How Germany’s Funke Mediengruppe is taking proactive steps towards carbon neutral printing

2021-11-08. In April, the European Union announced a tentative deal to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2050. While the move will affect many businesses including publishing houses and production processes, the world has come to the consensus that climate action is urgent and vital.

by Elizabeth Shilpa | November 8, 2021

This means media houses earning the bulk of their revenue from print products must realign their businesses and processes along these lines and make conscious efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.

Funke Mediengruppe, one of Germany’s oldest and leading publishing houses, has already started their efforts.

Established in 1948, the family-owned media house publishes the newspaper Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung and magazines like Gong and Die Aktuelle. It operates three printing plants and sees an annual turnover of more than 1 billion euros.

“Our traditional core business is regional newspapers, books and magazines,” said Klemens Berktold, Managing Director for the printing business at Funke Mediengruppe, during WAN-IFRA’s World Printers Summit 2021.

“Like most publishing houses, we have a strategic focus on the digital transformation of our business models,” he said. “So we are growing in the areas of epapers, e-commerce platforms, data driven advertising and others. However, the majority of our revenue still comes from paper based products – newspapers, magazines and books.”

So, how can a predominantly print business amend its practices to contribute to the goal of limiting global warming and neutralising carbon emissions? At Funke Mediengruppe, it has been by taking one step at a time.
Implementing efficient systems
As per Germany’s Climate Action Law, the target year to achieve carbon neutrality is 2045. In 2015, Funke introduced energy management syst...

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