Interview with Mr Jussi Vanhanen – Label Shimbun issued on 15 April, 2012

UPM Raflatac – environmental responsibility with L9 compatible format
These days, with the rapid consumption of earth resources, the depletion of all resources is approaching.  Additionally, price inflation of raw materials continues to progress. We can easily predict that the world will go into very tough time after 2020.
Environmental issues cover many things, but global warming is the most focusing subject for brand owners and retailers. For label products, film labels have a profound impact on global warming, but paper labels have relatively less impact as they can utilize tree planting and the CO2 absorption by the renewed forests. Also importantly, we need to tackle the environmental issues with an eye toward the whole product  life cycle.
How can we measure and improve our usage of raw materials? Again, we need to consider the overall impact of our products, including environment load, product lifetime, post-product use and R&D of the new products.
Main brand owners and retailers demand often today a detailed list of environment impacts, but their formats are never uniform. Unifying the items on the lists, would reduce daily work at each company. In order to realize this, we need to construct a compatible format by all producers in each industry and propose that to our customers. With L-9 co-operation, there should be a way for adhesive label makers to develop and proceed using an uniform format list of environmental consideration for release base paper, face materials and adhesive materials.
In terms of this view, for instance,  a significant environmental performance change could be achieved by choosing thinner and lighter face materials. Also, if you think about the recycling phase, we should use thinner materials in order to reduce environmental burden. We need to examine each alternative and impact one by one and face the facts.
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