Bidvest company, Konica Minolta South Africa, is committed to greening business and is currently the industry leader, with the highest rate of polymerised toner production.

“Polymerised toners reduce the impact on the environment. At present, more than 99% of all our colour toners and more than 96% of the monochrome toners we produce are polymerised toners,” says Konica Minolta South Africa's MD, Alan Griffith.
This is a huge leap ahead of the industry average, which is 57.2% for colour toners and 13.3% for monochrome toners.
“Konica Minolta South Africa’s digital printing systems, both colour and black and white, in office as well as in production printing, operate with polymerised toners and we are very proud of our achievements in reducing environmental impact throughout our business activities,” says Griffith.
The focus on sustainability is not a new one for Konica Minolta South Africa, and the company is this year celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Simitri toner with biomass, which is the company’s polymerised toner.
“The toner combines high image quality with reduced impact on the environment through the use of plant-based resources as part of its ingredients,” says Griffith.
In 2000, production of the Simitri black toner began with its sales starting in 2001, along with production for all four colours in 2002. This was followed with the more advanced Simitri HD toner in 2006, and this year
the new Simitri HD+ toner is launching, for use with the bizhub PRESS C8000 production printing machine.
Simitri toner reduces the impact on the environment, with less energy consumption during production compared to pulverised toner production methods, less energy consumption during use, and through the use of
plant-based resources and a reduction of petroleum-based resources. Simitri HD and Simitri HD+ toners go even further, reducing power consumption while enhancing productivity at the same time.
Griffith says that Konica Minolta will continue its strong focus on reducing environmental impact through the research and development of emulsion polymerised technology.
“This forms a large part of the organisation’s long-term environmental goal, titled Eco-Vision 2050,” says Griffith.
The vision aims to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions from its product’s lifecycle by 80% by 2050 (based on 2005 levels).
“In order to actualise Eco-Vision 2050, Konica Minolta has formulated its Medium-term Environmental Plan 2015 as its first milestone. Already under way is our intent to reduce CO2 emissions from our product’s lifecycle by 20% by 2015. The plan is founded on the following four objectives: prevention of global warming, contribution to the recycling-oriented society, reduction of the risk of chemical substances and restoration and preservation of biodiversity,” adds Griffith.
So far, the company is ahead if its strategy, and has calculated that its use of polymerised toners has helped reduce 8,400 tons of CO2.
“If you put that into perspective, 8,400 tons of CO2 is the total amount absorbed by a 40.9 hectare forest of broad-leaved trees, age class 10, since sprouting. That’s almost three times the size of South Africa’s
Soccer City,” concludes Griffith.