INX provides update on its sustainability report

Last December INX International Ink Co. released a comprehensive 36-page Sustainability Report about the company’s evolving practices and commitment to become a greener company. It provides details about the sustainability attributes of INX’s products, including the optimised manufacturing processes that support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The report highlights INX’s Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) priorities, and explains the sustainability effort by concentrating on the three areas of impact within the Coloring a Safe and Sustainable Future (CSSF) model that INX adopted in 2020. Aligned with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the impact segments include Product Design for the environment, Process Design for the environment, and Social Responsibility.

As the director of Metal Decorating Technology at INX, Alex Folloso focuses his efforts on the product design commitment. INX formulations take into consideration the functionality of the finished product that enables recycling. “We apply the CSSF model into our daily business, and we formulate all of our metal decorating products with material health, safety, environmental impact and performance in mind,” said Folloso. He joined INX upon graduating from the University of Illinois, Chicago 27 years ago. “Each INX R&D group continues to hire chemists and technicians to develop new inks and coatings. We’re adding more resources to keep up with new applications.”

His department developed EcoCan C2C, the industry’s first and only metal decorating ink to receive a Gold Level Material Health Certificate from the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA). The high-performance ink is formulated LoVOC and uses only optimised materials that do not contain any substances on the banned chemical list.

“New chemicals of concern continue to come under scrutiny,” said Folloso, who pointed out that INX printing facilities have committed to achieving a significant reduction of GHG emissions by 2030. “Global regulatory reviews of our inks are the most common request we receive from canmakers or brand owners.” He cited the use of bio-renewable materials, a subject at the annual IMDPA Conference, will likely expand for the rest of the decade.

“Charles Billstrand, one of our Metal Deco R&D chemists, delivered the “Why Use Bio-renewable Material for Ink Formulation” presentation at IMDPA last year. INX has a very good system in place for developing inks and coatings with BRC content,” said Folloso. “Our calculators are designed to estimate the BRC content as it would using the American Standard Test Method (ASTM) D6866. The calculation system allows our ink formulators the ability to accurately determine the BRC content of any INX product without needing third party lab analysis.”

Folloso indicated the INX metal decorating department will be kept busy in 2024. “Direct-to-object jettable printing inks and low migration energy curable formulations are a key focus. Adding sustainable raw materials and creating inks that allow for better recyclability of the package is ongoing work for all divisions at INX.”

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