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  • 27 Aug 2021

Armor amplifies sustainability efforts

French thermal transfer ribbons specialist Armor has accelerated its efforts to minimize the environmental impact

French thermal transfer ribbons specialist Armor has accelerated its efforts to minimize the environmental impact by introducing more sustainable products, waste collection program, and overall operational improvements.

The company, a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact since 2008, is also a part of the French-based organization, EcoVadis, which awarded Armor a gold medal for its performance in corporate social responsibility and remaining a sustainable and ethical company. 

Armor has developed SolFree, a patented process where ribbons are coated without any solvents, significantly reducing carbon emissions. Each standard ribbon switched to the SolFree process saves 365 grams of CO2. At an industrial level, it equates to 2.2 tons of CO2 saved on 6,000 standard-dimension ribbon applications. It is the equivalent of one person flying from Chicago to Tokyo. The current SolFree range features wax grades AWR8 and AWR470, with the potential of more ribbons being added in the future. 

The company’s popular APR1 and AXRTX ribbons have been developed on a thinner PET base film that reduces plastic waste by up to 12 percent. It equates to 100kg of plastic savings, or the equivalent of 3,000 plastic bottles, on a 6,000 standard-dimension ribbon application.

Armor has also turned its 13 worldwide facilities into 100 percent landfill-free sites for PET production wastes. To achieve this, waste is used as solid recovered fuel (SRF) in cement plants, replacing fossil fuels or recycled into new plastic. In reference to this success, Armor’s USA location has remained entirely landfill-free every month this year.  

Eleven out of the 13 production sites are ISO 14001 certified (environmental management). Its main plant in France, which produces 95 percent of the thermal transfer ribbons, is already ISO 50001 certified (energy management). All 13 facilities use renewable energy, including the main factory in France sourcing 58 percent of its electricity from renewable resources.   

From the operational point of view, Armor has developed Rec’Pet Partner, a program dedicated to collecting used rolls. It offers a simple way to eliminate ribbons being disposed into landfills. The company collects the ribbons after being fully used and prepares them for reuse through a dedicated recovery process. Rec’Pet is already operational in France, the United States, and Singapore, and soon other subsidiaries will be added to the initiative. 

‘Armor is constantly seeking and implementing different ways to reduce the environmental impact of its activities,’ said the company in a statement. ‘Because this is part of the group’s core values, each research and development, production, and marketing teams work cohesively to generate innovative products and services. In the end, every stakeholder is sustainably impacted: employees are encouraged to innovate, customers have new ways to grow on a mature market, and brand-owners have more sustainable options at their disposal.’

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