Print Perspectives

Sustainability that pays: Kodak’s commitment to its customers and our planet

By Jim Continenza

April 22, 2021

Sustainability Earth Day

The past year reinforced in a profound way the irreplaceable value of people and our planet. There’s no greater way to show my appreciation than to be conscious and caring stewards of our communities, our countries, and, for executives like me, our companies. That’s a responsibility that I take very seriously.

I developed a deep appreciation for nature as I grew up in the land of 10,000 lakes, Minnesota. My passion for the environment sprang from being outdoors, marveling at nature, hiking, camping, fishing, snowmobiling and water sports. Its roots go deep, feeding my desire to protect this planet and to do what I can to influence others to do the same.

The Kodak difference
As CEO of Kodak, I work to instill the value of sustainability across our company, from R&D to manufacturing to sales and service. We offer a full range of customer-focused products designed to deliver on the promise of “Print that Pays.” But now more than ever, our customers are seeing that sustainable, resource-efficient solutions also pay. For us that means saving massive amounts of water and energy, reducing chemical use and waste, and thinking about what we produce and how it’s made, cradle to grave.

Today’s market offers printers a proliferation of competing devices. My goal is to deliver solutions that are not only superior to other alternatives, but also backed by an unwavering company-wide commitment to preserving our environment. It is clear our customers and the public are becoming more aware of the imperative, and I believe it’s simply the right thing to do.

As an industry pioneer with deep knowledge of material science and thousands of print-related patents, Kodak will continue to innovate – especially when it comes to sustainability.

I believe that if a small organization can make a small difference, a big business like ours can make a huge difference.

Walking the talk
What we do today and tomorrow is how we’ll be measured, and all of us bear that responsibility. Here are some of the ways that Kodak operations are aligned with sustainability:

Process-free printing plates
Kodak was first to successfully commercialize a printing plate that requires no processing chemicals, while also saving water and energy versus conventional processed plates. Our KODAK SONORA Process Free Plates are in use by over 6,000 printers worldwide. We estimate that by using cost-saving SONORA plates instead of processed plates, the print industry is also saving:

  • 3.74 million liters of plate developer per year
  • 29 million kWh of electricity per year
  • 468 million liters of water per year

That also means no more spent chemistry, wastewater, chemical containers, disposal, shipping and storage costs. That’s something that would make Mother Nature smile.

In addition, because there’s no processing variability, printers benefit from more consistent and stable plates that reduce time, waste, and cost in the pressroom. Our customers are helping their bottom lines while reducing their environmental impact.

Sustainable inks
Kodak’s award-winning water-based inks are more sustainable than conventional solvent-based inks. They contain several naturally occurring substances and do not contain PVC or phthalates, making them safer for printers, consumers, and the environment. In addition, because they are water-based, no harsh chemicals are required for cleanup. This keeps potentially harmful substances out of our waste stream and water supply.

Our printer control software features ink optimization capability, which reduces the consumption of CMY inks by applying a Gray Component Replacement (GCR) algorithm while ensuring the widest possible color gamut. In fact, not only are the colors virtually indistinguishable from offset lithography in print quality and reproduction consistency, the inks are safe for applications such as food packaging and personal care products.

Inkjet printers like our industry-leading KODAK PROSPER Presses are inherently more efficient and produce less waste because they can print for an audience of one with zero make-ready and no need for overprints to inventory. That’s sustainability that pays!

Workflow software
Sustainability is not only about resource efficiency, it’s also about ensuring a successful and profitable future. A platform-centric approach to automation is not a luxury, it’s a prerequisite for relevance in years to come. Automation and integration save money by reducing waste, maximizing ink utilization, and eliminating costly manual errors. Together, they serve as the catalyst for data insights that provide printers with operational trends, efficiency opportunities and new areas of revenue potential.

Digital, end-to-end transformation is the key to sustainability. KODAK PRINERGY On Demand is the industry’s only single, smart, and secure end-to-end software platform for an entire print organization, designed for sustainable growth.

Planet-friendly programs
Beyond saving water and energy, in addition to reducing carbon and chemistry, we’ve put measures in place to reduce waste in our operations and manufacturing and supply chains. At Eastman Business Park, we collaborate with 30 companies and organizations on a solvent recovery program. In addition, our suppliers know that to earn Kodak’s business, they have to step up with more eco-friendly products and more sustainable operations.

Top to bottom mindset
According to a 2019 report from the Environmental Defense Fund, 9 in 10 business leaders said consumers would hold them accountable for the environmental impact they make through their business. The reality is that our customers care, so we and those with whom we work must also care. At Kodak, sustainability is inherent in our culture and backed by board-level support. We’re listening!

Looking ahead
When I became CEO of Kodak, I brought a vision for what this company could be, informed by experience and inspired by my personal values. My conviction that people will do the right thing is unshakeable. I believe that as humans we are all connected, regardless of belief or boundary. Kodak has long been a leader, embodying the spirit of American innovation. With our sustainability programs, greener processes, and like-minded employees, we’re showing the way again.

My home state of pristine rivers and lakes is also known as the North Star State. My own guiding star in business has been aligning company goals with what’s right for the planet, an approach that’s essential to the development of environmentally sustainable practices. As we continue to innovate in materials, processes and software, delivering on the promise of “Print that Pays,” the sustainability imperative will always be our true north compass point.

Kodak, Sonora, Prosper and Prinergy are trademarks of Eastman Kodak Company.