthcoming eco-friendly revolution.

When we say sustainable solutions, what are we referring to? The Oxford dictionary defines sustainable as ‘the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance’. An ecological balance is the harmonious equilibrium between nature and human existence and ultimately the aim of all sustainable methods of practice.

Three initiatives underpin sustainability; Power, Process Product. 

Power is the art of sustainably harvesting energy to provide sustainable manufacturing conditions. For instance, solar power, wind power and even water harvesting, depending on the industry. If power sources lack sustainability, then actions taken further up the supply chain will become less sustainable.

Process refers to the sustainable manufacturing processes used to fashion a product. For instance, incorporating carbon neutral manufacturing methods or reducing waste. A sustainable manufacturing process poses not only an attractive trait to the modern environmentally-savvy consumer, but can often shave unnecessary costs for manufacturers. 

Product is the result of Power and Process. A sustainable product relies on sustainable methods of disposal, for instance, recycling and decomposition, allowing the consumer to dispose of the product via an environmentally-friendly method. The concept of recycling has been present for a while. However, thanks to constant improvements in scientific knowledge, recycling is becoming an evermore sustainable strategy. Compostable and biodegradable products are new to the market, but are expected to gain popularity in the coming years.

With these three initiatives in mind, how can we ensure a sustainable future? 

The simple answer is innovation. With new technologies expanding at a rapid rate and the new breed of ‘ecotystical’ consumer, innovation in sustainability is key to ensure success, both environmentally and as a business in the current market. 

Sustainability is a golden opportunity! With the sector’s constant expansion and potential for strong future growth, the opportunities being created are ones not to overlook. Sustainability presents a giant opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves within their sector, as the demographic of sustainably-minded consumers continually expands.

With this in mind, PHD brought together 12 of its clients around the big debate of ‘Innovation In Sustainability’ to showcase the latest in sustainable innovation from within the print and packaging industries specifically. 

PHD Presents offered companies the opportunity to broadcast their sustainable innovations to coveted publications such as PrintWeek, Packaging News and Converter. What sustainable initiatives did PHD Presents recognise and how did the conference raise awareness to the importance of sustainable practices? Read on to find out.

Minimal packaging, maximum impact - Joanne Offord, Managing Director, BoxMart

The BoxMart team factor sustainability into bespoke design. Their unique approach to packaging allows customers to access a vast range of customisable options (colour, size, structure, low minimum orders etc.) without breaking the bank. 

PHD Presents saw Joanne Offord showcase BoxMart’s leap towards sustainability. BoxMart’s clever engineering allowed Sipsmith to present their dry gin to consumers through a lightweight protective package, incorporating far less packaging than major competitors.

Similarly, when beauty brand Lush approached BoxMart concerning their pentagonal trapezohedron cosmetics box (yes, that's what they really asked for!), they were astonished by BoxMart’s flatpack design, which cut an order of 84 pallets down to just 6.

BoxMart’s sustainable innovations are recognised by manufacturers worldwide and have left BoxMart as the ‘go to’ supplier for tailored packaging solutions.

Fancy boxing up your business with BoxMart? If so, please visit


Collect our thoughts - Sanjay Patel, Founding Partner, Packaging Collective

The Packaging Collective has sustainability on its mind. A relatively new organisation set up to raise awareness of sustainable practices, The Packaging Collective is on a mission to form a community to help combat the worldwide issues posed by unsustainable practices.  

PHD Presents saw Sanjay Patel expose the stark realism behind plastic pollution and unsustainable methods of waste disposal. Single-use plastics were a large focus, after their ban by the European Parliament for their effects on marine life.

The Packaging Collective is a community for all. Whether someone is a designer, manufacturer, brand, retailer, professional, enthusiast, ecologist or educator, Packaging Collective welcomes them and their ideas with open arms.

To find out how Packaging Collective can promote a sustainable future for your business or to sign up, please visit


Rid the workplace of waste - Laurent Lassus, General Manager, SATO France and General Manager Marketing & Product Management, SATO Europe.

SATO are experts in digital innovation. Being world leaders in labelling and auto-identification solutions, sustainability is central to their business model. SATO pioneer ground-breaking solutions that channel businesses towards a more productive and sustainable future.

PHD Presents saw Laurent Lassus analyse +One, SATO’s linerless labelling system. +One rids the need for label backing liners, allowing 40% more labels to be applied to each roll and comes as standard with all SATO next-generation label printers.

Laurent touched on the usability of SATO printers, connecting people with information without the need for a tech-savvy operator. It’s not hard to see why SATO’s labelling solutions, with their universal appeal and increased sustainable innovations, are becoming more prominent throughout the manufacturing, logistics, retail, food & beverage and healthcare sectors. 

To discover how SATO systems can increase the productivity of your business, please visit


The futuristic made realistic - Mark Naples, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, DataLase, A SATO Company

Photonic printing takes the unbelievable and makes it believable. Through the power of laser-reactive pigment technology, DataLase prides itself in its capabilities to increase the sustainability of production lines.

PHD Presents saw Mark Naples outline the technical specifics of their specially engineered coating with reference to the sustainability and scalability of photonic printing technology. Currently used for high-speed product and case coding, photonic printing increases the ratio of output to runtime, streamlines supply chains, cuts out waste and costs and eliminates the need for consumables in the production environment. The technology currently encompasses the food & drink, pharmaceutical, personal care and household sectors, but is set to expand with future developments in monochrome and full colour applications, as well as exciting new brand consumer engagement tools.

Photonic methods offer a digital, and arguably more sustainable, alternative to traditional ‘print and apply’ labels. Bought by SATO in 2017, DataLase places sustainability at the heart of its operations.

To see how photonic printing can revolutionise your production line, please visit


The creation of innovation - Matt Francklow, Managing Director, Creation Reprographics

The complex business of reprographics has been Creation Reprographics’ specialist subject since 2004. Creation’s investment in their highly sustainable platemaking process is one to be admired.

PHD Presents saw Matt Francklow share how and why Creation became the first UK company to deliver solvent-free plate production and discuss the role Project Zero played in the later stages of Creation’s business development.

Creation launched Project Zero in 2012. An environmental action plan focused on innovation through environmentally conscious decisions. The three stages were to reduce the number of plates used per SKU (Creation’s Optimize solution), incorporate a more environmentally friendly product (Asahi Photoproducts AWP® photopolymer plate) and embrace renewable energy sources (water harvesting and solar energy).

Fuelled by internal investment, Project Zero saw up to a 50% reduction in the number of plates per SKU and a 95% reduction in mains water consumption. The investment in state of the art environmentally-minded equipment allowed Creation to provide a higher quality plate, leading to noticeable improvements in quality further down the supply chain. Project Zero has led to Creation implementing the new ISO 14001 Environmental Management system to become one of the UK’s most accurate and highly sustainable sources of reprographics. 

If you’re in need of professional reprographics with a sustainable difference, look no further than


The feminine package – Joanna Stephenson, Co-Founder, Women In Packaging UK

Within the male-dominated world of business, it’s vital that women have a voice! Women In Packaging UK strives to be this voice for the UK print and packaging industry. A market currently estimated to be worth £750 billion.

PHD Presents saw Joanna Stephenson passionately speak on the industry’s embrace of women, regarding both equality and business acumen. Estimates show that the UK would gain up to £23 billion (2% of GDP) by fully harnessing the skills and knowledge of females. With sustainability being the catalyst for a new era of business, the representation of women is more crucial than ever before. 

Women In Packaging UK operates around three pillars:

WIP Grow looks to attract businesses towards empowering females and encouraging more to pursue careers in the industry. 

WIP Educate and Support focuses on the investment in female talent and support of women in attaining a high industry profile. 

WIP Connect recognises female skills and achievement through celebration and awards.

Women In Packaging UK engages in a mix of networking, conference speaking, talking, blogging and tweeting. WIP UK is proud to be fighting to secure a woman’s place within an industry swiftly steering itself towards a sustainable future.

To discover how Women In Packaging UK can get women heard within your business, please visit


A compostable future  – Phil O’Driscoll, Innovation Director, Parkside Flexibles

From turtles and shoals of exotic fish to seahorses and valuable microorganisms, our oceans harbour some of the planet’s most valuable life forms. With the lack of landfill capacity and the ever-growing human population, packaging litter has become a common pollutant in today’s waters. As consumers and brands still pose a heavy reliance on single-use plastics and non-recyclable forms of packaging, it’s essential for the industry to offer highly sustainable alternatives.

PHD Presents saw Phil O’Driscoll address the issue head-on by stressing the importance of environmental awareness, touching on landfill, wastage and generation Z. Phil went on to reveal the two alternatives proposed by Parkside Flexibles. 

Phil first revealed Parkside’s compostable packaging, which can be decomposed either at home on your typical garden heap or mass composted on an industrial scale. Multiple brands have already made this innovative packaging part of their sustainable business model. It’s a particularly popular choice within the food market.

Marine biodegradable packaging is a world first. Phil stressed how marine biodegradables are the next weapon in combatting the global issue of packaging pollution and encouraging consumers to be more environmentally empathetic. Packaging pollution presents a significant problem to wildlife,  so it’s hoped this highly sustainable innovation will kickstart a wave of environmental awareness through both big brands and the consumer.

To find out more about Parkside Flexibles’ ethically pleasing packaging solutions, please visit


Double-sided success - Tim Lowe, Director, Source Labels

With a combination of speed and quality being the secret recipe for a thriving 21st-century business, waste minimisation is a worthy investment. For the labels industry, backing waste poses a huge sustainability speed-bump, leading label manufacturer Source Labels to engineer a more sustainable approach.

PHD Presents saw Tim Lowe introduce Utroque™ – the industry’s first double-sided labelling system. Tim is a huge fan of minimising waste throughout the supply chain and takes an intuitive approach to sustainable innovation. By opting for Utroque, consumers cut backing waste by 50%, get more labels per roll and require reduced pallet space. A great sustainble result!

Estimations predict that with 100mm width, Utroque would save 40-million kilometres of support liner every year! With over 30 years experience in labelling, Source Labels believe Utroque is an innovation that will secure them a prominent position within the sustainability debate.

For more information on how Utroque can reduce wastage within your business, please visit


Ink-saving innovation - Steve Mulcahy, CEO, Contact Originators

In a multi-million pound business, with an ever-growing share of the plate manufacturing market, sustainable practices are crucial to streamline workflow and maximise capacity. With high levels of business growth comes increased waste and pollution – sustainability takes a back seat. But why, when an investment in sustainable practices has the potential to increase revenue, minimise runtime and increase consumer confidence?

PHD Presents saw Steve Mulcahy explore in depth the highly sustainable solutions and practices implemented by leading reprographics and flexo plate manufacturers, Contact Originators.

Technological advancements are at the heart of Contact’s strategy. Optimus™ ink saving plate technology was their first sustainably-minded investment back in 2016. The technology enabled Contact Originators to offer tangible savings on ink to consumers, prior to the printing process. Optimus creates upfront usage savings of 21% and shaves a fifth off ink formulation.

MagnaForma™ is another sustainably-minded solution offered by Contact Originators. The large format plates increase plate size from 190mm to 280mm enabling increased print capacity for corrugate converters. The investment in Esko’s XPS Crystal platemaking system allows MagnaForma to provide consumers with optimum value and quality. XPS Crystal has revolutionised Contact Originators’ platemaking potential. Magna Forma won Contact Originators the ‘Suppliers Technical Innovation’ gold award at the EFIA 2018 Awards and has noticeably boosted the sustainability of their operations.

Aside from technology, Contact Originators see investment in their workforce as a crucial tool for a more environmentally sustainable future. Being the first business worldwide to achieve Flint’s Flexo Expert Certification, Contact Originators are a hub for prestige customer service and innovative sustainable practices, who thanks to their continual investment in sustainability, are leading their customers and the platemaking industry towards adopting a sustainable mindset. 

For more information on how to put your business in Contact with highly sustainable solutions, please visit


Don’t get board of sustainability - Nick Kirby, CEO, Swanline Group.

With sustainability being the new frontier of innovation, it’s essential businesses diversify. Paperboard has always been a vital ingredient to modern print, packaging and design, favoured by many well-known brands and retailers. So with the concern surrounding sustainable packaging, what does its highly sustainable alternative look like? 

PHD Presents saw Nick Kirby delve into the reasoning behind Swanline Group’s new sustainable initiative, Cygnus® fibreboard. The 100% fibre material presents a sustainable advantage over conventional unsustainable alternatives that pose a considerable task when recycling.

Cygnus comes in 3 species. 

Cygnus Eco Lite and Eco Ultra board – a genuine alternative to plastic with moisture resistant properties. 

Cygnus Excellent Display board – a purpose-built display board with impressive rigidity and flatness. 

Cygnus Corrugated Board – the UK’s first corrugated sheet board to be manufactured carbon neutrally.

Swanline evolves by incorporating sustainable materials into its innovations from the ground up, rather than top down. This intelligent approach provides customers with access to a highly sustainable production process. Swanline sees sustainability as its corporate social responsibility and strives to educate its workforce and customer base about its importance to business and the modern world. 

If Swanline Group’s highly sustainable innovations have caught your eye, please visit  


Equipping the industry - Craig Moran, Zone Business Director, BOBST

It’s fair to say machinery has a lot on its shoulders, as without it the supply chain would grind to a halt. Leading machinery suppliers, BOBST, recognise its influence over production and the implementation of a business’ sustainable practices. 

PHD Presents saw Craig Moran showcase BOBST’s vast range of highly sustainable initiatives and showcased how its environmental considerations are influencing the sustainability of the rest of the supply chain.

BOBST’s core purpose is to sustainably build value for the next generation. To ensure this, BOBST has adopted the United Nations’ sustainable development goals as its comprehensive sustainable strategy. BOBST also offers clients ‘Myclimate Certification’ – an option to compensate for the carbon footprint generated using its technology.

To ensure sustainability, BOBST inwardly invested in sustainable methods of disposal, resource retainment and renewable energy. Already over 10% of the water consumed at BOBST stems from rainwater recovery and 72% of waste products (including metals, paper and cardboard) are recycled. BOBST’s site in Mex, Switzerland, continues to build photovoltaic panels, enabling the solar generation of 1100 MWh of electrical power each year.

BOBST machinery includes a comprehensive range of converting, coating and laminating, and printing to printing-and-converting-in-line solutions. BOBST machinery comes in different sizes and tiers of performance to enable businesses to tailor machinery to their specific needs, hence why all BOBST products sport the nickname ‘dream machines’. 

This nickname relates to a BOBST’s superior quality, maintained by its constant commitment to developing innovative features to fuel customers’ eco-friendly initiatives. Machines such as the Masterfold 230, producing complex reusable boxes in one single pass and the Cartonpack 4 add-on to a BOBST folder gluer that packs boxes into outers at speeds of up to 200,000 boxes per hour, are key to maximising productivity and forming a sustainable production environment.

For more information on how BOBST machinery can streamline your business, please visit  


Inspiration of a new generation - Steve Mulcahy, Director, European Flexographic Industry Association (EFIA)

Education underpins the future. Someday, today’s young minds will be in charge of tomorrow’s sustainable solutions, so it makes perfect sense to train a generation of well equipped ‘go-getters’. 

PHD Presents saw Steve Mulcahy discuss EFIA’s reaction to the industry’s brain drain and express the passion behind the EFIA Academy – an educational programme designed by the flexographic industry’s brightest minds. Signing up allows students access to a modular E-learning tool. Over 1000 students have completed EFIA Academy in last ten years.

CertEFIA and DipEFIA accreditations take place within the workplace and recognise Continuing Professional Development, to encourage students to invest in self-improvement outside the exam hall. CPD points accumulate on top of a student’s exam totals.

ILM Management training is another EFIA initiative, conducted in conjunction with Leeds Beckett Business School. Training provides students with the basics for line management and progressively spans outwards to teach vital industry-specific skills. 

EFIA apprenticeships operate similarly, offering students the chance to achieve a National Vocational Qualification in association with SkillCert. 

All EFIA courses focus on providing candidates with the essential ingredients to pioneer a career around flexographic print, no matter their position in the supply chain. Investment in young minds is the crucial ingredient in ensuring a more sustainable future for the industry. 

To discover how an EFIA education could transform your workforce, please visit


So what did we learn at PHD Presents?

It’s a push to pinpoint a more significant humanitarian issue than sustainability. The development of sustainable processes and methods are key to ensuring a decrease in human impact on earth, despite the ever-rising population. A transition labelled by experts as ‘the sustainable revolution’.

It’s encouraging to see that multinational businesses and brands actively recognise the issues posed by unsustainable methods, and the benefits created by investment in sustainable alternatives. This open-minded attitude towards change is encouraging. Change is what keeps industries and innovation moving. Without this commitment to change, the problems brought about by unsustainable alternatives would never leave us. 

The PHD team feel confident that PHD Presents has successfully recognised and publicised their clients’ sustainable initiatives and brought sustainable change to the forefront of the industry agenda. The response to the event was outstanding and is one we hope to replicate and build upon in the coming years.

PHD would like to thank and congratulate all those clients who participated in PHD Presents on October 25, 2018 in central London. Your presentations were captivating, your initiatives were revolutionary, and your commitment stole the show. We couldn’t be more proud to call you our clients!