Layout 1 - Flint Group



Layout 1 - Flint Group
Sustainability Report 2015
Jakub Tomaszewski
Laboratory Technician
Global Colour Centre - Poland
Flint Group is dedicated to serving the global printing and packaging industry. The company develops, manufactures and markets
an extensive portfolio of printing consumables, including a vast range of conventional and energy curable inks and coatings for most
offset, flexographic and gravure applications; pressroom chemicals, printing blankets and sleeves for offset printing; photopolymer
printing plates and sleeves, plate-making equipment and flexographic sleeve systems; pigments and additives for use in inks and
other colourant applications. With a strong customer focus, unmatched service and support, and superior products, Flint Group
strives to provide exceptional value, consistent quality and continuous innovation to customers around the world. Headquartered in
Luxembourg, Flint Group employs some 6,800 people. Revenues for 2014 were €2.1 billion (US $2.8 billion). On a worldwide basis,
the company is the number one or number two supplier in every major market segment we serve. For more information, please visit
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Introduction – Antoine Fady, CEO Flint Group
Flint Group and Sustainability
Flint Group Key Facts
Identifying and managing risk
Integrity and compliance
Ensuring we do business right
Efficient energy use
Classification and labelling
Packaging and Narrow Web
Flexographic Products
Print Media
Building our organisation
Health and safety
Social sustainability
Understanding the supply chain
Measuring sustainability
Flint Group S.A., 26b Boulevard Royal,
L-2449 Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Flint Group is privately owned by Goldman Sachs
Merchant Banking Division in partnership with
Koch Equity Development LLC, a subsiduary of
Koch Industries Inc.
Key Personnel:
• Pierre-Marie De Leener, Chairman
• Antoine Fady, CEO
• Steve Dryden, CFO
Flint Group in numbers...
Raw Material Suppliers
Flint Group Employees
Raw Materials
on all
unique customer formulations
direct customers and many more through
our extensive distributor network
The content, materials and information contained within this report are solely owned
by or licensed by Flint Group and its business units. All rights reserved. All copyright
and other (intellectual property) rights in all text, images and other information
contained within this report are the property of Flint Group. Permission should be
sought from Flint Group before any part of this report is reproduced, stored or
transmitted by any means.
While Flint Group uses all reasonable efforts to include accurate, complete and upto-date information, the report, including without limitation the content, materials,
information within, is provided to the user “as is” and without warranties or
representations of any kind, either express or implied. Flint Group is not responsible
for and disclaims any liability for any damages, including without limitation, direct,
indirect, incidental, consequential and special damages, alleged to have been caused
by or in connection with the access and/or use of this report. Flint Group may modify,
alter or amend portions of this report at any time at its sole discretion, without notice,
and assumes no responsibility to update.
cover image: ©Vera Kuttelvaserova
Revenue 2014
US$ 2.8 billion
million kg
of ink products (1,340 million lb)
4.2 million m2
of plates and blankets
(45 million square feet)
Antoine Fady, CEO Flint Group
The passion and commitment of our people remains a key driving force to our success...
Sustainability shapes the way we conduct our business and interact
with all our stakeholders – customers, colleagues, shareholders,
suppliers and the communities where we operate.
Our vision, strategic objectives and core values underpinned by our Mission
and Guiding Principles are closely integrated in all of our policies,
procedures, decision-making processes and operations while our “can-do”
attitude and continuous improvement methods continue to make us the
company we are today.
served to support our own organisational objectives but also those of our
customers and suppliers.
As companies along the packaging and graphic arts supply chains increasingly
embed sustainable philosophies and practices into their businesses, they can
rely on Flint Group to be a strong link in that sustainability chain.
We believe that applying this commitment and approach to sustainability is
simply smart business practice – a fundamental driver to long-term
shareholder value and the delivery of a vibrant, successful business.
The passion and commitment of our people remains a key driving force to
our success. With the goal of helping employees maximise their talents and
learn new skills, we invested heavily in training during 2014. We improved
our face-to-face and e-learning platforms, and expanded a global training
programme designed to help employees gain increased leadership capability.
Safety, Health & Environment
Change of Ownership
At Flint Group we believe that nothing we do is worth getting hurt for and we
have continued to focus on ways in which we can make Flint Group
increasingly safer for everyone. In 2014, we began a comprehensive global
audit of all Flint Group facilities for compliance with a multitude of SHE
regulations, laws and standards. In addition, we’ve implemented an enhanced
SHE Management System in compliance with OHSAS 18001 (a global safety
& health standard) and ISO 14001 (a global environmental standard). The
lessons learned from the audit and the strength of the new SHE Management
System reinforce the foundation on which Flint Group continues to improve
the environment that our employees and communities operate in each day.
2014 also heralded some exciting developments from a business perspective
with the transfer of ownership of our business to Goldman Sachs and Koch
Equity Developments – leaving Flint Group better positioned financially to
reach our sustainable business goals.
Flint Group’s safety record remains at a world class level, though the TIR (Total
Incidence Rate) rose slightly in 2014 – a marker that has only served to
reinforce our commitment to safety. The trend has also underlined the
importance of remaining vigilant with regard to our safety efforts and we
remain confident that the commitment, creativity and skills we possess will
bring us closer to our long-term goal of becoming a zero incident organisation.
Ever Higher Standards
I invite you to take a closer look at Flint Group’s sustainability successes and
challenges within this document, and look forward to reporting on continued
progress over the coming years…
Flint Group has also continued to attain ever higher standards of integrity as
we introduced a strengthened Code of Conduct in 2014. The updated Code
provides increased guidance about complex issues, helping to increase clarity
and ensure that all employees and companies connected to Flint Group
understand the standards we set for ourselves and for those who represent
us. Strict adherence to the provisions of the Code are an absolute precondition for all of our business relationships, from suppliers to employees to
dealers and agents worldwide. This closer alignment to the Code has not only
While we recognise that are progressing on our sustainability journey, our
owners’ clear support of our strategic vision and our teams will ensure that
Flint Group’s fundamental dedication to safety, integrity and compliance can
continue to form the foundation of all of our business activities in the years
to come.
Flint Group employees possess a determination and “can-do” attitude that
push us to reach ever higher standards and goals each year. Guided by our
ongoing continuous improvement processes, our path towards sustainable
growth and sustainability improvement has enabled Flint Group to continually
deliver increased levels of performance in 2014 and beyond.
Antoine Fady
CEO Flint Group
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Welcome to our 2015 sustainability report, which covers the progress Flint Group has made on our
sustainability journey in 2014. Building on our long-standing commitment to lowering our social
and environmental impacts, I’m proud of the progress that we continue to make year on year. As
we share our third external report, I’d like to emphasise the importance we place on continuous
improvement across processes, measurements and design, as well as tools and systems.–
Being responsible for sustainability within the Executive Management
Team, I read many sustainability reports produced by companies in diverse
industries. While it is good to gain an insight into their progress, there is
a tendency for some reports to focus on carefully selected positive stories.
This makes it hard to understand the real, “hard” results delivered.
In our 2013 sustainability report, I stated: “unless you measure things
consistently, it is difficult to document improvement”. This commitment
led to a significant upgrade of our sustainability tracking system in 2014.
We are now digging deeper into social and environmental issues
throughout our supply chain. This increased visibility will help us to forge
a more in-depth understanding of risks and opportunities, as we seek to
strengthen our sustainability programme and targets in the years to come.
Who is responsible for sustainability at Flint Group? The answer is our
6,800 employees. Since we believe that sustainability should not be
confined to a separate department, there is no one person in Flint Group
who is solely responsible for the sustainability agenda, or even this report.
We believe real sustainability is built from the bottom up, executed in
people’s daily work and reported by those with both a business and
sustainability focus.
Therefore, the report you read today is created by a small, international
group of people working in multiple functions, from engineering and health
and safety to HR, finance, communications, regulatory and procurement.
Together, they prioritise the inclusion of multicultural elements of the
sustainability agenda. Contributions to the report have been shared by
people who are really making things happen, as part of their day-to-day
You will see within the report, just some of the many examples where Flint
Group’s teams and people have really made a difference to the world
around us. From emergency help in the midst of crisis to long-term
projects where the skills and expertise of our employees continue to make
telling contributions to the communities where we live and work.
Additionally, you’ll see that we have raised the bar for our industry by
upgrading our compliance process and policies, and further improved our
systems and tools, as well as the way we work with our suppliers.
Again, as I mentioned last year, we have a great “can do” mentality, based
on sound thinking and a strong underlying approach. At Flint Group, we
say what we do and we do what we say, and it is with this firmly engrained
philosophy that I look forward to making further progress on our
sustainability journey in 2015 and beyond.
Jan Paul van der Velde
Senior Vice President – Procurement, Sustainability, IT and Regulatory
Flint Group and Sustainability
“We have a great ‘can do’ mentality, based on sound thinking and a strong underlying approach.
At Flint Group, we say what we do and we do what we say.”
Flint Group’s Sustainability Statement:
Flint Group’s Sustainability Model combines three elements:
This strategy enables Flint Group to deliver
integrated solutions in the three key dimensions
of corporate sustainability*:
Flint Group operates within the spirit of the UN Global
Compact for sustainability. Every day our people and teams
are committed to providing increased health, safety and
wellbeing whilst a continuous improvement programme
is in place to reduce our current environmental impact
now and for future generations. An uncompromising
integrity policy and strong ethical values set by our
own Guiding principles ensure that you can truly
Rely on us for sustainable development…
Flint Group’s approach to continuously improve sustainability is
underpinned by our own Mission and Guiding Principles
– a fundamental set of simple, clear values.
Code of
Flint Group’s Sustainability Model:
Op oce
tim ss
1. Flint Group’s Mission and Guiding Principles – our
way to ensure that we deliver on our commitments
2. The UN Global Compact
3. The reporting outline as defined by the Dow
Jones Sustainability Index
guides corporate
governance, code of
conduct, risk and compliance.
steers our goal to continually
reduce impact on the
environment and regulates
the reporting of progress.
Red e
* - As outlined within the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
drives corporate citizenship, labour
practices, people development, social
reporting, talent attraction and retention.
This fundamental set of simple clear values allows us to
align our activities internally within the spirit of the UN
Global Compact while our external reporting methods
detail the delivery of integrated long-term economic, social
and environmental solutions:
Pro le
Leadership /
rgy n
Ene uctio
Flint Group’s Mission and Guiding Principles
The long-established Mission and Guiding Principles
cover, in five key areas, the way of working in Flint Group:
Anti Corruption
2. UN Global Compact
Anti-Corruption, Labour,
Human Rights, Environmental
3. Dow Jones Sustainability
Index (DJSI)
Economic, Social, Environment
Human Rights
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10. Managing Risk – Working closely with risk experts to oversee
and guide our own risk management activities
11. Integrity and Compliance – Providing complete clarity on Flint
Group’s behaviour and expectations
12. Code of Conduct – Flint Group’s Code of Conduct continues to
drive ethical business behaviour
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Building a clear picture
of our risk profile...
As a responsible private company, Flint Group takes a structured
approach to managing risk. Through our group-wide risk and
compliance management process, we regularly review risks across the
business in a systematic way, building a clear picture of our risk profile.
We consider multiple risk types, including operational, financial and
environmental issues, as well as compliance, product liability or
commercial issues, and risks related to employees. In every case, we seek
to understand if and how the risk affects the whole group.
Our Executive Management Team works closely with risk experts through
a dedicated committee to oversee and guide our risk management
activities. In 2014, we divided this group into two separate committees.
One will focus on risk and the other on integrity and compliance, which
will allow us to gain a more in-depth understanding of compliance issues.
Our committees meet twice a year to review current risks and mitigation
plans, and evaluate progress. We rank the severity of each risk according
to probability of occurrence and projected impact, in order to identify where
it sits within the Flint Group risk profile. During this process, we may add
new risks or remove existing risks, as appropriate. We share our findings
in the form of a “heat map” with the Board on an annual basis, along with
a detailed risk register.
We have identified 32 risks with a critical score, of which 9 have been
allocated the most severe ranking. Our risk management committee is
developing comprehensive action plans to eliminate all critical risks and
will monitor progress closely.
Risk management will remain a key strategic priority as we continue our
journey to become a sustainable business.
Steve Dryden
CFO Flint Group
Long-term success of any company’s sustainability efforts will hinge on the very culture of
the business. Flint Group has always prided itself on running a fair and ethical company.
Still, we feel strongly that a formalised Integrity & Compliance
programme benefits any company, especially one like ours that
will continue to grow and thrive well into the future. For that
reason, we launched our Integrity Assurance Policy in 2011 and
have been reinforcing, expanding upon and improving it ever
As 2014 unfolded, our Integrity & Compliance group launched a
global Integrity Assurance Hotline. Previous reporting guidelines
encouraged employees to come forward without fear of dismissal or
retaliation, but compliance industry surveys suggest that such
systems do not fully allay employees’ fear of reporting concerns. Our
new Hotline allows individuals to raise concerns–anonymously or not,
as they choose–about possible malpractice within our company.
(Note: exceptions exist in a small minority of countries that legally
do not allow the practice of anonymous reporting.)
In addition, the Hotline is more localised than our prior reporting
process. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via phone or web,
employees can report concerns in any of 25 languages. At the same
time. The Hotline provides a reporting and tracking infrastructure that
helps Flint Group handle concerns properly and efficiently. Each
report is followed by a complete investigation and resolution. Since
the launch, we’ve been encouraged to see employees making use
of this tool, and also heartened to see that reports within Flint Group
are, according to the Integrity & Compliance third-party firm that
guides us, far lower than the average of global companies our size.
In 2014, we also updated our Code of Conduct. Though our basic
values and expectations remained consistent, we reviewed and
revised the Code to keep the contents topical and relevant. In
addition, we dedicated more time and resources than ever to internal
and external education about the Code of Conduct. In a word, we
put all of our muscle into this important policy. The goal: ensure that
employees, partners, suppliers, distributors, agents and anyone who
works for, with or on behalf of Flint Group have complete clarity about
expectations and acceptable behaviour.
Following the Hotline and Code of Conduct launches, we started a
detailed review of our corporate governance policies related to AntiBribery and Corruption, Gifts and Entertainment, International Trade
Controls and Sanctions, Anti-Trust, and SHE & Operations Policy
To be sure, 2014 was a productive year in the area of Integrity &
Compliance, and the momentum has continued unabated into
2015, as we began to roll out comprehensive training about these
new policies to all our employees, agents and distributors worldwide.
As our Integrity & Compliance programme continues to evolve and
grow, one thing remains timeless: Flint Group is committed to ethical
business practices and personal integrity as expressed in our five
Guiding Principles:
- Our customers are the focus of all that we do;
- Everyone contributes to our success;
- Integrity will never be compromised;
- Continuous improvement drives performance and supports our
aspirations to achieve excellence;
- Leadership and teamwork are prerequisites for achieving
our goals.
Russell Taylor
Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Communication &
Integrity & Compliance
Integrity and compliance
Flint Group - Costa Rica
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Key elements of the Code of Conduct are:
Ensuring we
do business right...
Doing business in the right way has been a key priority for Flint Group
since our inception in 2005. In particular, we drew on our strength as
an entity forged from leading companies in the industry to establish a
strong Code of Conduct at an early stage.
In 2014, we updated our Code of Conduct to clarify and strengthen our
policies in respect of bribery and corruption as well as trade-sanctioned
countries. The core principles of compliance, safety and environment,
confidentiality and how we do business remain the same. The Code is
published both internally on our company intranet as well as externally on
our website.
Importantly, all new employees are asked to familiarise themselves with
the Code through their induction. Further, we require a significant
proportion of our employees to certify annually – through our Employee
Representation Certificate (ERC) – that they are not aware of any violations
of the Code during the reporting period. We investigate any instances of
non-compliance through a structured, transparent process, with penalties
levied as appropriate, including termination of employment.
Flint Group aims to ensure that people across the business respect our
commitment to ERC reporting. This applies to all general and senior
management, all sales and procurement teams, finance, human resources
and all senior people who deal with customers, suppliers, other third
parties or government officials.
We consistently increase the proportion of employees who take part in the
ERC process each year. Including employees in the Safety, Health and
Environment (SHE) and Quality departments led to a significant year-onyear increase in participating employees in 2014. In addition, we updated
the 2014 ERC form in line with the new Code of Conduct.
• Compliance with the law and supporting the spirit of the UN
Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Global Compact and
application of good ethical business behaviour
• Strong emphasis on Safety and the Environment as well as on
Working Conditions, including
• condemnation of forced labour
• abiding by the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child
• avoidance of any discrimination
• Confidential treatment of information
• As part of our high ethical standards, we have in place
processes that help avoid
• conflict of interests (encompasses Flint Group’s gift policy)
• commercial bribery
• inappropriate relations with government representatives
• fraud and criminal activity
• infringements of anti-trust and competition laws
• political involvement
• support all official investigations as required by the
applicable laws
2,506 out of 6,828 total Flint Group employees
1,962 out of 6,624 total Flint Group employees
2,041 out of 6,798 total Flint Group employees
1,919 out of 6,975 total Flint Group employees
1,541 out of 7,308 total Flint Group employees
1,563 out of 7,281 total Flint Group employees
- 37%
- 30%
- 30%
- 28%
- 21%
- 21%
• Appropriate records and book-keeping
• Compliant use of company assets as well as emails and internet
• Full back-up of all terms of the Code of Conduct by strict
reporting regulations, underpinned by Flint Group’s Integrity
Assurance Policy.
In 2014, some 38 issues were raised of which 5 were designated as “high
risk” issues, with 20 medium risk issues and 13 low risk issues. We have
addressed every issue and, where required, implemented corrective
actions to reach an effective solution.
Steve Dryden
Chief Financial Officer
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16. Reduce, reuse, recycle – Optimising processes and programmes
to conserve energy and water
23. Classification and labelling – How legislation impacts on sustainability
24. Packaging and Narrow Web division – Providing the colour that
identifies our life
28. Flexographic Products division – Improving productivity,
reducing waste
31. Print Media division – Exploring formidable ideas and efforts
that continually reach new heights in safety and sustainability
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Dave Simpson
Wet Batch Maker - Chemical Production Facility
Manchester, UK
Reducing, reusing
and recycling...
Flint Group is committed to the effective and efficient use of energy and water
throughout our operations and constantly evaluates ways we can actively conserve
energy and water throughout the life cycle of our products.
Using environmentally responsible practices, Flint Group promotes
energy efficiency by evaluating new technology, optimising current
processes and implementing programmes that focus on improvements
in reducing our operational use of fossil fuels and electricity.
Flint Group has a deep history of implementing many projects and process
improvements that have resulted in direct reduction of carbon dioxide
equivalent emissions. Some of our energy saving initiatives and projects
that have conserved valuable resources including:
Energy monitoring control systems work to manage consumption as well
as peaks in demand, reducing overall electricity consumption.
Operational Excellence (OpEx) is a Flint-Group-created notes database
used by Facility Managers and Engineers to track all process
improvements, CAPEX and savings projects. For 2014, 403 projects were
active throughout all global sites. Of those 403, 45 were utility related.
Here below are a few of those projects.
Process Automation
Heating and Cooling Improvements...
Upgrading heating and cooling systems can have long-term multidimensional benefits, from cost savings to temperature management,
efficient air flow and improved air quality. One site in particular was
able to negotiate a lease renewal: included within the new lease was
a provision whereby the landlord upgraded the HVAC system. Five
roof top units totalling 105 tons of heating and cooling capacity were
replaced. The old system was in constant failure to the point of not
keeping the facility at temperature. Today, we have a consistent
occupied temperature of 70–72°f (22°C) throughout the building as
well as a higher efficiency system.
Yet another facility had experienced situations of heating loss during
autumn, winter and spring. Sometimes windows were left open and
sometimes the radiators were still on a high temperature, which
meant thermostats always called for heat. At minimal cost, Flint
Group staff installed window contacts in offices, common areas and
shower rooms. When the window is open, the circuit is open which
means radiators do not heat. We also installed central room
regulators for programming temperatures during occupied and
unoccupied times. This means when employees leave home in the
evening the system reduces heat demand but the next morning it
starts warming prior to the employees, return to work. These changes
have given us better control and have reduced energy demand.
Previously, an operator set a water flow rate manually to maintain
temperature in a vacuum jet system. By installing an automatic flow control
valve, synchromising programming and scheduling routine heat exchanger
cleaning, the water usage was reduced and savings were achieved through
better control.
Facility improvements across all sites have produced sustainable results.
Here are just a few of those past improvements:
- Upgraded lighting and ballasts
- Upgraded equipment to higher efficiency units which consume less power
- Motion sensing lighting systems
- Boiler upgrades
- Installed economisers that preheat water for steam generation
- Eliminated condensed air and steam leaks
- Production processing optimisation, reducing per-unit energy consumption
- Installed transient voltage surge suppressors to stabilise voltage.
Optimise Compressed Air System
A project was executed through an energy-saving initiative by the local
power company. Flint Group was offered, as a “pilot”, to receive a facility
audit of their compressed air system. The audit identified 58 air leaks
totaling 162 cfm. The leaks were repaired by installing a solenoid that only
activates when an open blow is needed. In addition, six open style steam
condensate drains with level-activated type drains that require no air to
remove the liquid from the system were also installed. The audit and all
repairs were fully reimbursable due to this programme being a pilot. The
local power company took benefit from power demand reduction on money
that they are required to give back to customers. Flint Group benefited by
having the leaks repaired at no cost.
Solvent Recovery System Condenser
A condenser previously in service on a solvent recovery system was
undersized for the system. This condenser limitation resulted in increased
energy usage. Steam-out cycles for the system were shorter (more
frequent) than the design basis because not all of the toluene removed
during steam-out cycles can be condensed with the existing condenser.
Uncondensed toluene was recycled back into the inlet of the carbon
absorbers - decreasing system capacity and increasing the required steamout frequency.
This project proposed to install a condenser that would condense
essentially all of the toluene vapours generated during steam-out cycles.
With minimal toluene being recycled through the system the required
frequency of steam-out cycles would be reduced resulting in reduced
steam (natural gas generated) consumption.
Efficient operation of this solvent recovery system is required to meet the
air permit limits. This system must operate continually to support both the
Blankets and Sleeves production units.
Electricity Usage
Contractor awareness – China
Flint Group’s Pudong Pigments plant in Shanghai, China, organised
a contractor safety programme in July 2014 to further raise safety
standards and staff awareness at the plant. All active contractors at
the facility were asked to attend the initiative run by local government,
with the training programme conducted by a senior facilitator from
the Shanghai Pudong Production Safety Training Center.
Electricity Usage in GJ
As part of the programme, participants at the event were also required
to undertake written tests to achieve the necessary work safety
certifications issued by local government and required to work at the
pigment production facility.
Emissions from Electricity
Electricity CO (Tonnes)
Group’s global GHG programme. The programme began with sites in Europe
and North America and we continue to expand across all sites worldwide.
Greenhouse Gases
Although sustainability is a comprehensive term that includes all functions
and aspects of a business, the monitoring and reduction of Greenhouse
Gases (GHGs) is a key tenet of any company’s sustainability programme.
GHGs are important to a sustainability programme for two key reasons. First,
GHGs are a key factor in the development of ozone in the lower atmosphere
and the development of smog. And second, GHGs are the result of the use
and depletion of resources.
Electrical and natural gas consumption data is gathered for each location
and a baseline of use is established. The baseline for individual sites as well
as the company as a whole is used as our standard to determine year over
year improvements and the quantifiable results of improvement projects.
Flint Group’s GHG and water usage monitoring and documentation is a
centralised system, which is accessible to local management to track local
activities and available in a consolidated format to track company-wide
progress. Flint Group’s intention is to reduce its consumption of fossil fuels
and energy through best practices and continuous improvement. Although
lowering our carbon footprint is the primary objective, it is recognised that
variation from year to year can also occur due to business and facility
rationalisation, and process changes due to customer demand.
Flint Group has a global programme of GHG monitoring. A baseline has
been developed by location for emission of GHG and water usage. Within
Flint Group the vast majority of GHG comes from electrical and natural gas
consumption. All sites are encouraged to reduce emissions from all sources
of GHG, but electrical and natural gas are the sources that make up Flint
Emissions from air travel
Flint Group reports on air travel data using the distance-based
method, which involves determining the total distance travelled for
each flight for the calendar years 2012–2014. Data was gathered
on travellers based in Europe and North America. For calculating
CO2 emissions, the EPA has published emission factors for each
travel segment:
Flight Segment
Short Haul Flights
0–300 Miles
Medium Haul Flights
300–2300 Miles
Long Haul Flights
2300+ Miles
Natural Gas Usage (in GJ)
Of the three segments, short hauls have the highest emission factors
due to the landing and take off cycles on emissions. Long hauls come
in a close second simply due to the weight from extra fuel. This graph
shows the carbon emissions (in kg) for each of the three haul
segments by year (CO2e/mile/year).
Natural Gas Usage in GJ
While Flint Group remains committed to seeking opportunities to
reduce the impact our global business has on the environment, long
haul air travel has significantly increased over the last few years and
we expect this to continue. Our customer base is becoming
increasingly global and requires our products to be implemented
around the world in order to meet the exacting standards, which may
not be available on a local basis. To ensure implementation of these
products, our experts and our sales teams will need to support this
Emissions from Natural Gas
- 2014
- 2013
- 2012
Natural Gas Emissions in Tonnes
Long Haul
Medium Haul
Short Haul
Golden Energy Saving Ideas in China
Lu Qi
“The Golden Idea” is an employee suggestion
programme run within Flint Group China to reward
innovative and creative ideas that bring measurable
benefit to the organisation. One of the primary aims
of the initiative is to specifically look to reward
constructive ideas involving waste reduction,
improved safety or enhanced operational processes
as part of the company’s wider sustainability drive.
Flint Group measures CO2 emissions by tracking internally consumed
fossil fuel and purchased electricity (Scope 1 and Scope 2) at
approximately 93% of Flint Group operations in Europe and North
America. Our largest facilities in Latin America and Asia are also included
in the Carbon Dioxide Emission table below.
Scope 1 and 2 energy generation accounts for almost all the carbon
dioxide released as a result of Flint Group activities. Scope 1 emissions
are created by the combustion of fossil fuels at Flint Group operations
(Gasoline, Diesel, Propane & Natural Gas usage). Scope 2 emissions are
from brought in energy such as electricity. Through internal auditing and
additional reporting, information for 2012, 2013 has also been updated.
Carbon Dioxide Emissions
In thousand metric tons
2014 was no exception to this with eight employees
and teams receiving the Golden Idea award. Several
of these focused on energy-saving initiatives
Shen Guangqing including Mr Lu Qi in AZO who suggested installing
LED lamps in workshops, and an idea from Mr Shen
Guangqing in EMU to install air heating blowers to
recycle heat energy and reduce the consumption of diesel oil within
the facility. Both suggestions continue to contribute significant energy
savings to the organisation.
Scope 1 Emissions
Scope 2 Emissions
Water Conservation
“The Golden Idea is a wonderful example of Flint Group living to its
Guiding Principles,” said Jennie Zhu, Human Resources Director,
China. She continued, “The employees know our processes better
than anyone and we value their creativity and ideas. Our people
continually prove that we have much to learn from listening to ideas,
ideas which ultimately deliver value to our customers.”
It is important to understand how we use and manage water throughout
our facilities. Managing water usage effectively reduces the impact and
demand on several environmentally affected systems such as the impact
on fossil fuels used for the heating and treating of water, or reducing the
overall impact on the ecosystem and wildlife habitat.
Every employee has the capability of conserving water, from shutting off
a running tap, issuing a work order to fix a leaking system or simply
reducing individual impact on overall water usage. Every unused drop of
water, when collected as a total water saving, can have a tremendous
impact on Flint Group’s total water usage. For 2014 significant effort
was made to increase the accuracy for reporting water usage. As a result
of this increased accuracy and increased number of sites reporting water
usage. As a result the water consumption between 2013 and 2014 did
increase by 166,036 cubic metres.
Water Usage
Water Usage in m3
Solid waste to landfill
Waste Management
Operational efficiencies and therefore waste management have been high
on the priority list for our Operations team for a long time. The key
challenges to waste are linked to the product portfolio complexity and the
high frequency of production changeovers, combined with relatively small
batch sizes. We are in the process of aligning the metrics around waste
because it is clear that any waste, be it time / effort or materials, should
be avoided, both from a financial and sustainability point of view.
The term “waste diversion” refers to the amount of waste in any way
diverted from landfill sites. This is through reducing, recycling and reusing
where possible. The percentage of overall waste that has been diverted
from going to landfill in 2014 is 15%. In comparison only 5% of waste
was diverted in 2013. The table identifies by region, total landfill waste
for 2014 and percentage of waste diverted by region vs. regional waste
and vs. global waste.
Waste Diverted by Region
Landfill / Dry Waste
% of Total
Global Dry Waste
% of Waste
Diversion from region
% of Waste
Diversion from Global Waste
Asia Pacific
Latin America
North America
Landfill Waste (M-tonnes)
Waste Diversion
Hazardous Waste
not reported not reported
not reported not reported
Francisco Reyes García
Production Operative
Transfer Media - Mexico
F L I N T G R O U P S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T 2 0 1 5
How legislation impacts
The volume of chemical, packaging and labelling regulations continues to expand. This applies
to the European Union (EU) and beyond. Countries including the US, China, Korea, Turkey
and Brazil also take an active stance on areas such as export control, customs and chemical
control laws.
Flint Group Regulatory Charter at a Glance
on sustainability...
New and updated legislation on chemical control, in particular, stands
to affect Flint Group’s sustainability performance. Flint Group’s
Regulatory department reviewed 1,106 laws in 2014 (up from 609 in
2013) and considered their potential impacts on our business, our
sustainability and our commitment to integrity and compliance.
Our approach to staying alert to and acting on evolving legislation is clearly
demonstrated by our efforts to comply with Regulation, Evaluation and
Approval of Chemical substances (REACH), Global Harmonised System
(GHS) and Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) regulations.
Regulatory impact of REACH, GHS and CLP regulations
REACH was adopted by the European parliament in 2006 and is the most
significant EU legislation on protecting human health and the environment
from the negative impacts of chemical substances. It has since become
a major focus within Flint Group’s sustainability programme.
While REACH is a European regulation, it has global implications in terms
of sourcing raw materials and selling finished goods. We have therefore
created a more focused global regulatory organisation.
In the wake of REACH, CLP rules for chemical products have changed
considerably. CLP legislation will now follow a global approach (the GHS)
for labels and safety data sheets. The details of CLP and GHS legislation
may differ from country to country.
Our Regulatory team has taken the following actions to comply with
2010: 11 substances registered, registration updates for 4 substances,
lead registrant for 3 substances.
In our role as a downstream user, we collaborate with Procurement to
ensure that our suppliers follow REACH registration obligations. In this way,
we are securing a reliable, ongoing supply of products for our customers.
Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC)
SVHCs are the most publically scrutinised substances. Once they appear
on the relevant candidate list, they will be banned. To date, Flint Group
has replaced all possible SVHC substances before the legislation comes
in force. By the end of 2014, the relevant candidate list featured 161
substances and is set to increase. Some 31 substances are already on
the authorisation list, better known as REACH annex XIV.
No products supplied by Flint Group in Europe contain any SVHCs in
concentrations above 0.1% (as per the relevant legislation).
We take action to address any new substances added to the candidate
list by the European Chemistry Agency.
Classification, labelling and packaging
things we do
way we act
trust we gain
reputation we build
Flint Group’s business ethics and the consequences for all Flint
Group personnel are well described in our general Code of Conduct.
The Regulatory Charter is fully in line with the general Code of
Conduct but focuses on the various high risks in the regulatory area
(financial and reputation) and how Flint Group manages them.
The Regulatory Charter is valid GLOBALLY and aligns all activities of
Flint Group regarding the risks arising out of:
- Export Control
- Customs
- SHE data (Safety, Health and Environment)
- Chemical control laws and regulations (e.g. REACH).
All four areas impact high risks for Flint Group, i.e. up to several
million US$ / € financial fines for the company (or its legal entities)
AND individuals, plus / or imprisonment of up to 20 years. The major
task of the Regulatory global team is to avoid any negative impacts
from the areas mentioned above and to protect Flint Group and its
employees against imprisonment and fines.
Due to the high complexity of Regulatory, its Charter clarifies the
areas of responsibility, i.e. which legislations, inventories, etc. are
covered by Regulatory and which are not.
Regulatory’s direct reporting line is to the Executive Management
Team (EMT). To protect Flint Group in a proper manner, the
Regulatory team, represented by the Director Global Regulatory,
must report any case of severe regulatory misbehaviour to the EMT.
We have launched a project to help ensure we comply fully with upcoming
CHP requirements for mixtures, working closely with associations (national
and European) and IT suppliers.
Together with our business divisions and IT, we have also initiated a project
to introduce new solutions for harmonised labels and safety data sheets,
as required by law. Through this project, we will validate the updated
product safety data of approximately 93,000 formulations.
Registration of substances
Towards 2018: registration activities underway. We expect to make 89
registrations for 60 substances.
2013: 13 registrations completed, lead registrant for 1 substance.
Andreas Tüschen
Director Global Regulatory
F L I N T G R O U P S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T 2 0 1 5
Flint Group Packaging and Narrow Web offers several
options of ecological and socially responsible inks for all
the segments it serves.
Providing the colour
that identifies our life
Flint Group Packaging & Narrow Web develops inks, coatings and specialty products that
combine to create the eye-catching colours and graphics that make consumer products come
to life on store shelves, provide security features for brand identity, and are developed with
functional properties to enhance food and consumer safety.
At Flint Group Packaging and Narrow Web we are fully aware of the
potential environmental impact of manufacturing inks and coatings. We
work hard to reduce the loss of materials through emissions into the air
and we have processes in place, and initiatives on deck, to become more
energy efficient.
Overall, Flint Group’s intention is to reduce its consumption of fossil fuels
and energy through best practices and continuous improvement. Within
Flint Group, the majority of the environmental impact comes from electrical
and natural gas consumption. Pilot studies found that these two sources
stand for more than 95% of GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions.
Over recent years Flint Group has seen different initiatives amongst our
sites in Europe with a focus on using energy and resources more effectively.
These, and other new initiatives, continue as new directives are being put
into place by the EU parliament.
Energy Management Systems (EnMS) can help organisations to achieve
better utilisation of (and, in the end, save) energy and minimise the impact
on the environment. Some of our German sites have attained certification
of ISO 50001, which specifies the requirements for establishing,
implementing, maintaining, and improving an Energy Management
System. Ultimately, this aims to help organisations continually reduce their
energy consumption. As a result of implementing ISO 50001, these
German sites have achieved a much better utilisation of energy and
significant energy cost savings.
Implementing Energy Management Systems takes much planning and
coordination – and comes at a cost. However, our experience indicates
that this investment will pay off within the first or second year of the
certification. Not to mention the positive results on our environment and
Further initiatives like the one in Germany are constantly being reviewed
for implementation across our global landscape.
For Narrow Web packaging and label applications:
EkoCure™ – the EkoCure product line continued to grow in 2014 –
Flint Group added several new offerings for this product line including
metallics, several new coatings, adhesives, shrink whites and a
special dense black and super opaque white (EBONY & IVORY).
These inks utilise energy-saving LED UV technology, which has an
impact on the environment and worker safety and can provide better
bottom-line benefits for converters in the long term.
For Sheetfed commercial and packaging applications:
XCURA™ and XCURA™ LED – the XCURA line of inks are low energy
UV curable inks for sheetfed and web offset presses; XCURA LED
inks cure using low maintenance and energy efficient LED lamps,
while the XCURA inks cure using low energy (LE or HUV) lamp
technology. Both are suitable for commercial and non-food
packaging applications.
For Paper & Board packaging applications:
In EMEA...
Flint Group proudly announced PremoNova® – free from VOC
(volatile organic compounds), excluded TMDD that is classified
R52/53, which is harmful to aquatic organisms and may cause longterm adverse effects in the aquatic environment, and also
ethoxylates of TMDD. PremoNova is a food packaging compliant ink
with regulatory compliance and full traceability.
In North America...
The PremoCorr™ series of low maintenance inks for the Corrugated
Marketplace. This ink series does not require the use of additional
amines on press. This enables lower VOCs at our customer sites.
For Flexible Packaging applications:
In EMEA...
PreCoat FMET P13 / PVC TopCoat HSL for aluminium lids and
pharmaceutical blister packs and VarioLam PU Whites and Inks –
specifically designed to address the Swiss government’s request for
better recycling.
Further developments were made for high performance flexo inks to
allow the usage of anilox rollers with reduced ink transfer – reduced
volume, reduced transfer directly linked to a reduction of solvent
being evaporated which equals less energy for drying and reduced
exhaust air.
S.A.F.E.R. Model...
S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y. . .
- Recyclability
- Biodegradability
- Compostability
- Down-gauging thinner films
- Biorenewable content
- Improved print fidelity
- Expanded designer colour gamut
- High strength colours
- Special effects
F U N C T I O N A L I T Y. . .
- Resealable
- Improved barrier / freshness protection
Raw materials in reality…
Flint Group Packaging and Narrow Web employs many standard practices
in the development of our products. In addition, we utilise the S.A.F.E.R.
Model to further ensure our products are safe, of high quality, functional,
efficient, and meet regulatory demands. These pillars represent what our
customers want from us and what we strive to achieve in product
development for ourselves.
But this is only data – the actual materials, of course, are assured by the
suppliers and checked in many ways by our manufacturing sites and
Touching on each of these pillars during our ideation phase enables a
culture of product leadership and product stewardship.
The formulators carefully choose the materials they use depending on the
attributes required by the particular application. For example, food
packaging selection of raw material is made according to the legal and
voluntary requirements to minimise the risk by reducing any chance of
exceeding the allowed migration limits into the packaged food.
Product integrity and product safety
Finished products – are they made correctly?
Our product development and operations processes are only one aspect
leading to the delivery of high quality products focused on our customers’
needs. Throughout the entire chain, Flint Group Packaging and Narrow
Web reviews the integrity of our products – ensuring our products are safe
for specific applications.
Once a product has been formulated and tested, our various site
Operations teams ensure that the manufacturing methods employed
comply with the GMP requirements. Particular care is taken to avoid any
chance of cross-contamination. Such care is essential to protect the
physical integrity of the product as well as avoiding rejection at the quality
control stage.
- Modified atmosphere packaging
- Active packaging
- Edible & soluble films
- Intelligent packaging
- Easy open / close
- Multifunctional
E F F I C I E N C Y. . .
Using the regulatory information collected from our suppliers (including
Safety Data Sheets and Technical Data Sheets), we use a detailed, secure
database which supplies the information to create Flint Group Safety Data
Sheets that comply with the latest CLP/REACH/GHS legislation
requirements. The same database enables divisional regulatory officers to
check the substance details and ensure that the particular regulation,
brand owner demands and other specifications are met – including for
Food Packaging Compliance.
- Reduction in materials
- High speed
- Removing secondary processing
- Universality
R E G U L A T O R Y. . .
- Food safety
- Government Compliance
- Brand Compliance
Full traceability of each and every batch of product is possible – and has
been successfully tested – down to the particular batch of material used.
Delivery and transport packaging, while protecting the finished products,
also requires careful planning and the correct packaging materials used.
Packaging, including pallets, must not allow any substances to enter the
ink products and compromise the product integrity.
Check and correct - a test of Integrity…
For example – Food Packaging Legislation
Flint Group manufactures and sells food packaging compliant inks
specifically formulated and tested for use in these sensitive printing
applications, which include both flexo and offset.
The Legislation for Food Packaging requires, as part of the Good
Manufacturing Practice (GMP) legislation, that “Adequate Information” to
be passed down the value chain to enable the producer and user of the
packaging to issue a Declaration of Compliance for the food packaging.
For the ink maker, the confidence in their products that enables the
converter to be able to assess the risk and compliance is supported by
passing such “information” onto the Converter – without passing on our
intellectual property – the formulation in the form of an Enhanced
Statement of Composition (ESoC).
At all sites, internal audits (including 5 Star audits and external ISO
90001, 14001 and, in some cases, 18001) are rigorously employed to
confirm that the correct practices are ongoing thus preserving the base
integrity of the processes. We welcome our customers to visit and audit
our manufacturing facilities to satisfy their own confidence in Flint Group
and its products.
The chain of integrity…
None of the activities described above can consistently take place and
provide the product integrity we achieve without people. From formulators
via material suppliers, Operations and Quality assurance supported by the
wider Regulatory teams depend on the individual members of staff
responsibly employing their own high level of professionalism and showing
dependable integrity in their individual roles.
Improving productivity,
reducing waste...
In 2014 Flint Group participated in a special development team focusing further on expanded
gamut as REVO for Narrow Web printing was launched by Gidue in the autumn of 2014...
In today’s highly competitive industry, there is a massive push for
innovation or projects that are set up to further improve the industry’s
productivity and to reduce waste, which has an additional environmentally
sound benefit. The fact is that both are driving the need to improve the
profitability of our industry.
But let’s look at productivity: what impact does ink have in today’s Narrow
Web world? We know there is a constant drive for shorter runs, more
differentiation and enhanced “shelf impact” – the numbers of colourful
labels needed are not reduced. In fact – a short survey among converters
says that the need for 8-10 colour jobs is increasing and today’s industry
average is clearly above six colours minimum.
Colourful designs may imply that the wider colour gamut to be used the
better, but how to handle this in a controlled and repeatable fashion? The
widest colour gamut one can use is obviously to mix stronger colours, with
as clean shades as possible. But how practical is it to always have to use
special blended / mixed shades? They are, no doubt, a problem for
productivity – unless the printer is geared up with a proper ink management
/ mixing programme, which will easily handle custom-made mixes. But
special mixed shades will still have an impact on press productivity because
ink / chambers need to be changed and every minute counts.
For example, Esko Graphics’ programme, Equinox, is a technology which
uses expanded colour gamut repro (or fixed palette). With 7 colours
constantly used in the press, printers can run continuously as there is no
need to change anilox or ink (doctor) – just the plate cylinder. There will
be no need for special colours or colour matching, as the programme uses
the seven colour separation pre-press to digitally reproduce up to 90% of
PMS colours. The colour matching is done in the repro – and all special
shades are created using the seven “fixed”, although, normally, any given
shade consists of three out of the seven colours.
To print fine line process printing requires a certain skill set as a printer,
and will ask a lot from the registration control and pressure control of the
print. For example, just 2% extra dot gain (due to “over pressure” of the
plate) may result in a shade variation. But the benefits in increased
productivity are quite impressive – and if no “proper” ink management
system is in place, this will also result in less substrate waste (colour
matching on press) as well as cost savings in reduced ink wasted.
Tests we have been involved with are proving that, with a UV flexo ink such
as, for example, Flexocure® ANCORA™, the use of CMYK + Orange, Green
and Violet will reach up to 90% of the Pantone® mixed shades, with a
tolerance of Delta E < 2. So colour “variation” is potentially visible – as
the human trained eye can detect colour variations at much smaller
We can state that, with seven colour repro, and a good set-up of plate
mounting and handling, job changes are much more quickly executed and
a wide colour gamut is achieved. This technique also enables printers to
bundle multiple jobs to be run simultaneously, offering new possibilities to
produce short run work efficiently and very cost-effectively. The vibrant
colours possible by using a wider colour gamut will enhance print quality,
ensure brand colour consistency and improve shelf appeal. Therefore, it
improves value in many ways.
It does require the highest colour density achievable today in UV flexo ink
using formulations that make it possible to achieve process densities using
ultra fine anilox roll cell structures, which allow you to run very fine line
screen counts, up to 225 lpi, creating the highest possible print quality.
What are the key performance indicators you want to improve when it
comes to ink handling? How can we develop an ink technique that helps
you improve your productivity? Contact our experts and let’s discuss.
Maybe we already have a solution that would help you.
We are proud partner of the REVO project – which is a very tangible way to
demonstrate the benefits of expanded colour gamut. REVO is a group of
suppliers who have joined together to facilitate a complete turnkey
package. REVO utilises the functionalities of expanded colour gamut to its
optimum, with a state of the art digitalisation of the whole printing process.
REVO is a concept that takes flexo narrow web a step further.
Agnieszka Zielinska
Laboratory Technician
Global Colour Centre - Poland
F L I N T G R O U P S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T 2 0 1 5
Focus on energy efficiency and
high-performance products
Flint Group Flexographic Products continually works on improving product efficiency, to reduce
waste and lowering our consumption of energy. That’s why processes are reconsidered, special
training is organised and the development of new, sustainable products is continually pushed...
Energy efficiency
In 2013, the Willstaett site of Flint Group established an energy
management system and attained the energy management certificate ISO
50001. This certificate is based on the management system model of
continuous improvement, which is as also used for other well-known
industry standards. To achieve this certificate, a number of energy-saving
possibilities were defined and actions initiated to reduce energy
consumption. In 2014, these activities were strongly pushed.
Comprehensive training programmes were organised at all company levels
to ensure improvement of energy efficiency. Via the company’s suggestion
programme, every employee in every role and function can contribute to
the energy management system.
For years 2014 to 2016, energy key performance indicators were fixed for
the Willstaett site; due to their high commitment, the 18 members of the
energy team managed to achieve these objectives by the end of 2014.
The consumption rate of electricity, natural gas, compressed air, hot water
and steam per production unit was significantly reduced. Technical as well
as organisational measures were crucial for this success. Thus the
structured approach to the elimination of unnecessary energy
consumption, which is fixed in the ISO 50001, has already paid off and is
an important element of environmental protection.
With the implementation of several management systems, a constant
optimisation of waste management and the development of energy
efficient products and processing methods at all German locations of Flint
Group Flexographic Products significantly contribute to environmental
protection and the climate policy objectives of the German government.
High-performance products
In close cooperation with customers, Flint Group Flexographic Products’
scientists strive to constantly develop new and innovative products.
Sustainability remains an important consideration in this process, ensuring
we provide highly efficient products that deliver outstanding quality. In this
way the company again introduced a number of printing plates and devices
in 2014:
The new flexographic printing plate, nyloflex® ACE UP Digital, is specifically
designed for use with water-based inks in corrugated preprint and aseptic
packaging printing. The plate displays a long run life and stability in
printing, resulting in significantly increased efficiency. The low surface tack
of the plate ensures a reduced attraction of paper dust and dirt, which
enhances the productivity and durability of the plate. All these
characteristics help to reduce waste and to improve economic efficiency.
The new flexographic printing plate, nyloflex® NEF Digital, has been
developed by exposure with the nyloflex® NExT LED technology, for printing
of flexible packaging and labels. Major advantages of this plate include
short exposure and quick washout times, which enhance productivity of
the plate processing. Additional benefits are the excellent process stability
as well as the reliability and consistency in plate processing, and in print.
The overall environmental outcome is the reduction of energy consumption
and waste.
Close partnerships with customers, distributors and industry experts...
Flexographic Products, long-standing and successful cooperation with distributor Macchingraf SRL
At the end of June 2014, the Italian distributor, Macchingraf SRL, visited
Willstaett in Baden (Germany) with a group of customers. At this site, Flint
Group manufactures photopolymer printing plates as well as packaging
inks. The visiting programme included a factory tour and presentations
about the latest products and current technology trends in the packaging
The initiative to drive production efficiencies in plate processing to the next
level was well received and deemed to be one of the most important
topics. With the nyloflex® APP equipment, Flint Group has developed a
fully automated premium processing line with outstanding productivity and
consistency, including a washer, dryer and light finisher. The efficient
automation and advanced level of standardisation leads to a considerably
improved plate and print quality. In terms of standardisation, automation
is a big step forward, which enables trade shops and printers to minimise
process tolerances. At the same time, mistakes can be reduced with the
result of a lower complaint rate and reduced costs. The user-friendly
handling enables easy control of all operations.
The visitors were also highly interested in Flint Group’s nyloflex® NExT
exposure technology, which utilises a high intensity UV-A LED light source
to conduct rapid crosslinking of the photopolymer surface before oxygen
inhibition can occur. The high UV-A output results in a flat top dot structure
and a virtual 1:1 image reproduction from the digital file to the finished
plate. In flexible packaging, printing plates exposed with this technology
allow excellent ink transfer, particularly in solids. In corrugated printing,
fluting will considerably be reduced as the LED exposure allows a better
control of the relief profile.
Macchingraf SRL has been successfully distributing Flint Group products
since the 1960s, and were awarded the honour of “distributor of the year”
in 2003 and 2012.
“I am very pleased that Flint Group has Macchingraf as a partner in Italy,”
says Eberhard Huter, Vice President Sales EMEA at Flint Group Flexographic
Products. “The professionalism of its management and teams, together
with their cutting-edge approaches in technical and commercial service as
well as marketing, ensure our sustainable market success long-term.”
Francesco Sangiorgi, Sales Director and Flexo Business Driver of
Macchingraf, stated: “Our Italian customers were very pleased with the
hospitality received from Flint Group and absolutely impressed by the
innovative technological solutions presented in a very concrete and direct
manner. Once again, they confirmed their confidence in Flint Group as a
partner for repro houses and printers with the aim of standing out in the
market for quality and productivity.”
Pad printing – innovation group meet...
At the end of April 2014, around a dozen attendees came together
in Stuttgart, Germany, for the second meeting of the working group
Innovation Pad Printing. The event was hosted by Flint Group, one
of the founding members of this community of interests.
The target of the work group, which was newly established in October
2013, is to facilitate better networking of experts comprising of
diverse suppliers, institutes and research organisations. The initiative
will provide customers with a platform from which they can receive
support with questions as well as solutions to problems - with
members meeting on a regular basis. Additionally, participants will
be able to use this platform as a means to optimise their processes,
thus reduce costs, and to conduct training programmes. Innovation
will be promoted and better utilised. And last, but not least, a
website will be created with links to the involved organisations and
provides the opportunity for visitors to ask questions or make
The spokesperson for the working group Innovation Pad Printing is
Juergen Veser, Technical Service, Flint Group Flexographic Products.
He will be supported by Peter Gailing, Sieb- und Tampondruck
Gailing, and Ralf Ruebenach, Marabu.
Flint Group Flexographic Products’ distributor symposium – Porsche Museum, Stuttgart, December 2014
About 80 visitors came to Flint Group Flexographic Products’ distributor
symposium, which took place in accordance with the motto “Passion
for Technology” on 3rd and 4th December 2014, in Stuttgart.
Flexographic Products launches innovative new app
INFO*FLEX 2014 witnessed Flint Group Flexographic Products launch its
first FlexoToolboxTM App for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, which is
now commercially available to the global market.
This interactive collection of tools incorporates many different functions
for simplifying and standardising flexo prepress, plate making and
process control. The app can assist platemakers with tasks ranging from
the calculation of plate distortion to the control of processing
parameters, such as solvent balance or monitoring UVA intensity, and
the determination of sleeve diameters. With these and a myriad of other
helpful functions and tips at the push of a button, a considerable
simplification of work is provided to the customer. Thus, Flint Group has
created a unique tool for anyone working in prepress or press-side
functions in the printing industry.
The FlexoToolboxTM App can be obtained free of charge in the Apple App
Store and in the Google Play Store.
Day 1 of the conference was dedicated to automation. During a live demo
in the Flint Group technology centre, participants could catch up on the
benefits of the new nyloflex® Automated Plate Processor (APP). This fully
automated processing line with premium equipment, as well as
outstanding productivity and consistency, includes a washer, dryer and light
finisher. The efficient automation and advanced level of standardisation
leads to a significant reduction of the total processing time of more than
35%, compared with stand-alone devices. In terms of standardisation,
automation is a big step forward, which enables the minimisation of
process tolerances. At the same time, mistakes can be reduced with the
result of a lower complaint rate and reduced costs. The user-friendly
handling enables an easy control of all operations.
For the presentations of the second day, meeting rooms in the exclusive
Porsche Museum in Stuttgart were used, providing a fantastic location that
truly reflected Flint Group’s sophisticated motto. Aryan Moelker, the new
President of Flint Group Flexographic Products, took the opportunity to
introduce himself to the distributors and to give an overview on the latest
developments in the company. Also, great interest was raised with the
presentation from Markus Bauschulte, Technical Sales Director,
Windmoeller & Hoelscher KG, on global market trends and technologies
in flexo and gravure printing, as well as a presentation from Bernd Sanning,
Head of Service & Innovation at Flexicon AG, on print qualification
programmes of brand owners.
In addition, experts from Flint Group Flexographic Products informed the
audience on new developments with rotec® sleeves and adapters, the
FlexoToolboxTM app and the recently introduced partner platform on the
internet site. An update on flat top dot technologies and the nyloflex®
NExT technology for corrugated printed was given. This exposure technology
utilises a high intensity UV-A LED light source to conduct rapid crosslinking
of the photopolymer surface before oxygen inhibition can occur, resulting
in a virtual 1:1 image reproduction from the digital file to the finished plate.
In flexible packaging, printing plates exposed with this technology allow
excellent ink transfer, particularly in solids. Especially in corrugated printing,
fluting will considerably be reduced.
Finally, visitors were also very interested in the lecture on the nyloflex®
NEF Digital printing plate, which has been specifically designed for the
efficient creation of flat top dots and the excellent reproduction of surface
screenings. The printing plate, which was introduced in August 2014,
shows an outstanding quality in the highlight areas. It allows for a reduced
bump-up, hence increasing the image contrast. The ink lay-down can be
significantly improved and a high solid ink density can be achieved when
surface screens are applied. The result is a brilliant print performance on
film, foil and coated paper substrates. Compared with conventional plates,
exposure times are considerably shorter.
F L I N T G R O U P S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T 2 0 1 5
Continually improving
the way we work...
Flint Group’s Print Media business is formed by the powerful combination of inks, printing
blankets, pressroom chemicals, pigments and, most of all, the people who bring them all
together for our customers.
How does Flint Group balance the products we make with our focus on
safety, society, the economy and the environment? How do we manufacture
products, which do require chemicals even as we maximise use of naturally
renewable resources, while maintaining a strong, sustainable business that
customers depend on and trust? The answer: people. Print Media’s
employees envision and realise products and programmes that address
these complex considerations.
Flint Group employees are charged with continually improving the way we
work and the products that result from this process. Over and over, they
rise above expectations. From a sustainability perspective, their focus can
be grouped into two categories:
First are the safety, health and environmental programmes and processes
by which we manage our business. Flint Group is committed to meeting
and/or exceeding all local, regional, national and international regulatory
requirements related to the environment, and to the health and safety of
our employees, our customers who use our products, and consumers.
The second category encompasses products that are environmentally
compliant and competitively advantageous, as well as the service and
support that back each product. We also provide best practice guidance
about the optimal use of printing consumables to help customers minimise
waste and maximise their operational sustainability efforts.
The other end of the supply chain is equally important. Our employees
ensure that every raw material used by Flint Group undergoes a review
process based on recognised health and safety standards. Our teams
design product formulas that utilise renewable resources where technically
feasible. The search for ways to incorporate more renewable materials into
our products is an ongoing process.
Industry Recognition
Behind the innovations and improvements within Flint Group are teams of
scientists, engineers, product managers, sales and technical personnel,
and many others. Often their efforts have far-reaching impact, and, at times,
industry accolades make this impact known. In 2014, the spotlight shone
on Kevin Kingman, Technical Director Heatset Inks in the United States.
Antonio Veértiz Silva
Production Operative
Transfer Media - Mexico
Supporting Employees to Support Communities
Shortly after participating in Flint Group’s Phoenix global leadership
training programme (see Building our Organisation pg. 36), Anila
Ruseti, Global Treasurer based in the USA, had an idea: put her newly
learned leadership tools into action to affect change. Her focus,
which eventually became known as project CONNECT, began at her
Plymouth, Michigan, work site.
honoured Kevin with the 2014 Technical Achievement Award.
Kevin’s efforts have resulted in, among other success stories, five patents,
the launch of Flint Group’s versatile Arroweb™ Ink System, and the AgriWeb
product line that maximises the use of renewable materials in a heatset
Anila assembled and led a steering committee of employees with
diverse strengths and interests. The group envisioned numerous
workplace activities that encompass wellness, charitable giving and
much more. The team surveyed employees, assessed company
needs and combined the results to plan a year of rewarding, healthy,
educational and interactive events.
Everyone has a hand in CONNECT’s success. Both site management
and its employees dedicate resources to bringing these activities to
fruition. The events are often as fun as they are beneficial, building
a stronger community within Flint Group while helping the community
The future
With the CONNECT steering committee, Anila designed a structure
for project CONNECT that is both formal and flexible. This will keep
the organisation sustainable long-term even while employees, on a
purely voluntary basis, assume year-long leadership roles and
coordinate activities based on interests and needs that arise.
Flint Group’s US Connect team
Anila Ruseti pictured bottom row, third from right
Though based in North America, Kevin’s impact is felt worldwide as he
travels the globe to share best practices and provide formulary, technical
and product guidance to customers.
About thirty years ago, Kevin Kingman worked during the day to support his
college education, which he pursued at night. His degree: chemistry. His
employer: Flint Group. While Kevin finished his studies, his career at Flint
Group took off.
Throughout his years with Flint Group, Kevin has done a great deal for the
company and the industry. That was underscored by the National
Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers’ technical arm, NPIRI, which
Pressroom Chemicals
In the continued spirit of developing products that support a sustainable
planet without sacrificing performance, 2014 ushered in a variety of newtechnology products, including the examples described below.
Flint Group North America launched Varn® Ecolo-Wash™ 401 press wash
for heatset and coldset web printers. This ultra-low-VOC press wash was
designed without aromatic or halogen-based solvents. It meets printers’
strict standards while complying with the most stringent environmental
regulations. The product also limits waste by lowering usage amounts
compared to many products on the market. With less than 100 grams of
VOCs per litre, Varn Ecolo-Wash 401 is a powerful product for the
pressroom and the planet.
In addition, Flint Group expanded the global reach of Varn® Enviroflex™
System for anilox roller cleaning. All Enviroflex cleaners offer a mild-alkaline
pH, and options include cleaners with less than 100 grams per litre VOCs.
The Enviroflex System cleaners virtually eliminate the need for second-pass
printing and soda blasting reducing cleaning times by up to 40%. All this
makes life easier for printers and decreases materials added to the waste
stream during the printing process.
In fact, minimising waste is an ongoing focus for Flint Group’s Transfer
Media business. In 2014, Asheville, North Carolina, USA, continued their
resourceful solution to one of sleeve manufacturing’s most high-volume
waste items: rubber scrap.
First, some background: as rubber tubes for sleeves are trimmed to size,
rubber waste is created. As a global leader of printing sleeves, Flint Group
manufactures and trims a great deal of tubes. The waste can add up.
Meanwhile, in an entirely separate production area, employees use rubber
cement – a key component of transfer media manufacturing that is typically
manufactured by other companies.
Thanks to Asheville’s sustainability team, that has changed. Asheville now
uses the rubber scraps to make rubber cement. Doing so makes great use
of our existing resources and keeps rubber scraps out of the landfill.
Flint Group launched a new type of silicone technology in Europe that
drastically reduces the amount of silicone oil required to offer the
performance characteristics that our customers expect. The new silicone
not only increases mileage and provides other important performance
benefits, it also reduces waste by 20% versus typical silicone products on
the market.
Fountain Solutions
Also in Europe, Flint Group launched Varn® AF 4000 to comply with the
most stringent environmental standards. AF 4000 fount is Fogra-certified
and has earned OEM approval from all major press manufacturers. It has
also received accreditation from independent testing institute, ISEGA,
confirms that printing can safely and confidently use the product when
printing food packaging. The fount produces less than 5% VOCs of vapour
pressure by European definition. Also, importantly for the environment and
for safer workplaces, the product dramatically reduces the need for alcohol,
in many cases eliminating it completely. Suitable for use with all plates,
inks and dampening systems, Varn® AF 4000 limits waste by enabling
quick start-ups and reducing ink consumption.
Flint Group believes that change occurs in small steps and large leaps.
Throughout Print Media and the company, a combination of programmes
local and international, employee-driven and management-driven, ensures
we leave no stone unturned when it comes to benefiting our business, our
environment and our employees. A couple of examples follow:
Containers with Lower Carbon Footprint
In 2014, Flint Group North America saved over 4,000 tons of greenhouse
gas emissions with one key move: buying high-quality, reconditioned steel
containers. This isn’t new to the company. We have been purchasing multiuse containers for years, with our greenhouse gas emissions savings
increasing incrementally each year. Since 2012, this container programme
has saved almost 12,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Cleaning, reconditioning and reusing containers consumes less energy than
producing new ones. In addition, retired containers are recycled, decreasing
the amount of landfill and the overall environmental impact of container
manufacturing. The calibre of the containers we buy also ensures that the
quality and delivery of our products are not sacrificed. Flint Group, our
customers and the environment all benefit.
Blankets & Sleeves
Our Commitment
Scientists and engineers in our Transfer Media Division refine and improve
our blankets and sleeves to yield operational advantages for customers as
well as environmentally friendly benefits such as reduced waste. In 2014,
such advances included dayGraphica 5700 and dayGraphica 4600 for
heatset printers and dayGraphica 4100 UV Red for sheetfed and web offset
As a global supplier of inks, blankets, pressroom chemicals and pigments,
Print Media is committed to providing products that keep our customers
competitive. And, as inhabitants of this planet, we are committed to good
stewardship of our resources for today… and for future generations.
T 1240 1 5
36. Building our organisation – Flint Group is committed to the
development and valorisation of employees’ knowledge and
39. Safety – Providing the knowledge, competence and desire to work
42. Social Sustainability – Using employee skills and expertise to build
team spirit and creativity within our own organisation and the world
around us...
46. Supply chain – Building a clear picture of the sustainability
impact remains fundamental to maintaining a profitable
sustainable business
F L I N T G R O U P S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T 2 0 1 5
Building our organisation...
Our people are essential factor to the long-term success of our organisation. Responsible people
policies and practices are therefore a fundamental part of our culture and all we do. We operate
& Compliance
ethically with respect for our employees and their interests and rights, with the intent to enable all
of them to perform to their full potential. We are strongly convinced that the interests of the
company and its employees must always walk together. In order to achieve our ambitious
goals, we need to have consistent people processes and a clear strategy for managing our
employees effectively.
Flint Group Mexico
Inks team
Our people strategy is based on four elements – all fully driven by the Flint Group strategy and our business unit strategies around the world:
A. Leadership
B. Team and Individual Performance
- Drive increasingly high standards of integrity and compliance
- Strengthening of a performance-oriented and knowledge-sharing culture
- Developing leadership competence and confidence with crossfunctional and international perspectives
- Continuous improvement in safety, quality, customer service,
productivity and cost
- Ensure we have the right people in the right roles at the right time –
with the right mix of internal succession and key hires
- Effective change management – motivate the “stayers” by providing
challenging development opportunities
- Systematic capability and talent review process – robust delivery of
- Communication channels optimised – with consistency and
authenticity – and alignment to strategy and values
C. Employee Engagement
- Opportunities to develop skills, capabilities, talents and experiences
- Equipping our people with required tools, skills and knowledge,
effective performance reviews with aligned goals and regular feedback
between manager and employee “how is it going?” discussions
- Career discussions, mentoring, coaching and development plans,
consistent with the business needs
- Variable pay plans with the “right” level of line of sight and
targets / payments
A. Leadership
Capability and Talent Review Process
It is a clear “win - win” for the company and its people if employees can
be encouraged to grow and develop to their maximum capability. We have
implemented a formal Capability and Talent Review (CTR) process. The key
objectives in this process are to identify:
The organisation design follows strategy and is fit for purpose
The capability of our people
Opportunities for growth in these capabilities
Succession planning options
Actions required – training, development, hiring, etc.
We utilise this CTR process mainly at the top three levels of the
organisation together with emerging talent – and will use this further as
we learn from experience.
The manager and selected employees who have the desire and personal
drive to grow and develop sit together and build an understanding of
current capabilities and gaps and future aspirations. From that
- Valuing team and individual contribution with effective recognition
- Professional management of salary, bonus and benefits
D. Effective organisations
- Driven by segment and functional strategies
- Clarity of roles and responsibilities
- Pragmatic utilisation of skills and knowledge
- Recruitment of new talents with diverse backgrounds
understanding, assisted by the use of Flint Group Leadership
competencies, the manager and the employee build a “Talent on a Page”
(TOAP) document. This TOAP, together with a succession plan for key roles,
provides important building blocks for the CTR and resulting action plan.
These plans are reviewed with the CEO and the VP Global Human
Resources and Communications – follow-up is completed at the very least
on an annual basis.
Flint Group is committed to the development and valorisation of
employees’ knowledge and capabilities. In a world characterised by fast
and continuous changes, all organisations are becoming subject to
increasing demands and challenges. Valuing people with investment in
training – especially related to integrity and compliance, safety
improvement, leadership development, negotiating skills and high
performing teams – is a strategic factor to attract and retain the best
employees and ensure the achievement of business objectives and change
management. The Phoenix leadership programme has now included over
100 managers who have completed or are participating in the programme.
We will continue to invest in training and development over the coming
years in order to strengthen the company’s competitive advantage.
We also have a world-class e-learning platform, whereby employees can
Flint Group’s Phoenix training programme
continues to soar...
The roll out of Flint Group’s Phoenix programme – designed to deliver
the future leaders of the company – continued to gather momentum
in 2014 with two further programmes running throughout the year.
Building on the success of previous courses, Flint Group initiated two
new classes in 2014 with teams from Europe and the Americas
joining forces to enrol on the development course.
Phoenix is a four-module series designed to build leadership
capability aligned with Flint Group’s Critical Success Factors.
Participants for this programme are selected by nominations made
by Senior Leadership and approved by the Executive Management
Team (EMT).
All modules are designed to be facilitated by internationally
recognised global trainers as well as by our internal trainers. The
programme requires a long-term commitment from employees and
features workshops of varying lengths, project work, coaching,
mentoring, team projects and project presentations over a period of
12–18 months.
sign up for a broad curriculum of around 300 courses, 500 full-length
books and 300 short (3 to 10 minute) videos. These courses range from
topics as diverse as “Financials for the non-financial managers” to project
management, computer software training and leadership effectiveness.
This training is provided at no cost to our people and we encourage all
employees to pick training relevant to their job and interests. Some of the
course offerings are in eight languages in addition to English and we want
to further broaden these language offerings in future, subject to demand.
B. Team and Individual Performance
With around 140 locations in over 40 countries employing around 6,800
people in very varied roles, it is fundamental to the continuing success of
Flint Group that we have robust but simple-to-use processes to ensure
that all teams and individuals have clear goals aligned to strategy and to
our critical success factors, Balanced Scorecard and vital actions, which
help us all prioritise what we do every day. Effective alignment of teams
and individuals means competitive advantage in a global company of the
size and complexity of Flint Group. Our tremendous “can do” culture,
shaped by strategy and clarity of goals and priorities, contributes massively
to Flint being a leading business in our chosen markets.
communications through “Town Hall” meetings, Visions newsletter,
divisional and regional newsletters, CEO Comment and regular briefings
on performance and key issues.
With change in our business now almost a daily event, the need for regular
open and authentic communication is more important than ever in building
an environment where people are proud to work for Flint Group. Employee
surveys are an opportunity for the employees to play an active role in
shaping the future. We have started measuring employee engagement,
confidence and job satisfaction through structured, confidential surveys in
LATAM, Australia / New Zealand, Packaging North America, Sweden and
the Netherlands – and will continue to plan to do more of this
measurement with resulting actions going forward. Whilst the overall
scoring of engagement in these surveys was reasonable, we know we have
a great deal of work to do to build engagement to world-class levels, which
is not surprising given the scale of continuous change the business has
been through over the last three years and well before that. We aim to
celebrate success more often and to continue to improve the ways in which
we recognise the contribution of teams and individuals.
D. Building Effective Organisations
The Performance Log is a simple process that focuses on what needs to
be done and how these actions should be achieved. Integrity, complete
commitment to safety improvement, customer responsiveness, fairness
and transparency are all hallmarks of high quality leadership behaviours
that we insist on – so the “how” things get done is important.
The Performance Log process applies to all our managers and professional
staff – and we encourage appropriate performance management processes
to apply through our operations and supply chain organisations globally.
We believe in regular “how is it going?” conversations between managers
and their people – and the Performance Log facilitates this.
Together with our performance management system, we offer 360°
feedback as an effective tool to improve participants’ awareness of their
leadership behaviour through broad insight from managers,
peers / colleagues, co-workers and customers. This feedback offers a
chance of reflection on strengths and development needs and therefore
facilitates personal growth.
C. Employee Engagement
Left: Tomasz Samborski
Right: Radosław Zasiadczyk
Warehouse Operatives,
Lodz - Poland
We aim to create an environment where our people are motivated to give
their best and enjoy meeting the opportunities and challenges posed by
customers, global and regional economies, trading conditions in the
industries we serve, competitive activity, the need to keep mind on task
and work safely…and so on. The immediate line manager or supervisor
has a key role in the creation of a productive, high performing team
environment – assisted by the company leadership with regular
In order to improve value for our customers, shareholders and employees,
organisational design and company culture must follow strategy, and our
strategy must be driven by our business plans for the markets we choose
to serve and the complex world we operate in together with our customers,
investors, suppliers and competitors.
Organising our routes to market efficiently, building our functional expertise
and striking the right balance between local, regional and global roles is
challenging. What is crucial is for senior leadership to provide clarity on
roles and responsibilities to avoid confusion, misalignment with strategy
and wasted time, effort and resources.
Our people are vital to the implementation of our business strategy and,
at Flint Group make a huge contribution to our success. The commitment
of all employees is crucial for us and we want our people to feel valued,
engaged, proud and respected. It is the responsibility of leaders at all levels
in Flint Group to inspire, serve as role models and shape the culture and
the right environment for those who want work to be more than just a job
– to be an experience that is motivational, challenging and gives the
satisfaction of working in a great team.
Russell Taylor
Senior Vice President, Human Resources,
Communication & Integrity & Compliance
F L I N T G R O U P S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T 2 0 1 5
providing the knowledge
competence and desire
to work safely...
Our safety vision is to create an injury- and illness-free workplace where everyone goes home safe
and healthy after each day’s work. At Flint Group, we believe that “no job is worth getting hurt for”.
Flint Group’s policies, standards, programmes and targets we set are
important to our safety success. While these move our performance
forward, our journey towards a zero-injury culture is strongest when
everyone knows that they make a difference and when all employees and
contractors have the knowledge, competence and desire to work safely.
Flint Group’s safety strategy takes an integrated approach to building a
zero-injury culture, and it all begins with leadership.
demonstrating, encouraging and rewarding safe, desired behaviours. It is
important to ensure that leaders are well trained and highly capable, and
that they clearly understand their role. Flint Group meetings, from
Executive Management Team meetings through to shift change meetings
at operations, all begin with a Safety Review. There is an expectation at
Flint Group that leaders not only talk about safety but demonstrate their
commitment by their actions.
When our leaders take visible ownership for safety, it sets the tone for our
safety culture. It establishes the level of risk that will be accepted and it
encourages employees and contractors to participate in all aspects of
safety management.
2 Report: All incidents are reported, thoroughly investigated and reviewed
for lessons learned. We need to ensure that the culture at all of our
operations is one that encourages the reporting of incidents, including
near misses and other leading safety indicators. Flint Group utilises a
consistent approach to investigate the root of incidents.
Our safety management systems help us integrate our Safety, Health and
Environment Management areas. The better we do this, the more
successful we will be at making our performance sustainable, both in
terms of personal injury elimination and increased competence in process
safety management.
3 Involve: Employees and contractors are actively involved in all areas of
safety management. They see and manage the risks in the workplace each
day. While safety management must be led from the top, all Flint Group
employees and contractors must be accountable and empowered to
ensure safety success.
Our approach to achieving a zero-injury culture has five core focus areas:
4 Manage: Process safety risk management and assessing risks within
our processes is an ongoing assessment used to understand the risks our
employees and contactors are exposed to daily. All employees
1 Lead: Strong leadership affects all elements of safety performance by
Adrian Fradley
Wet Batch Maker - Chemical Production Facility
Manchester, UK
Occupational Safety
2014 Flint Group Safety Pyramid
Total Incidence Rate
Flint Group measures progress towards our goal of zero injuries with
a variety of indicators, including our total injury rate (TIR). Our TIR
calculations include injury data for all employees and all on-site
contractors. Flint Group’s TIR is significantly lower than most printing
ink industry averages.
Total Recordable Injuries - 64
First Aid Cases - 875
Near Misses - 3,783
Corrective Actions Completed - 14,273
Flint Group TIR Rate (Total Incidence Rate)
Safety Related Activities - 236,938
TIR = 200,000 X Number of Recordable Injuries / Hours Worked
(Where 200,000 = 100 employees working 2,000 hours per year)
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
2.07 1.70 1.38 1.42 0.93
Safety Levels
Global Rolling TIR
2014 Flint Group Safety Pyramid
The Safety Pyramid represents safety activities employees are actively
involved with. The stronger the base of the pyramid, the fewer
incidents we’ll have. Over time, Flint Group has had a notable
increase in “Positive Safety Interactions”, which include behavioural
observations, safety inspections, hazard reviews, risk assessments,
safety meetings, incident investigations and other worthwhile safety
activities completed by all employees.
In any industry, unsafe behaviours account for many of the workplace
incidents. In 2009, Flint Group introduced Safe Start™ as a core
training element focused on safety awareness and behaviours. This,
combined with improved incident investigations and root cause
analyses, has driven the injury rate lower over the last few years. Still,
safety is a journey, not a destination. We continually assess risks and
update our training to maintain awareness and safe behaviours and
continue to build a safety culture –“Zero by Choice, not by Chance”.
I.B. Safety Says...
•Safety is our goal...what’s yours?
•Did you work safely today...or were you only lucky?
•Don’t leave safety at work, remember to
take it home!
•Safety doesn’t happen by accident!
•Remember to lift with your legs, not your back!
•A safe act today could prevent pain tomorrow!
•Reporting a near miss helps prevent a real accident!
are expected to participate in safety management at Flint Group by identifying
and reducing risks within each facility.
5 Comply: Flint Group ensures compliance to our own standards, as well as
global and regional laws and regulations. Flint Group’s teams maintain a
thorough awareness of compliance needs, putting training and systems in
place so each site can work towards and maintain full compliance.
Flint Group Global Injury Reduction
Flint Group measures various process risks throughout the year and we are
able to identify and group into specific risk clusters. One such cluster
identified forklift activities as an area for improvement. As a direct result, in
2014 we launched the Pedestrian Awareness Programme in all Flint Group
locations. Across the globe, pedestrians walking and working inside
manufacturing locations began wearing highly visible vests, hats, arm bands
and other high-visibility items. In addition, the programme required site
management to conduct pedestrian vs. forklift risk assessments and
implement formal pedestrian and forklift traffic plans.
The Future: Integrity & Compliance Boosts Flint Group’s Safety, Health &
Environmental (SHE) Efforts
In 2014, Flint Group strengthened its Integrity and Compliance (I&C)
programme. Integrity and compliance affect every aspect of our business,
and safety is no exception. As one of the workstreams for the I&C
programme, the following project scopes were created and will be
implemented throughout 2015:
Permits & Licences:
- Third party expert audit of all Flint Group locations on environmental
and operational permits & licenses.
- Documentation of all facility permits and licences. The design of the
database will allow automatic renewal e-mail notification prior to the
expiration of dates and alerts for those that have expired.
SHE Regulatory & Compliance:
- 3rd party expert to conduct a complex safety, health & environmental
audit for compliance with regulatory and regional legislation for
manufacturing and administration facilities.
Environmental Phase I:
- 3rd party expert to conduct an Environmental Phase I assessment for all
current Flint Group facilities and / or properties in order to confirm or identify
potential Recognised Environmental Concerns (RECs).
SHE Management System:
- Flint Group is committed to developing a Safety, Health & Environmental
Management System that is compliant with OECD Guidelines for
Multinational Enterprises, and constructed such that it will also be
compliant with ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) and OHSAS 18001
(Safety & Health Management) standards.
Carrying out a base line assessment of all manufacturing facilities within a
12-month period is an ambitious plan, but it is well worth the effort. The full
process will result in a new SHE Management System, providing better-thanever tools for all of our global locations.
Global systems. Valuable insights. Improvements and enhancements – each
effort gets us closer to a zero-injury workplace. We are proud of our
accomplishments this far, but we are even more eager to continue to improve
year after year.
Nothing we do is worth getting hurt for...
“Nothing we do is worth getting hurt for” is Flint Group’s highest maxim
with regard to the employee’s safety. Safety must come first, always.
A safe and injury-free workplace has to be offered to everyone. The
company does a lot to commit to this self-imposed obligation. There
are, for instance, the SHE managers and safety officers at every Flint
Group location worldwide who have the responsibility to implement the
company’s Safety, Health and Environmental Management System,
and to take care of a proper risk and safety strategy.
On the basis of these courses, participants are trained and motivated with
focus on their special tasks in the company. The wide-ranging training
contents are specifically designed to Flint Group’s requirements.
Spontaneous discussions broaden the participants’ horizons and enable
a bigger picture of the operational situation.
A good example of the relevance of safety is the annual meeting of the
German SHE managers and safety officers. Since 2005, they have met
once a year in the small Palatine town, Maikammer, where the German
Employer’s Liability Insurance Association runs a training centre. Each year,
the 25 safety representatives go to a three-day retreat for training and to
exchange ideas. These seminars are organised by the SHE department of
Flint Group in Willstaett in close cooperation with counterparts of the
Employer’s Liability Insurance Association.
- The psychological backgrounds, influencing safe or unsafe behaviour,
of employees.
Latin America: Safety Training for Everyone
- A workshop, demonstrating the dangers when dealing with flammable
substances and the necessary rules.
Safety by choice, not by chance. This is the crux of what makes safe
behaviours sustainable, and it requires that employees be actively
engaged in the safety process. Employees’ involvement creates an
empowered and accountable culture, not to mention a culture where
safety observations are encouraged by management.
The seminars cover a broad range of areas, for example
- The key role of risk assessments, with main emphasis on the analysis
of specific situations.
With these professional training sessions, the safety experts are provided
with the necessary prerequisites to perform an excellent job and the
foundation upon which to steadily improve Flint Group’s precautions for a
safer working environment.
Encouraging employees to be proactive towards their health...
The annual Health & Wellness Fair at Arden, North Carolina in the US
is held each year in the month of October. All employees and family
members, regardless of whether they are covered by Flint Group’s
health benefits, are eligible for free health screenings.
The event is held on-site from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm allowing employees
on all three shifts to attend. During the past few years we have held a
“colouring contest” for employees’ children to help promote the fair, with
a panel of judges selecting first, second and third place winners. Around
200–250 individuals visit the fair each year (including family members).
By conducting an on-site Health & Wellness Fair, our aim is to:
- Provide an educational vehicle for promotion of good health practices
- Encourage employees to be proactive towards their health
- Enhance employee morale and promote participation
The health fair is also a great way to offer employees information and
activities that help to educate them and offer suggestions for healthier
living through a variety of health topics. Health fairs can also offer valuable
health screenings to detect health issues early, before they become
serious. By holding wellness-related activities within work hours shows
that management has a commitment to supporting the health and
wellbeing of our employees
Latin America...
Our teams in Latin America have also
been very active in promoting
employee wellbeing – operating weeklong SHE-related training covering the
three pillars of sustainability
(economic, social and environmental).
During these training weeks
employees were given training and
presentations on a diverse range
of subjects including, healthy
eating, financial
planning, recycling,
keep-fit and
Employees in
Chile and Peru
were also
invited to
take part in
organised by
the company.
With that culture as her backdrop, Gladys Vergara, Executive
Secretary and 12-year employee at Flint Group’s Santiago, Chile
facility, did not hesitate to voice a suggestion: augment the site’s
existing fire-safety training–which was already fully compliant with
local regulations–with interactive fire-extinguisher training for each
and every employee of the site.
Replete with small, controlled fires extinguished
by the employees, always under
direct supervision, the training
taught each team member
how to hold and manoeuvre
fire extinguishers safely and
correctly. Like so many safety
extinguisher training will make
employees safer at work and at
The training will now be a yearly
event for everyone at the site.
Employees like Ms Vergara,
supported by management who
listen and incorporate new ideas,
help make Flint Group safe by
choice, not by chance.
Social sustainability and
community awareness...
F L I N T G R O U P S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T 2 0 1 5
At Flint Group we aim to create an environment where our people and teams are motivated to
India: World Environment Day, one tree at a time
give their best and enjoy meeting the opportunities and challenges posed by the world around
The United Nations launched “World Environment Day” in 1972 to
encourage awareness of environmental challenges and ways to
respond to them. Observed on 5th June each year, the day is
observed in more than 100 countries.
us. We are committed to the development of teams and individuals and firmly believe that we
can only grow as an organisation by allowing and enabling our people and teams to grow with
us. As such, employees are encouraged to not only use their skills and expertise to build team
spirit and creativity within our own organisation but also the world beyond it...
US: Flint Group donates $25,000 to the “Hole in
the Wall Gang” children’s charity...
towards the children’s camp to support their various programmes
throughout the year and to ensure that the camp runs smoothly.
The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp was founded in 1988 by the late movie
star Paul Newman with one simple premise in mind, that every child, no
matter their illness, could experience the transformational spirit and
friendships that go hand in hand with camp.
US: Flint Group and its employees combine to
donate nearly $25,000 to United Way charity
The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is dedicated to providing a “different kind
of healing” to seriously ill children and their families throughout the
Northeast of the US, free of charge. It’s a community that celebrates the
fun, friendship and spirit of childhood.
The foundation’s goal is to ensure that every child with a serious medical
condition has the chance to experience the world of possibilities that camp
has to offer. Through the generosity of others, The Hole in the Wall Gang
Camp community provides this unique healing experience to kids in need
and their families, including those who may not be able to come to Camp.
Following on from last year, Flint Group once again donated $25,000
For over 20 years Flint Group and its employees have supported the work
of the United Way, making a positive improvement to countless lives and
communities. 2014 was no exception with Flint Group employees donating
close to US$15,000 to this charitable organisation: A figure supplemented
by a US$10,000 company donation ensuring that Flint Group and its
generous employees contributed close to US$25,000 in 2014 to assist
United Way in the great work they do.
United Way is the world’s largest privately funded non-profit. With 2.6
million volunteers and 9.6 million donors around the world, United Way
raises more than US$5 billion every year to create community solutions
that improve life for everyone, impacting the lives of up to 50 million people
every year.
One such celebration occurred at Flint Group’s Hosur, India, site in
2014, encouraged by the local Operations Manager, A Ramkumar.
As part of the day’s events, employees planted a tree near the facility
and committed to adopting practices that support a healthy
environment for the planet and the workplace. For example,
employees embraced a “go-green” approach to the way they manage
resources each day. That includes everything from reducing paper
consumption, reducing energy by turning off lights and monitors not
in use, and taking other steps large and small that can positively
impact our planet.
A Sreenivas Goud, Hosur Site Manager, notes: “A year has passed
and we remain committed” – to both the small, personal resolutions
as well as bigger efforts. A few of the site’s environmental
improvements completed since World Environment Day include
converting traditional interior and exterior mercury lamps to LED
lighting and adding variable frequency drives to ventilator systems,
mixers and other equipment.
Back to the tree: planting is not completely new to Hosur. Fruit trees
thrive in a well-maintained garden area. When the fruit is ready to
enjoy, employees share the harvest.
Flint Group provides disaster relief in Serbia
In April 2014, the coastal Chilean city of Valparaíso was devastated by a
huge fire that swept through the hills. The flames started in the La Pólvora
neighbourhood, and quickly spread to other surrounding areas due to the
strong winds. Thousands of homes were destroyed, 12,500 people left
homeless, 15 were killed and more than 500 people were injured.
UK: The Italian Job...
Not to be confused with the popular film…this “Italian Job” is a car
rally in aid of children’s charities and is supported annually by a
retired employee of Flint Group.
In 1990, even before the movie remake was made, The Italian Job
Mini Car Rally was launched, giving participants the chance of an
adventure holiday on four wheels, as well as raising money for a
children’s charity. The money raised goes to nominated children’s
projects. In 2014 they supported Variety, the Children’s Charity,
which provides help to sick, disabled and disadvantaged children to
reach their full potential by purchasing wheelchairs and holiday
It is considered to be the worst urban fire in Chile’s history. Many of those
whose houses were destroyed were in lower socio-economic classes and
did not have insurance.
Flooding affected towns and villages across the whole of Serbia
Thanks to the enthusiastic support and commitment of the rally
participants over the 21 rallies so far, more than €2.2 million has
been raised for young people in the UK.
Former employee Geoff Giles is one such participant and, after
taking early retirement 5 years ago, he has driven his mini from the
UK to Italy in the rally 5 times in total. This year he will raise close
to €2,000 in aid of the charity. His total journey from start to finish
is around 3,500 km and will take two weeks to complete.
Flint Group played its part in supporting the charity work by
sponsoring Geoff with a cheque for €350. Our hope and plan is to
do the same in 2015 – and encourage other Flint Group facilities to
also participate in this great cause.
For more information, visit
As news of the tragedy spread to the people of Chile, the country rallied
together to donate items and to volunteer in the clean-up. Some
employees of one of Flint Group Chile’s Narrow Web clients lived in the
affected hills with their families, and had their homes ravaged by the fires,
losing everything. They reached out for help, and one of the items that
they requested that they really needed were calefonts – heaters that
provide hot water for the household.
Flint Group Chile purchased three new calefonts to donate to the families,
knowing that they were really needed and much appreciated by those
affected. Since then, the houses have all been completely re-constructed
and we are happy to report that the families are doing well.
Impacting on whole communities within the country
Following serious flooding in May of 2014 that hit towns and villages across
the whole of Serbia, Flint Group provided disaster relief and support. Three
months worth of rain fell in three days in Serbia. At least 25,000 people
had been evacuated, and many more were forced to flee from the flooded
region. At least 30 people died and tens of thousands were left homeless
in the worst flooding to hit the Balkans since records began (over 120
years ago). Damage was estimated in hundreds of millions of euros.
Flint Group management recognised the size of the disaster, the impact
on the lives of ordinary people and the need to act in solidarity by donating
450,000 RSD to Gornji Milanovac’s Red Cross organisation to support
local community efforts to overcome this very difficult situation. The
donation was specified for use only for most urgent needs, including:
- Water, food for adults and babies in need, hygiene items for all
evacuated people
Support for families affected by
Chile’s devastating Valparaíso fire...
- Disinfectant chemicals for cleaning houses and fields flooded by the
water and roads
- Repair supplies for rebuilding and fixing houses.
The fire in Chile ravaged through Valparaíso
causing widespread devastation...
UK: Super Flint Group...
Latin America: Turning Refuse into Refuge...
Flint Group’s Latin American teams have worked hard to reuse the
materials others would call refuse and repurpose this to help the local
communities in which they operate. Our branches in Chile, Brazil and
Argentina have partnerships with non-governmental organisations for the
donation of non-hazardous waste for recycling.
In Brazil, 26 tons of recyclable materials were donated during 2014 generating income through a community organised initiative located close
to the facility.
Besides that, Brazil also promotes a campaign to collect empty toiletry
Focus on the San José
packaging (toothpaste, floss, toothbrushes and mouth wash) with all items
collected donated to a children’s cancer center support that maintains a
partnership with a company that pays for this material and recycles it.
During 2014, more than 8 kg of materials were collected.
In Flint Group Argentina, we also donated to a Hospital-run campaign that
aims to build a hostel for the families of children with diseases requiring
long treatment or hospitalisation.
In total our Latin American teams donated over 55 tons of non-hazardous
waste in 2014.
Zach Simpson, son of John Simpson (pictured below), an employee
at Flint Group’s pressroom chemical production site in Manchester,
UK, recently decided to donate all his birthday presents to the
Manchester Mission Christmas appeal – which provides thousands
of toys to the region’s hardest-hit households at Christmas.
Zach, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, told his parents he
wanted a birthday party but no presents for himself. On hearing of
this gesture fellow employees really got behind the drive,
contributing presents and toys to the campaign with over 100
people attending his super hero themed birthday bash. As a result
of this, Zach handed over three sackfuls of gifts for children who
have gone without at Christmas.
“La Zulmira” Orphanage Chile...
Years ago, an employee from Flint Group’s Santiago, Chile, facility organised
the site’s support of the environment and of children in need. The initiative
first began in the administrative offices only but quickly spread to the
manufacturing area as well.
San José Foundation is a non-profit adoption agency founded in 1994. The
organisation’s major source of fundraising comes through their “Bota por
mi Vida” (Bin for my Life) paper recycling system. As part of that
programme, Flint Group places paper collection boxes throughout the office,
typically next to printers – always a major hub of paper recycling
opportunities. When the boxes are full, the Foundation takes them to a
recycling facility.
For every 45 kg of paper recycled, San José receives 30 nappies or 15
baby bottles – a meaningful aid to those helped by the agency.
The environment was significantly aided as well. For the latest year of data
available, the San José Foundation recycled enough to save:
- 128.040 trees
- 41.425 MWh of energy
- 199.577 M3 of water
- 94.147 mt3 landfill
“Lar Zulmira” is an orphanage situated close to Flint Group’s site
in Chile where 20 boys and girls under the age of 18 currently
live. Being a non-governmental institution the orphanage
receives no state support and must therefore generate its own
funding - relying heavily on donations and volunteer work from
the local community.
Flint Group and its team in Chile have been heavily involved
with the Lar Zulmira for a number of years with several of
its team volunteering their time with Flint Group also
joining them to support and assist with fundraising efforts.
In 2014, Flint Group and its employees donated more
than 617 items of toys and clothing and generated more
than 100 kilos of food.
- 7.532 tons of greenhouse gases
Our Chilean employees continue to work with the San José Foundation to
turn typical office waste into a helpful tool for children and the environment.
And the great work doesn’t stop there… employees
continue to donate food, clothes and money to help “Lar
Zulmira” to carry on doing this priceless work!
F L I N T G R O U P S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T 2 0 1 5
Flint Group’s supply chain
Understanding our supply chain, both upstream and downstream, is vital to reducing risk, lowering
our social and environmental impact and ensuring the ongoing success of our business. Overall, the
majority of our activities focus on formulation management, which spans multiple processes including
mixing, separating, cutting and blending. With more than 60% of our revenue directly linked to our
purchased raw materials, building a clear picture of the sustainability impacts generated by our raw
material supply chain is fundamental to maintaining a profitable, sustainable business.
Flint Group has a long-standing focus on understanding the impacts of
our supply chain. We have now conducted detailed self-assessment
questionnaires (based on UN Global Compact guidelines) with our raw
materials suppliers for over six years. We are pleased to see that other
companies in our industry have begun taking similar steps. Improving the
sustainability of our collective supply chains is a joint responsibility and
we still have a journey ahead of us, so it is important that we all pull in
the same direction.
We have exceeded our 2014 target for completion of supplier
questionnaires, with more than 90% of our suppliers (by global raw
material spend) having now submitted responses. Although we have
increased our spend by just 1% year on year, this has expanded our
supplier portfolio by some 10%. This is a standard occurrence in our
industry and means that an increasing number of suppliers must
participate in our programme. Since this includes many small to mediumsized businesses, it is important that we support them in complying with
our standards. We now include almost 600 suppliers in our programme,
which delivers better visibility of our entire supply chain.
Due to expanding the reach of the programme, our suppliers’ overall
sustainability score has dropped slightly in some areas, while in other
areas we have seen continuous improvement.
Smith Mathapan
Wet Batch Maker - Chemical Production Facility
Manchester, UK
In particular, we improved by:
- Implementing a strong focus on labour practices among tier suppliers
- Helping suppliers to develop human rights standards
- Ensuring that a growing number of suppliers adopt environmental policies
based on recognised external standards
- Achieving ISO 14001 accreditation across all of our major sites.
Areas requiring more focus (following on from our supplier
- Supporting our suppliers in implementing human rights and equality
- Continuously improving our sustainability policy to generate measurable,
positive change among our suppliers.
In 2014, we improved the process of providing feedback to our suppliers,
giving them an insight into how their scores compare with other similar
businesses across our supply chain. Our suppliers welcomed this peer
comparison, which we believe will act as a further incentive to improve.
As we move forward in 2015, we will continue to partner with our suppliers
to help them meet the Flint Group sustainability standards. It is vital that
we take our suppliers with us on our sustainability journey.
Jan Paul van der Velde
SVP Procurement, Sustainability, IT and Regulatory
Labour Practice
Flint Group’s Supplier Questionnaire
96% have an Equal rights / opportunities policy
2013 - 98%
The Flint Group supplier sustainability questionnaire is based on
the UN Global Compact’s ten principles, and is divided into four
Monitoring has remained at 94%
2013 - 94%
83% now audit their supply chain based on these
2013 - 50%
>94% supports / respects International Human Rights
Human Rights
Labour practices - The Labour chapter of the UN Global Compact
consists of five principles (one shared with Human Rights). We ask
our suppliers to answer 24 detailed questions to cover these four
95% now have detailed (company) policies on the subject
2013 - 94%
23% have external accreditation
2013 - 23%
92% now have detailed company policies
2013 - 91%
89% of spend is now covered by a sustainability questionnaire
2013 - 86%
Human rights - The Human Rights chapter of the UN Global Compact
consists of two principles. We have asked our suppliers to answer 12
detailed questions covering these two principles.
Environment - The Environmental chapter of the UN Global Compact
consists of three principles. We ask our suppliers to answer 34
detailed questions to cover the three principles.
Anti-corruption - The Anti-corruption chapter of the UN Global
Compact consists of one principle. We ask our suppliers to answer
two detailed questions to cover this principle (as well as associated
questions under Environment and Labour).
2015 Actions based on 2014 Status
- Roll out “external code of conduct” programme based on the
Flint Group Code of Conduct; reach a minimum of 80% of our
global raw material spend by 2015 (this initiative relates to all
suppliers that agree to respect the Flint Group Code of Conduct)
88% now have an environmental policy
2013 - 84%
66% now have a sustainability policy
2013 - 69%
- Increase coverage to our global packaging suppliers (2014) and
prepare for a 2015 addition of logistics service providers. Our
2015 goal is to reach 92% (2% up from 2014) of the combined
52% now have an Environmental policy based on external standards
2013 - 44%
24% based on internal standards
2013 - 28%
43% have ISO 14001
2013 - 37%
91% utilise a waste reduction programme
2013 - 90%
F L I N T G R O U P S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T 2 0 1 5
Measuring sustainability
Each year we review how we can improve on our reporting. In this report
we have made major upgrades on the way we measure water usage.
We have also improved the way we measure waste and increased the
scope which has led to slightly different numbers than previously
You could argue that is not very helpful, as the comparative changes
through the journey. We believe that on any journey you should question
the status quo and seek new and better ways of going forward. This
sometimes means you upgrade from things you were doing and this
includes improving on measurement; in most cases this has resulted in
stricter reporting or a wider scope.
Areas that were important in the past, as they were key focus areas, have
continued to prove themselves and have become part of our Balanced
scorecard and incorporated as part of our “normal business practices”.
Agnieszka Wudzinska
Laboratory Technician
Global Colour Centre - Poland
Are all measurements perfect? No, we still believe we need to improve on
our measurement of the social chapter and, while we made major steps
forward on waste, we still believe we should improve on this over time.
Also while our water usage measurement significantly improved, we still
have an issue discriminating between water as a “raw material” versus a
process and manufacturing aid. Also how do we report on the significant
amount of work undertaken to improve on the quality of water and recycling
before discharge?
The key message remains, this year better than last year, next year better
than this year – evolution to ensure we build a more sustainable model
each year.
Jan Paul van der Velde
Senior Vice President Procurement, Sustainability, Regulatory and IT
Employee Certificate Programme
Annual reconfirmation of the Code of Conduct
Number of Employees involved
% of total Flint Group population
Integrity Assurance Policy cases raised and resolved
Number of cases
not reported
Actions taken
not reported
3 dismissals
4 dismissals
Number of risks identified and with action plan
not reported
Of which are in highest risk category
not reported
Print Media
not reported
not reported
not reported
not reported
Flexographic Products
not reported
not reported
4 dismissals, 1 demotion, 1 suspension 4 dismissals, 6 disciplinary, 1 resignation
Risk and Compliance process
Products introduced with better sustainability footprint
*R&D at its best... a key product evolution increased the eco-friendliness of a high number of Print Media Products without negative impact on performance
Waste (in mT)
not reported
not reported
not reported
Dry Waste
not reported
Recycled Waste
not reported
not reported
not reported
Water Consumption m3
not reported
Carbon Dioxide Emissions (in 1000 mT)
Scope 1 Emissions
Scope 2 Emissions
Outbound travel / transport (kg CO2e)
not reported
not reported
Classification and labelling
REACH substances pre-registered
not reported
2010 registration
not reported
Done 11
Done 11
Done 11
Done 11
2013 registration
not reported
In progress
Done 13
2018 registration
not reported
not reported
not reported
75 in progress
89 in progress
not reported
not reported
not reported
not reported
Hours training spend
Safety TIR
Average UN Global Compact Score Suppliers (max. 100)
All Done - including 4 updates All Done - including 4 updates
Published August 2015.
Printed on sustainable forest stock (FSC) using
Novavit F 918 SUPREME BIO ink series and
dayGraphica 3000 offset blankets and
Varn Pressroom Chemistry