Good practices for the application
of BATs in the Graphic Industry
The Project
The BATsGRAPH project is financed by the European Commission in the LIFE+ Programme which is the financial instrument supporting environmental projects in the European Union. It´s coordinated by AIDO, Technological Institute of Optics, Colour and Imaging (Spain).

The European Printing Companies needs to reduce their environmental impacts, specially VOCs emission by means of the implementation of the BATs in SMEs company, which represent the 95% of the European printing companies.

They need to be guided in this implementation with an effective system which will be developed in this project.

The objective of project is to develop an eTool which makes possible to implement the Best Available Techniques (BATs) for reducing VOC´s (Volatile Organic Compounds) emission in the SMEs Printing Companies, derived from the STS (Surface Treatment Using Organic Solvents) BREF recommendation. So, this project will contribute to disseminate the environmental legislation and policy.

This Tool will reduce the environmental impact of the European Graphic Industry, while assuring the required level of quality in the final product. This tool, which will have a clear exploitation potential, has too an economic benefit like those derived from the reduction of costs in raw materials and production times.

The main objective of the project will be achieved by means of the following specific objectives;

• To facilitate the European graphic arts industries to fulfil the Directives 1999/13/CE and 96/61/CE (IPPC Directive) in competitive conditions.

• To spread the contents of BREF “Reference Document on Best Available Techniques on Surface Treatment Using Organic Solvents” document, developed by the European Integrated Prevention and Pollution Control Bureau, a European Comission Bureau, whit the collaboration of Intergraf.

• To compile the most advance knowledge about implementing BATs from the associated beneficiaries who has successful experiences in their countries, and to spread it in countries with less environmental and technical level (Spain, Eastern Europe).

• To extend the application of BATs included in BREF over the SMEs graphic companies.

• To motivate the European printers to integrate Best Available Technics (BATs) in the industrial graphic processes.

• To minimize the environmental impact of the printing industry.

• To provide the European graphic arts industries with a tool which allow them to reduce the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emissions deriving from using organic solvents.

• To improve the printing operators health.

Actions and means involved:

The actions developed in this project will be divided into five steps, included the management of the project.

0. Project Management and Monitoring

AIDO- Association of Optics, Colour and Imaging is the responsible partner of this action because of the achieved experience in international projects and its knowledge about the Graphic Arts Sector at a national level because all the work (R&D, transfer of knowledge, innovation projects) carried out with graphic industries, and at international level as member of IARIGAI (The International Association of Research Organizations for the Information, Media and Graphic Arts Industries)

1. Study of the European Graphic Arts Industry in relation with BATs

Analysis of the implantation of the BATs, included in the BREF “Surface Treatment Using Organic Solvents (STS)”, related to printing activities in each participant country, by means of a common questionnaire and technical audits over 150 printing companies in each country.
Result: Report of the BAT’s implantation for offset, gravure and flexography for each participant in its country (based on in a common questionnaire).

2. Compilation of the optimal methodologies for implementing BATs in European Graphic Industry. Best Practices

Definition of the optimal methodologies for implementing BATs, from the knowledge of the members of the consortium and the experiences developed in their own countries.

Result: Development of a Best Practices Guide for implementing BATs in european printing industry which includes the knowledge and experience of the different participant countries.

3. Develop of an On-line self-diagnosis Tool for implementing BATs in European graphic industry

Development of the contents and technical requirements of an eTool, which will guide European printers in the optimal implementation of the BATs, following the recommendations defined in the Best Practices Guide

Development of an On Line Environmental Platform for the European Graphic Sector, inside the website of the project, which will include information about environmental management in Printing Industry, specially focused on EC environmental legislation and improving the knowledge base for environmental policy

4. Dissemination and diffusion

The objective of these activities is to disseminate the project on a European scale in order to make this initiative known. The dissemination of the results will focus on the key target groups described and happen on different levels: European Graphic industries (mostly Small and Medium Enterprises), business interest organizations, national and European policy maker actors, as well as an environmental expertise centres.

Expected results:

Through the foreseen actions of BATsGRAPH:

• We estimate to reduce the VOCs emissions in the 10% of the Graphic Arts Industry in Europe, and according to the number of enterprises in this sector, we will involve about 10.600 companies.

• We estimate to facilitate the European graphic arts industries to fulfil the Directives 1999/13/CE and 96/61/CE (IPPC Directive) in competitive conditions

• This project will spread the contents of BREF “Reference Document on Best Available Techniques on Surface Treatment Using Organic Solvents” document, developed by the European Integrated Prevention and Pollution Control Bureau, a European Comission Bureau, whit the collaboration of Intergraf.

• We estimate to create a better environmental conscience in European Printing Industry, especially in SMEs printing, which represent the 95% of the whole European Printing Industry. Having in mind the dissemination capabilities of the consortium members, BATsGRAPH will improve the environmental management of 10.600 European companies.
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