Meet the Sustainability Leader: Sustainability Innovation: Standards, Systems & Software – HH Global

With entries for edie's revamped 2019 Sustainability Leaders Awards closing TODAY, this new feature series will showcase the achievements of the 2018 winners, revealing their secrets to success. Up next: our 2018 Sustainability Innovation: Standards, Systems & Software winner - HH Global.

Marketing is often an area overlooked by companies when it comes to demonstrating leadership on sustainability, compared to other activities like procurement or manufacturing. HH Global is aiming to change that with its Quality Printer Programme (QPP) which reduces the environmental impacts of commercial printing.

HH Global supplies some of the world’s largest brands with outsourced marketing execution services. Prior to introducing QPP in 2014, the company recognised that there was hardly any quality or colour standardisation in the commercial print industry. This lack of consistency often resulted in a lot of waste – not just paper, but also water, ink, and alcohol from inefficient processes and reprints.

QPP works by providing a set of standards and technology to commercial printers in HH Global’s supply chain. It uses cloud software, and manages colour and print consistency to ISO standards, universalizing colour and substrates, and ensuring a high-quality output across each print. The result is that products are printed right the first time – this eliminates the need for reprints, which in turn delivers savings on every single job by reducing energy consumption, paper waste, and any associated raw materials.

According to HH Global, in just a few weeks, QPP can improve the overall quality and efficiency of printers participating in the programme. Typical savings can be made of between 3-5% on each print job, with paper savings of around 7%. Given the scale of printing carried out by many of the company’s clients, these savings can be significant.

For example, a global bank saved 140 tonnes of paper last year by using QPP – this amounted to some 25 million sheets of paper, which would have required pulp from nearly 4,000 trees. In addition, energy savings of around 5,000,000,000 BTU (British Thermal Units) from the production of this paper were made, together with over 16,000,000 litres of water and more than 113 tonnes of carbon.

The use of cloud technology allows HH Global to assess the scale of these savings very quickly, and also to monitor the benefit of these savings. Clients receive regular reports on the savings made through QPP, which HH Global says are aligned to various Sustainable Development Goals including responsible consumption/production, clean water and sanitation, and climate action.

Using cloud technology also makes it easy for any commercial printer to adopt QPP. Onboarding of new printers takes just 1.5 hours, with no interruption to existing operations, and no requirement for specialist hardware. Each printer simply downloads the QPP software and then uses this to calibrate print to the correct standards.

The software installed monitors the performance of each printer, and creates scorecards to show the quality and extent of any environmental and financial savings made. To encourage adoption of the service, HH Global has established a supplier recognition process to reward those printers that maximise savings and quality through QPP.

On a wider level, by ensuring that its suppliers adopt QPP, HH Global is able to improve the overall sustainability of its supply chain whilst providing clients with a quality service. Colour management and waste reduction may be a relatively new concept within the commercial print market, but HH Global says awareness of these issues is growing due to the tangible financial, environmental, quality and time benefits an initiative like QPP can bring – typically 5% savings across all these metrics compared to the market average.

Importantly, the QPP programme has been designed for use by any commercial printer operating in any region of the world. Taking such a global approach enables HH Global to provide clients with consistent, high-quality print, with maximum efficiency and minimum impact on the environment, irrespective of printer or geography. Printers that meet these high standards for colour consistency and quality control also receive QPP certification.

What the judges said: “HH Global’s Quality Printer Programme is everything you would want to see in a sustainability product innovation: it is a simple, sustainable solution that addresses a specific issue and greatly reduces environmental impacts – with impressive results.”

edie’s 2019 Sustainability Leaders Award

Now in their 12th year, the RSA-accredited Sustainability Leaders Awards have undergone a major revamp, with a host of new categories and judges, a new Awards venue, and a new Mission Possible theme – making 6 February 2019 the biggest night of the sustainable business calendar.

The entry deadline for the 2019 Sustainability Leaders Awards is Friday, 14 September 2018. The Awards will then take place on the night of 6 February 2019 at the Park Plaza London, Westminster. 


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