World first claimed by ContiTech

CALIMATE NEUTRAL printing blankets have been developed by ContiTech using a process that deliver a ‘world first’ in technology. The calendering system enables ContiTech to reduce CO2 emissions and the acquisition of climate protection certificates offsets remaining CO2 emissions.

Claiming to be the first manufacturer anywhere in the world with this technology, ContiTech Elastomer Coatings has introduced a climate-neutral process for making its printing blankets. For the complete Conti-Air(R) HC line-up, a new type of process eliminates up to 70 percent of the climate-damaging CO2 emissions normally released in the production of world standard printing blankets. The company offsets the residual CO2 emissions by supporting a re-forestation project in Panama, for which it acquires climate certificates. ContiTech carries the climate-neutral printing blankets in its Conti-Air (R) HC line-up under the Pure Printing label.

“Our products are to be found wherever industry is looking for overall solutions of an eco-friendly quality,” notes Heinz-Gerhard Wente, chairman of the executive board of ContiTech. “Our driving concern is always to contribute to enhancing the quality of life and environmental protection.

We’re involved where the future’s in the making – which means especially in the printing industry, too, with climate neutral printing blankets.

“ContiTech Elastomer Coatings has thus bolstered its reputation as a manufacturer of printing blankets with a pronounced eco-friendly, climate-aware pedigree. In so doing, it remains true, in this regard to the Conti-Air (R) brand’s core ‘Print to Perfection’ maxim,” believes Dr Thomas Perković, head of the Printing Blanket segment. “We are proud to be the world’s first manufacturer able to offer climate neutral printing blankets. And this is achieved at no extra cost to our customers.”

Reduced CO2 emissions

The calendering process used in making the printing blankets is chiefly responsible for the Conti-Air (R) HC line’s small carbon footprint. A steel roller presses the rubber into a slab of the required thickness. This is said to be a more energy efficient approach than the conventional coating process and solvent additives can be dispensed with, so VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions are greatly reduced.

The impact that the calendering process has on the product’s carbon footprint was determined last summer. ContiTech Elastomer Coatings says it is the world’s first manufacturer to have a life cycle assessment of its printing blankets drawn up and certified – in this case by Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences under the direction of Professor Dr Manfred Sietz, and Martin Komander, graduate engineer. It was found that 70 percent fewer emissions are emitted in producing Conti-Air (R) HC line printing blankets than in the conventional manufacturing process for world standard printing blankets.

“As fantastic as these values are, they’re still not good enough for us, because we want to offer climate-neutral printing blankets,” explains Perkovi. “That is why we opted to acquire climate protection certificates as a means of neutralizing the remaining CO2 emissions.”

Keeping things eco- and climate-friendly is one of the main challenges facing the printing industry. Solutions are in the works in all areas of production, materials and processing to render printing more environmentally compatible and climate-friendly. As Perković emphasizes: “We combine the calendering process with the acquisition of climate protection certificates because we want to help our customers achieve this goal. This puts us well ahead of all other printing blanket manufacturers.”


To neutralise the remaining CO2 emissions, ContiTech acquired climate certificates from natureOffice, a climate protection agency. In so doing, ContiTech supports a reforestation project in Panama that benefits not only nature but also those living in an economically underdeveloped region. Planting trees creates a tropical forest that pulls carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and releases oxygen. At the same time it protects the groundwater, prevents soil erosion and offers a habitat for rare fauna and flora. Long-term jobs with social benefits are, moreover, also created for the people in the area and their lives improved, not least of all by making micro-loans available to them.


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