Gugler* is a communication company with a focus on printing, advertising and web solutions, located in Melk and St. Pölten in Austria. Since the company started in 1989, protecting the environment was always a big aim and therefore they steadily moved towards a holistic circular approach.
The main activities – completed and ongoing – are:
- create products that are optimized for the biological cycle: Cradle to Cradle Certified printing products
- build a green campus: Cradle to Cradle-inspired plus energy building
- develop a citizen participation model where the money runs in circles (gugler* Sinnstiftung).
Together with other approaches like permaculture in the garden, vegetarian organic company kitchen, greened roofs, solar power, a zero-emission site and so on, they make efforts to realise the vision of a sustainable future.
- Healthy products for a healthy society: In the future gugler* will specially focus on the production of harmless, non-toxic children’s books. In the last year Gugler* was able to expand the production of Cradle to Cradle products to a fourth of the total printing volume.
- Ecological products for a sustainable environment: gugler*s printing products are fully recyclable in biological cycles because no harmful substances are used, e.g. CMRs, BPA and mineral oils. By now about 20 materials can be used for the Cradle to Cradle production.
- Less greenhouse gas emissions: emissions caused from the production of Cradle to Cradle products are very low due to use of renewable energies. Scope 3 emissions that can’t be influenced and avoided are offset with every order; since 2007 more than 4.000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions were offset in this way. The only Scope 1 and 2 emissions left for the whole company were 71 tons in 2017 and since 2018 these emissions have also been offset.
- Raising Awareness: for circular approaches and the importance of sustainability. This happens in the daily business as well as at special events: more than 300 people attended a company tour in 2018, presentations were held at schools and events, there were 100 articles in the news papers, TV reports and 9 awards were received.
- Shared knowledge: gugler* invented the Print the Change-Community, where other printing companies can join, to start a Cradle to Cradle Certified production themselves. The current partners are situated in Denmark, Suisse and Austria.
- One of the main challenges is to stay competitive in terms of prices while making all these sustainable efforts.
- To realise all ambitions, it is important for gugler* to find and receive subsidies. That can be quite a challenge.
- Another challenge is to remain on the path and to continue acting as a pioneer although people may think it is crazy – especially at the beginning.
- Within the Cradle to Cradle Certification, the most difficult part is to get all the information about the ingredients along the complete value chain.
- It is hard to find suppliers, who are willing to disclose all their chemical recipes to the research institute, to investigate their products in full detail to find all harmful substances and to optimise and replace them if necessary.
MBDC – McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry
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