Permaset 2021: Sustainability and innovation

Boutique Australian ink manufacturer Colormaker Industries is set to ramp up its focus on Permaset product innovation and sustainability during the course of 2021, building on its reputation as a leader in sustainable manufacturing.

A little bit of Australian sunshine in every drop of Permaset inks In 2019, Colormaker Industries installed a 100kW solar array on the roof of its Brookvale factory. This produces twice as much electricity as the company uses to power its production processes – enough to power 20 local homes and save over 150 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year. At the time of filing, the array had already saved 190 tonnes of greenhouse gases.

Colormaker continues to explore ways to reduce energy consumption, recently commissioning an energy audit. It is now planning the installation of a raft of equipment that will not only reduce energy consumption outright, but will also monitor energy consumption in real time, allowing modification of practices on the shop floor. The company was recently asked to present at a Smart Energy Council webinar.

Local deliveries powered by solar

The installation of the solar array on its factory’s roof proved so successful that Colormaker subsequently purchased an electric vehicle (EV) to make local deliveries. It is now planning to purchase a second EV.

“We haven’t run through the numbers in detail yet, but it looks as though replacing petrol with solar-produced electricity is an even greater greenhouse gas abatement option than sending all surplus electricity back into the grid,” it reports.

Colormaker Industries’ solar array powers the manufacture of Permaset inks

Evolving to RPET recycled packaging Colormaker has also ordered its first batch of recycled PET (RPET) jars for its ink products. Though more expensive than virgin PET, the company believes it needs to play a role in providing an outlet for some of the tonnes of recyclable waste that is collected each year. The first Permaset inks in RPET jars are expected to be released to market in early 2021.

Carbon neutral by 2030 Given the collective success of these efforts, Colormaker is looking more actively at what it would need to do to be carbon neutral by 2030. It comments: “We expect that we’ll utilise technologies which haven’t yet been imagined, let alone made commercially available, but it’s something that we are passionate about.”

Product and manufacturing innovation The Permaset water-based ink range (Permaset Aqua, Permaset Supercover, Permatone and Permaprint Premium) is supported with dedicated R&D staff, and research projects are directed towards exploring continuous product improvement in relation to organic and product performance. Permaset eco-friendly ink prints were recently put to a compost challenge by Melbourne yardage designer Ink and Spindle, and passed with flying colours.

The company continues to push the envelope through the adoption of best practice recycling, reduction in water use, and sustainable manufacturing processes to deliver “the most environmentally responsible products available to the screen printing trade”. With a lot going on behind the scenes, the launch of specific initiatives will be announced over the course of 2021. Contact Permaset’s UK distributor, Steve Wood Services, or rest of Europe distributor, Atlantic Empire, for more information.