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Dear reader, In 2016, the Graphius group achieved further growth through the strategic acquisitions of Dereume Printing and, one month later, Stevens Print & GuidoMaes.Printingdeluxe.***** Dereume Printing will significantly increase our presence in Brussels and French-speaking Belgium, and we have also boosted our small-run print capacity by joining forces with Stevens Print & GuidoMaes.

neighbours and the local community. Our policy in Belgium incorporates a variety of social and environmental targets, and we are also aware of our social responsibilities in the wider world. This report also focuses on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, not because they sound nice, but because we believe passionately that we have a contribution to make to them. Many nations, governments, companies and other organisations, Graphius included, are committed to implementing these seventeen goals by 2030. They send a powerful signal to the world, and we hope they will provide a source of inspiration for our various stakeholder groups.

Both companies will relocate this year. Dereume Printing is joining Boone-Roosens in Beersel, where we are expanding the existing infrastructure and acquiring new machinery, while Stevens Print & GuidoMaes has left Merelbeke for our headquarters in Ghent. Bringing together companies, workers and skills in this way is helping us to evolve into a vertically integrated industrial printing group with a strong emphasis on sustainability. This is our third sustainability report, highlighting our ambition to remain a leading player in the print sector and continue reducing our impact on the environment.

I hope you enjoy reading this report.

Yours, Denis Geers

The report offers a look at our Ghent production site, and describes our determination to contribute to a sustainable society, listing our achievements in 2016 and our objectives for the short-term future. But our aspirations are not purely business related. As a family-owned medium-sized company on the edge of a residential district, we also care about our




Offset Project 1056

Forest Protection, Pará, Brazil Contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Develop­ ment Goals (SDGs) • Goals 13, 15 - Climate Action, Life on Land: Preservation of an essential carbon sink, sustainable forest management in an endangered ecosystem • Goal 8 - Decent Work, Economic Growth: Promotion of alternative income generation, creating 300 new jobs for residents in açaí production and tree nurseries • Goal 9 - Infrastructure: Construction of a school building, aviaries, apiaries, vegetable gardens, fish farming tanks and poultry farms • Goal 10 - Reduced Inequalities: Empowerment of local residents through tree nurseries and açaí production under community ownership

Brazil is one of the countries with the largest forest areas worldwide but also experiences massive deforestation which causes 75% of the country’s carbon emissions. Among the drivers of deforestation are activities like agriculture, ranching and logging, which are facilitated by the Amazon river is a transportation route. The Marajó island at the mouth of the river has been shaped by subsistence farming for many decades. The local “várzea”, a vital ecosystem, is home to ten endemic species.The Ecomapuá project protects a 90,000 ha area by banning commercial wood extraction and promoting alternative sources of income for the five local communities. It saves carbon emissions by avoiding deforestation and improves living conditions for 94 families in one of Brazil’s least developed regions. The project has initiated reforestation measures in two communities, offering training courses in seed production and sale. Another means of income generation is the planting, collection and processing of the native açaí fruit which is experiencing growing international demand as a so-called “superfood”. In addition, the açaí seeds serve as a base for biofuel production.

Verification: RINA Services S.p.A. (RINA) Type: Verified Carbon Standard, Social Carbon Total Volume: 1,448,333 tons CO2-equivalents

The Ecomapuá project is located in Pará, a state in Northeastern Brazil, and comprises an area of about 90,000 ha on the Marajó island at the mouth of the Amazon river.

More info on ClimatePartner projects:



Contents 3



Graphius: who are we?


Our history


Our services


Our mission, vision, strategy and values


How we produce this sustainability report


Our stakeholders


Our commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

20 People


The environment


GRI-index and Sustainable Development Goals and Targets


Goals and ambitions




Graphius who are we?

Our story begins with that of Geers Offset, the parent company within the Graphius Group. Graphius has grown rapidly from the outset, and under the leadership of Denis and Philippe Geers, it has evolved into a group of print companies based in Ghent and Brussels.

Each day, our highly motivated 200-plus employees carry out large numbers of projects for clients, working in partnership with them to shape our future together. They provide an integrated print production service, ranging from brochures to hardcover books.

is moving to the renovated and expanded Boone-Roosens printworks in Beersel, just outside Brussels. Together, these two companies will form our Brussels division, enabling us to provide a better service to the capital and the French-speaking region. Stevens Print & GuidoMaes.Printingdeluxe.****, based in Merelbeke and specialising in smaller, high-quality print runs, joined the group in September 2016. It continued operating from its own site until May 2017, when it moved to our head office in Ghent. Here, it is setting up a separate workflow to provide the same high quality of service as Graphius, but in smaller volumes.

We use high-performance equipment, including 113 Heidel­ berg print towers and an integrated bookbinding facility. Doing all of our production inhouse gives us full control over quality, budgets, and throughput times. Importantly, it also minimises our environmental footprint. In 2015, a team of employees began preparing for an ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 quality and environmental management audit. This marked an important new step for the group, and the audit took place early in 2016. We are proud to report that we have now been awarded both certifications, providing evidence to our clients at home and abroad that we offer high-quality printing as part of a sustainable business.

In the previous sustainability report, we announced the structural cooperation with The cooperation was started but ended after evaluation.

What of the future? We monitor the market closely, seeking opportunities to maintain and grow our operations sustainably. We are also committed to complying with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, discussed later in this report.

Graphius continues to expand The group is continuing to grow. In August 2016 it acquired Dereume Printing, of Drogenbos, which in the summer of 2017






Our history

The history of Graphius begins eighty-nine years ago. For decades, it was a family-owned printworks based in Ghent and nearby Oostakker, gradually becoming a prominent player in the industry, and combining the values of a family company with a high level of innovation and ambitious plans for the future.



André Geers, the grandfather of Denis and Philippe Geers, establishes Drukkerij/Uitgeverij A. Geers.

Deckers Snoek moves to Ghent and becomes part of Graphius. The city of Ghent and Emaze hold an energy audit.


Graphius becomes a member of Imprim’vert, a French alliance of eco-friendly printers.

André’s son Emiel, and his wife Micheline, take over the business and change its name to Geers Offset.



The group joins Kauri, a consultation platform for companies and NGOs seeking to achieve a sustainable global economy.

Denis Geers joins the business, followed later by his brother Philippe. Geers Offset becomes an international company.

Graphius also calculates its CO2 footprint (based on incomplete data for the entire group) with the assistance of the Climate Partner consultancy, and offers customers a carbon-neutral printing option


Geers Offset launches Picturebook, a range of personalised photo gifts aimed at consumers..



Graphius consolidates its market position by acquiring Boone-Roosens and establishing Etiglia, a specialist in labels and cardboard packaging

The global banking crisis begins. It is a difficult time for the print sector, but Geers Offset weathers the storm and begins planning for the future

It also joins The Shift, an environmental business network, and publishes its first sustainability report, covering 2014. This is the forerunner of the report you are now reading.


Sintjoris joins the Graphius group and moves to the Geers Offset production site.



The six divisions at the group’s Ghent headquarters obtain ISO 9001 and 14001 certification.

Another company, New Goff, becomes a part of the group.


The second sustainability report, covering 2015, is published in three languages.

Graphius acquires two highly experienced pioneers of sustainable printing, Druk in de Weer and De Duurzame Drukker.

Dereume Printing, of Drogenbos, joins the Graphius Group and prepares to move to the modernised Boone-Roosens site in Beersel. Stevens Print & GuidoMaes.Printingdeluxe***** achieves important synergies by joining Graphius




Our services

Printing is an art. Our team of experts monitors every project closely, be it an exhibition catalogue, a magazine printed using specialist technology, a letterhead, or a one-off print job for an individual. Each must measure up to the same high standards, and we must always earn customers’ trust by being reliable, versatile and flexible partner for them.

Our core activity is printing. We combine projects on our 113 modern Heidelberg print towers, enabling us to work very efficiently and waste less energy and paper. Our investment in an integrated bookbinding facility means we can carry out most projects in house, so we do not have to transport material to bookbinders and other suppliers. This reduces our costs, production times, and carbon footprint. It also enables us to carry out end-to-end quality assurance and make immediate adjustments if necessary.

Every customer has a specific contact at Graphius, who follows up all their orders from the first tentative enquiry through to delivery, liaising with colleagues and ensuring that the job is carried out promptly and in accordance with the agreed standards. Our growth over recent years has enabled us to provide customers with a wide range of services. At present, 48 percent of our income comes from magazine printing, and 34 percent from books. Commercial printing accounts for 13 percent of our sales. Two new sources not mentioned in previous sustainability reports are comic books, at 3 percent, and labels, 2 percent.

We continue to invest in best-in-class technology that has proved its reliability in printing companies of a similar size to our own. This means we can keep growing in terms of what we do and how we do it.




Graphius our mission, vision, strategy and values Our mission

We seek to be a leading print producer, with a strong specialisation in books, catalogues and magazines. We invest in innovative applications to respond to current and future customer demand. Our print processes are increasingly sustainable for people and the environment, and we treat others in an honest and respectful way. We want to remain a financially sound family company offering a sustainable future for our employees, suppliers, and other stakeholders.

Our vision We always strive to add value for our customers and employees, and for the environment in which we operate. We invest in the latest technology and analyse its impact on this environment. As a family company, all of our investment is part of a clear long-term vision in which our customers, employees and stakeholders work together to pave the way for the future.



Our strategy We are ambitious, and want to occupy a leading position in the print sector. We are a growing family-owned SME that seeks to add value for its stakeholders. We strive to be a leading player in our sector, but also to stand out in terms of our sustainable ambitions.

We place a strong emphasis on the environmental aspects of our core business, and could not achieve what we do without a strong team of employees. We maximise their career development opportunities by continuing to invest in diversification and a professional human resources policy.

Our family shareholders and the management committee, consisting of the different companies’ chief executives, are pursuing a long-term vision based on a programme of carefully balanced investment.

We provide the healthiest possible working environment, and are always looking at ways to improve it. We also carry out projects, some devised by the company and others by employees, encouraging them to lead a healthy lifestyle.

We are ambitious in terms of continuing improvements to operational efficiency. We monitor our consumption of raw materials, energy and water on a daily basis, and try to limit waste to that which is strictly necessary.

Our innovation and continued focus on sustainability help us to achieve our aim of creating a more positive image of the print sector, which still has a perception problem.

We believe it is important to use the best available environmental technology, provided this does not adversely affect our financial health.

Our location in Ghent places us in close proximity to many multinational companies, and to the port. As a dynamic and innovative SME, our sustainable growth generates new job opportunities and thus better career prospects even for less skilled employees.

Our values We have a strong sense of involvement in and responsibility for everything that we do on a daily basis, and treat people and resources with respect. We must never stop earning the confidence of our internal and external stakeholders, and must be open and honest about our approach. Since authenticity and transparency are crucial, we adhere closely to the following principles: • • • • • •

Maintain a long-term vision of what we are doing, and how we achieve it. Be honest and ethical. Ensure that everything we do benefits our employees, customers, and environment. Respect everyone. Encourage diversity, since society is a melting pot. Achieve results together, not individually.

These six points are the benchmarks by which we judge our day-to-day activities and relationships with others.




How we produce this

sustainability report

Frequency of reporting


We have decided to produce an annual sustainability report. We published the first, covering 2014, in the autumn of 2015. The second, covering 2015, was released in June 2016. This report describes our progress in achieving sustainability during 2016.

We are reporting on progress towards sustainability at our site in Ghent. In 2016, six separate companies operated here: Geers Offset, Drukkerij Sintjoris, New Goff, Druk In De Weer, De Duurzame Drukker, and Deckers Snoeck, all using the latest high-tech printing equipment. Although Stevens Print & GuidoMaes.Printingdeluxe.***** had joined the Graphius Group, it is not included in this report, as it continued fulfilling orders in Merelbeke until May 2017. The report also excludes Boone-Roosens and Dereume Printing, as they are located in Brussels rather than Gent.

Transparency An annual sustainability report enables the company, its stakeholders and society at large to make comparisons from one year to the next. As a key player in the print sector, this leaves us open to criticism, but we believe it is important to maintain this leading role and set an example. Management closely monitors and evaluates all key numbers and other parameters, and makes adjustments where necessary. A sustainability report is a valuable way to give internal and external stakeholders a clear evaluation of the business and its performance.

The Graphius Ghent team supplies customers mainly in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Britain and the United States. The six companies within the scope of this report had a consolidated income of â‚Ź56 million.

Methodology The Graphius Group has grown as a result of acquisitions in recent years. This has been a challenging transition for all aspects of the business, from human resources management to monitoring deliveries. This report relates to the Ghent site, which has used the same data collection and analysis methodology since 2014, so we can make accurate comparisons. It is not possible to compare figures from before that year.

As in every other aspect of our operations, we fully intend to continue evolving towards sustainability. But we cannot always implement every step of this process as quickly as we would like to, and are often forced to adopt a phased approach. We are also aware that some of our actions, however well intentioned, do not achieve the desired results. This sustainability report gives an honest picture of the situation, so it is not all good news.



This report, and the data it contains, covers the period from 1 January to 31 December 2016. We publish it after the general meeting, which adopts the annual accounts.

During our stakeholder consultation, a number of people told us that our report was not always easy to read or understand. We are now looking at ways of remedying this, which is another reason for keeping the old system, but the sustainability report for 2017 will be published using the new methodology next year.

The report is produced in accordance with core-level GRI 4 guidelines for 2014 to 2016. At the end of the document, you will find the GRI table with reference to the relevant pages for disclosures and performance indicators, and also links to the Sustainable Development Goals and Sustainable Development Targets.

We have also carried out a materiality exercise to determine which aspects of the organisation are relevant to the sustainability report. The key topics for this report include employees, paper and ink, energy, and water. Outside the organisation, we intend to discuss transport, logistics, the print sector in general, and the employment market.

Following internal consultation and mature reflection, we have decided not to switch to GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards until next year. GRI SRS is the successor of the GRI G4 guidelines, and was finalised in late 2016. Organisations can continue reporting under the old 2013 GRI G4 guidelines until 31 December 2017. We believe that the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards add value, but it is neither logical nor appropriate to change our reporting methodology so many times in a short space of time. We have therefore decided to use GRI G4 to give stakeholders a sense of continuity, rather than immediately switching to the new method.

Our sustainability reports will not be externally verified for the time being. However, a number of issues included in the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certificates will be followed up in detail via this route, both internally and externally. External assurance offers too low a return on investment to justify carrying it out




Graphius and its stakeholders Who are they, and how do we communicate with them?

As part of our sustainability reporting, we carry out an evaluation of our stakeholders and how we communicate with them. As with other aspects of our sustainability, we have made significant progress in this respect. Last year,

we communicated much more with our stakeholders, and in different ways. This is a positive development, because interaction with them is a learning experience that can help to guide the way in which we operate.

Suppliers Graphius magazine, website, social media, sustainability

Members of the public, schools

report, trade fairs, stakeholder consultation

Graphius magazine, website, social media, sustainability report, occasional visits

Customers Graphius magazine, website, social media,


emeilings, direct mailings, sustainability report,

Family meetings

visits, trade fairs, stakeholder consultation

Colleagues in other companies


Sharing experiences via personal contacts and

Intranet, noticeboards, screens in cafeteria, direct mailings,

sector organisations, sustainability report

website, social media, annual sustainability report, Graphius magazine (twice a year), stakeholder consultation

Local organisations Graphius magazine, website, social


media, occasional visits, sustainability

Job days, advertisements, Graphius magazine, website,

report, stakeholder consultation

social media, sustainability report, visits, trade fairs



The process of updating the sustainability report each year creates a closer partnership with our stakeholders. They have shown a great deal of interest and commitment to it, and provided valuable feedback.

ing we look after people, resources, and the environment. Student visits are also a chance to attract new employees, which is very important given that the sector employs such a high proportion of older people.

Stakeholder consultation

Since we operate in an international market, and want to give all stakeholders the chance to monitor our progress towards sustainability, we publish this report in three languages: Dutch, French and English. The print run of 10,650 is distributed in a variety of ways: we send it together with copies of Graphius magazine to our extensive mailing list, and also give it to visitors, people who show an interest at trade fairs, students doing school projects on sustainable businesses, and others.

In our previous sustainability reports, we stated that we were organising a stakeholder consultation process. On 29 March 2017, we invited a group of interested parties to discuss our approach to sustainability in 2016 in preparation for this third report. We wanted to obtain feedback on the reports, and discuss a number of issues including the following: • • • •

We communicate with existing and potential stakeholders as a whole via our website, Graphius magazine, this report, and social media.

Working with and for Graphius Mobility and logistics Waste Water

Following the consultation, we decided that we would try to hold these sessions twice a year, one as part of the sustainability reporting process and the other to brainstorm relevant issues with stakeholders.

The Ghent production site is the heart of our business, with more than 200 employees working on customer projects in Belgium and abroad. We also have specific communication channels for our internal stakeholders, so that we can reach them individually and/or in groups.

Feedback on our sustainability reporting and communication Stakeholders expressed appreciation for our openness and transparency in producing this report. They said that our communication had always been good, and that any complaints were dealt with quickly. They also appreciated the chance to visit the print works and engage in open debate with management.

Our customers are our partners, and we need to earn their trust on a daily basis. We engage in regular consultation with them, and constantly closely monitor their projects to ensure maximum satisfaction. We use our generic communications to keep the public informed. We also go a step further for schools and local people by offering occasional visits. We welcome inquiries from schools, and offer students a chance to find out more about an SME in a flourishing sector, helping to dispel negative perceptions of the print industry and show-

One issue was that the reports are produced in accordance with international GRI standards, but some people said these were too complex and theoretical. We are con-



sidering the possibility of publishing a concise summary of the report, and may show stakeholders a dummy and make any changes necessary based on their feedback. Some participants were very critical of the idea of printing on paper at all. Paper is easy to recycle, but many people do not realise that servers and digital data sharing use up large quantities of energy, and not everyone had thought about this. Working with and for Graphius We have worked hard to recruit new employees over recent years. Our location on the edge of the port of Ghent makes this difficult, because although we are a hightech company, potential recruits often prefer to work for nearby multinationals. Some stakeholders acknowledged that it was not easy to present ourselves as an attractive alternative to working for a big global company.

The print sector employs a higher than average proportion of older people, and this is particularly true at Graphius. It is important to recruit younger workers if we are to maintain long-term continuity, and we are working with industry bodies on innovative projects enabling potential employees to gain experience on the shop floor. Another initiative is our cooperation with the Ryhove sheltered workshop, which provides us with fulltime employees. They are fully integrated within our organisation, and wear the same work clothing. Ryhove has expressed satisfaction with this arrangement, and both parties see it as a win-win situation. Mobility and logistics Staff from the Ryhove sheltered workshop used to meet and come to us together. In the future, they will make their own way here. This is cheaper for them and better



for the environment, since they make fewer unnecessary journeys and have reduced their CO2 emissions. We are dependent on transport for production and delivery. Our trucks have lower-emission Euro 5 or 6 engines, and we are also considering the possibility of using Bubble Post, a green logistics company that does deliveries in and around Gent.

A broader view Graphius is a member of Imprim’vert, a French network of companies that seek to minimise their impact on the environment. This reflects our determination to continue striving towards a more sustainable printing process wherever possible.

Our company cars have low emissions, and we are considering using electric cars, installing charging stations, and introducing company bicycles. Waste Participants in the stakeholder consultation told us they were in favour of detailed waste reporting, and said that traceability was also important. The purchasing manager explained that we keep comprehensive records of waste, and separate it into eighteen streams, which are further subdivided. We recycle 95 percent of it, but we do not feel that including full details in this report would add sufficient value. Water Water consumption is not a particular problem in the print sector. It is used in offset printing, but today’s technology requires relatively little: a press operating at 100 percent capacity for eight hours uses only ten litres.

In Belgium, we are a member of The Shift, a multi-stakeholder platform in which companies, other organisations and self-employed workers share ideas and inspiration concerning the transition to greater social and economic sustainability. The Shift is the result of a merger between two other bodies, Kauri, and Business and Society. As members, we are committed to working towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, announced in September 2015. If this looks like something your organisation might be interested in, visit




Sustainable Development Goals universal and individual

The Sustainable Development Goals officially came into force in January 2016. Different countries have different priorities in implementing them: depending on their specific situations, they may place more emphasis on education, healthcare, or inequality, for example. Signatories must also put their commitment into practice: the goals are not a menu from which to pick and choose and ignore the rest. Everyone – governments, citizens, companies, NGOs, educational institutions – must make efforts to achieve them by 2030.

Worldwide, inclusive targets The Sustainable Development Goals have been adopted by the 193 member states of the United Nations. They replace the Millennium Development Goals of 2000 to 2015, and are intended to accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable society and make the world a better place by 2030. The first and most important goal is to end extreme poverty, described by the UN as the greatest challenge of our time. There are also goals for clean drinking water, education, sustainable energy, tackling climate change, and greater equality.

Seventeen goals, five groups The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals are divided into 169 subgoals and five groups: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnerships. It is important to keep these in mind in everything we do. They cover a wide range of issues, as follows:

Belgium signed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in New York in 2016. All signatories are officially committed to incorporating the goals into their sustainability strategies for 2030.



1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education, and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 10. Reduce income inequality within and among countries

11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact by regulating emissions and promoting development and renewable energy 14. Conserve and use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, to sustainably manage forests, combat desertiďŹ cation, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise a global partnership for sustainable development

This report seeks to highlight the connections between the GRI G4 sustainability reporting standard on the one hand, and the Sustainable Development Goals and Sustainable Development Targets on the other. The pictograms in the text refer to the Sustainable Development Goals. To find out more about the goals, and implement them in your own organisation, visit





Graphius offers a long-term vision, along with a balanced investment program. We work with modern economically sustainable production methods and newly developed technologies. Still, it is the Graphius staff that make Graphius into a successful business story.



We work with a business model, where margins are low and expectations are high. Every day we struggle to find the balance between, on the one hand, extremely high pressure and timely deliveries, and, on the other hand, ensuring the delivery of the top quality. Efficiency is absolutely required.

Graphius is working to improve the personnel policy with appropriate training courses, attention provided for the employees’ well-being and health, feedback on work and functioning .... We want to offer a sustainable employment environment, including people from vulnerable backgrounds by providing them with an opportunity to learn right on the work floor. We work with different partners to achieve this goal.

It is the cooperation of all staff that results in achieving all our goals. This can be less obvious, than the ease inherent in such a statement. Graphius Group continues to grow and to develop, as much on the Ghent site, as in Brussels. There are more than 200 people employed as staff in Ghent. Employed with a long-term contract, as an intern, or as Ryhove staff, or enjoying a temporary contract, everyone knows that a tight cooperation between colleagues is the only factor guaranteeing the delivery of quality that our customers deserve.

Naturally, attention is given to other areas, beyond production processes. In 2016, some twenty employees participated in the campaign ‘40 days without meat’. Sometimes, although with predictable frequency, tickets become available for the KAA Ghent or the Red Devils matches. And before Santa brings presents for the kids at home, the Good Old Sint and his Black Piets celebrate the holidays together with all the families of the Graphius staff. 2016 was a year of growth, when we welcomed new teams and colleagues to the Graphius Group, made the following changes in our personnel policy, and created opportunities and ideas to be developed further in 2017. Graphius, The Fine Art Of Printing, powered by Fine People.

High production stress is not the most conducive factor for mutual exchange of social contacts. It is an element of immense importance that the employees should set out to go to work with enthusiasm - never mind that one single less enjoyable day at work - and should be satisfied with what they do at work, and with their position.

Our Staff Graphius is a leading company in the printing and publishing sector, and its production plant in Ghent offers employment to 200 people. As of 31 December 2016, there were 206 people on the Graphius’ payroll in Ghent. 77% are employed in production related functions, and 23% of the staff are employed in service functions. Before 2015, we reported that there were

There isn’t much time to exchange small talk, while executing work tasks. Nevertheless, everyone knows that a good relationship between staff is a very important and valuable asset. Colleagues spend more time together, than they do with their families or friends.

Our employees per division 18% - Finishing

1% - Sales

7% - Order handlers 10% - Prepress

10% - Supervisors 18% - Folding

2% - Calculation 3% - Accountants 25% - Printing 6% - Hardcover



189 people on payroll at Graphius Ghent. This means an addition of 17 newly created long-term positions. In 2016, on a daily average, there were 226 people employed on the production site in Ghent. 206 of these employees (a good 91% of the total of 226) enjoyed long-term contracts with Graphius. Ryhove team was represented by, on average, 6 people working for Graphius. There were around 10 temporary employees present on the site, and 4 interns, learning professional skills, but also actively participating in the production process. We are happy that we could provide our staff with an opportunity to enjoy sustainable professional environment in a healthy and growing company. In recent years, the printing and publishing sector has seen a loss of many jobs. We refer to the numbers made available by the Febelgra organization in the ‘De Grafische sector in cijfers 2012’ (edition 2013). During the period between 2009 and 2012, 1,507 production employees, and 461 service employees lost their jobs. This scope had never been seen prior to this period. The years following this period did not see much improvement. There are no hundreds of new jobs created in the sector to replace those lost. We pay close attention to new publications of the sector federation for any new data and analysis.

The distribution spread between women and men on the Graphius payroll differs from the average. In 2016, men comprised 80% and women 20% of the total workforce at Graphius.

The Age Pyramid We would like to conduct an investigation into how exactly Graphius employment model differs from the average in the sector. The most recent data, made available by Febelgra, comes from 2012. Applying uniformity principle to the printing and publishing sector, we look at the ‘De Grafische sector in cijfers 2012’ (edition 2013) published by Febelgra. If we look closer at the printing and publishing sector age pyramid, we see that ageing is a phenomenon fully present in the printing and publishing sector today. The numbers for 2012 show that 60% of all employees were over 40 years old (incl. in newspaper printing). 43.03% of all employees were older than 45 years old, and 25.53% were even over 50 years old. In concrete terms, this means that 60% of all employees were over 40. More than 40% were over 50 years old, and a quarter of those were way over 50. The ageing factor is fully present in the printing and publishing sector, and it may even be more extreme than anything so far reported.

Different Stages, Different Departments The process facilitating the development of the original idea into a concrete product ready to be shipped to customers is a process with many stages in-between. Much has to happen before the boxes with beautiful books, glossy magazines, attractive advertisement, etc., are ready for delivery, and a lot of professional knowledge is invested drawing on different departments concerned.

When we compare the sector data with the data from Graphius, we see that some 33% of our employees are under 40 years old. The sector average is 40%. 65% of all Graphius employees are between 22 and 50 years old. The sector average is 25%. 35% of all Graphius employees are over 50, but younger than 65 years of age. The sector average is 25%. There is only one Graphius employee over 65 years old. The data obtained from the sector statistics shows that 0.5% of all printing and publishing sector employees are still active professionally after reaching the retirement age.

We gladly present the graphic chart, appropriately illustrating the exact nature of our different departments.

Ladies and Gentlemen Whoever has been inside a printing facility before surely noticed it. The majority of labor force are men. In terms of gender distribution in 2010, there were 75% men employed, and 25% women. Numbers for 2012 show that then, with the (remaining) total of 13,924 people employed in the printing and publishing sector, there was an increase of up to 30% women and 70% men employed. It remains difficult for us to compare our situation in 2016 to the abovementioned data, but we do know that the numbers of created jobs are not of the scope that can compensate for the losses.

The numbers of incoming young personnel under 25 years of age are extremely low. We have discussed it at the stakeholder meeting. There are different factors at play here. The printing and publishing sector is crippled with a negative image problem. Young people do not recognize the sector as modern and/or innovative. It may sound strange, but the image of a person in a dustcoat covered with ink persists. Young people are more interested in a job, where they can use their computer skills, rather than learning a profession. The fact that at Graphius we use a high technology produc-


If Graphius can be called a success, that is due to the people who work there


tion process goes largely unnoticed. One other significant detail is the Graphius location at the edge of the harbour. The location offers logistic advantages, but it fails in regard to attracting young people. The potential job applicants show a preference for multinational companies active in the harbour. We must take care of the image our sector generally, and our company in particular, create among young potential job applicants. Graphius is the leading company in the printing and publishing sector. We would love to take on the challenge to initiate a conversation with the younger generation to exchange ideas about the company and the sector as such. We would love to offer answers to their questions, and address any doubts, should there be any. We are open to see if we can offer any internships, and potential job applicants in the framework of school assignments can contact us for an interview ... Our Facebook page is also a low-threshold medium, whereby we can reach the young population.

Accidents at Work and Sick Days In 2015, there were 11 accidents, which alarmed us immensely. 2016 looks to be a completely different picture. The company registered 4 accidents, showing a considerable improvement. There is really no logical explanation available for it, since there was no campaign conducted to reduce the accident rate. Were we simply lucky? Was there subconsciously an underlying concern for safety regulations active at work? We cannot determine the exact reason. Despite the fluke (?) numbers, in 2017 we will strive for an increased watchfulness and safety on the work floor. It remains highly important to be able to take responsibility and to consciously maintain deadline awareness and compliance with the regulations within a safe work environment. This is the only way we can prevent work related accidents.

Diversity Policy 8 individuals, who do not have Belgian nationality, enjoy a long-term contract with Graphius. The numbers are the same as stated in the first and in the second Sustainability Report. We underline that there are foreign born people active on the Graphius team, who do have Belgian nationality. Also, in the temporary work force as well, we see a lot of people of not-Belgian background. The image one gets on the work floor is therefore different than what one would expect based only on the reported numbers. There are two employees with disabilities, belonging to the original team. We have integrated our vision of diversity into the text of our Job Descriptions and on the website, and we encourage likely job applicants on the market to apply for work at the Graphius.

In 2014, the total number of sick days registered for the entire team in Ghent amounts to 2,540 days, or on average 13 days per one employee. In 2015, there was a decrease in sick days taken down to 2,124, or on average 11 sick days per one employee. When we look at the 2016 numbers, and make an allowance for 6 employees taking disability leave for the entire year, and one employee working 50% of the time, and the other 50% absent due to illness, we calculate 2,121 sick days in 2015. On average, employee sick days amounted to 11 days per person in 2016.



Training Courses Each new employee receives a ‘Start-to-Graphius’ booklet: an introduction to their new function containing practical information concerning expectations and customary handlings, etc. The most important information is summarized in our Reception Brochure.

Graphius is FSC certified. To be able to correctly assess our FSC paper acquisition and sales patterns, it is required to regularly follow up on the data. Moreover, this year the employees were given a chance to follow training courses not directly linked to their specific tasks.

Every year Graphius welcomes new employees, each following individual professional education trajectories, the so-called IBO. The IBO program provides an opportunity for Graphius to teach its employees some professional skills, which they can (no longer) acquire at school. IBO program also facilitates closing gaps in knowledge shown by new employees. Graphius offers employees training required to execute their tasks well. In 2016, a diverse and comprehensive educational package was on offer. Employees followed training courses especially designed for their specific tasks.

• 9 employees followed a course on ergonomics. • 10 employees voluntarily followed a First Aid training course for one day. Employees responded positively to the courses we provided, even though we did not make any specific effort to increase awareness of the value added by training.

A sample of the training courses follows: • • • • •

Cutting Models, Stahl Folding, Operator Muller Primera Operator Forklift, driving license C Registration Software FSC Order Manager, Calculator



Feedback on Operations and Future Development Opportunities During 2016, there were preparations made for the organization of performance interviews. Managers started conducting performance interviews at the end of 2016. It remains a new method introduced recently to Graphius, and not everyone was/is convinced of its value. The interviews discussed how the concerned employees approach and perform their tasks. Managers also stress job satisfaction during the interview, and the possible need for any additional training courses.

Performance interviews will be organized annually. Whoever had a performance interview conducted in December can, on principle, expect the following interview in December the following year. At the end of March 2017, some 42% of all employees already had a performance interview conducted. Managers involved followed up on the performance interviews, and made timely evaluations.

Learning While Working and Working While Learning Learning While Working and Working While Learning is a double core principle operating at the Graphius. The first principle is that people should get an opportunity to become qualified. Graphius wants to offer people this opportunity.

Moreover, internships aside, we also offer young people a chance of summer employment for Graphius. We publish these vacancies on the Graphius intranet and give priority to family members of Graphius employees. They already know Graphius, and already have a bond with the company.

The other principle is that employees can grow to become experts in their profession only if and when they acquire theoretical knowledge together with practical skills. This isn’t possible in school. There is a lack of time there, most modern technologies are not available, etc. Immersion in the professional reality of a business can teach one so much more.

In the framework of cooperation between Graphius, VDAB and GRAFOC, there have been two periods of training provided by the company. The 6 interns taking part in this project have meanwhile been signed on to Graphius with a contract. Still, the training provided by the company was not a complete success for everyone. Some interns requested a withdrawal, because they thought it was too difficult, or because they didn’t like the work or the pressure, and other such like reasons. They were further directed by VDAB.

Each year, Graphius offers students a chance to be accepted to an internship to grow in their profession, but also to get to know the daily professional reality of production.

One intern stopped at our request. This specific individual lacked the required competencies, and didn’t fit into the team. Competency = knowledge x skills x attitude. The chance for a successful cooperation becomes small, when these requirements do not coalesce.

Offering opportunities to high school pupils, university students and adults brings with it its own advantage to Graphius, because all students bring with them their own individual collection of experiences and competencies. Sometimes, this can lead to new, unexpected insights.

Up to now, we are satisfied with the results of the training provided by the company. It would be nice if we could select at least three new employees from each internship program.

A good idea or a wise advice? Let us know about it for sure! 26


Additional, but still familiar teams within the Graphius organization With ever new methods and high technology becoming available, there is still a lot of manual work to be done at Graphius. From inserting bookmarkers to designing calendars with printed fields, and packaging all counted piles in plastic wrap: it all must be done with care and attention.

Sometimes, we experience rush hours at work that must be effectively handled. We then reinforce the Graphius team with temporary employees, and/or call in Ryhove. Graphius and Ryhove work already for many years together. One new development in the year past is that Ryhove now employs a team of employees with a contract on the site of the Graphius production company. The Ryhove employees and the management teams of both Ryhove and Graphius see this form of cooperation as extremely positive. The Ryhove employees experience this as a real integration in a ‘normal’ employment environment. They constitute a part of the company and wear Graphius t-shirts while at work.

Graphius presence in the community

The world looks at us and we look at the world

The people living in the vicinity have seen Graphius expand recently. New printing houses in the group mean more employees, more deliveries made to Graphius by manufacturers using cargo vehicles. There is therefore more movement noticed in the area. The road works at the new junction R4/Langerbruggestraat do not help the problem with traffic jams. The impact of these road works is experienced as extremely annoying for Graphius, because many people fail to keep their schedule on time (visitors, employees...), but also because we are aware that a lot of traffic gets detoured through Eekhoutdriesstraat, providing a source of frustration for the residential community. We are aware of the impact we make on the surrounding environment, and we would like to keep it to a minimum. That’s why we built a construction around the pressure vessel for paper waste products - with the aim to reduce the noise level experienced by the people living in the area. We shall communicate with the community more on these issues, also using other channels of communication as well. During the stakeholder meeting, there were some people from the neighbourhood present as community representatives. We will follow up on it, and we will do our utmost to communicate where necessary and pro-actively.

Graphius presents a positive story to the world: one innovative family company that has grown to be an important player on the Belgian and European market. Population is interested to find out exactly what happens behind the closed doors of the Board meetings, and where our next step will lead us. The Sustainability Report is an appropriate medium. We need inspiration and ideas ... and these we get from people! For our sustainability story, we are most grateful to our customers, who “have sustainability in their blood cells”. They keep us alert, and help us actualize our knowledge. Some provide ideas in the field of technical environmental improvements. Others point our attention to the South, and urge us to integrate in our policy their know-how in sustainable sales.




The living environment

The society is wary about printing presses, and therefore often has a wrong image of how we operate. Graphius cannot produce printed matter without using paper, ink, and electricity. These materials lie at the core of our production activities. We strive to handle these materials with utmost care, and try to reduce our waste materials as much as possible. We monitor all activities with attention, and provide management where required. We gladly take on pioneering work. We evolve in high tempo, but we must also continuously balance our activities step for step, and remain in a controlled mode production. We intensively invest in new technologies and maintain an environmentally friendly production process.

Our high-technology production process allows us to conduct work efficiently, with positive results for the environment. Our ambitions towards creating a sustainable business enterprise are great, but we must put it aside for the sake of the context of our work. Small margins limit our opportunities to experiment. That is why we choose for the implementation of certain new technological applications, to see how soon they prove to be effective in a printing process providing at least comparable scope of operations.



ISO 9001 and ISO 14001

We can see the forest for the trees

Our aim in 2016 was to work according to the ISO 14001- and ISO 9001 standards. Using the Environmental Care System according to the ISO 14001 standards, we can control and reduce environmental hazards. We combine this with ISO 9001, the international standard on quality management systems. The standards are complimentary, although the ISO 9001 standard concentrates on customer satisfaction. The pre-audit for the two systems has been successfully conducted: we have achieved the goal for 2016, namely getting certification for ISO 14001- and ISO-9001 standards.

Graphius buys a lot of paper, because we need this for our core activities. In 2016, we bought 15,166 tons of paper for our production site in Ghent from various wholesale paper providers and manufacturers. In 2015, this amounted to 13,580 ton. The increase in turnover causes increased demand for raw materials, required for executing our core activities. The current, third Sustainability Report is printed in 10,650 editions in Dutch, French and English, and is available in digital format on our website. Graphius is FSC certified. FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council, and is a brand referring to sustainably maintained forests, which in itself means environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically livable wood maintenance system. For more information, we refer you to The origins of FSC certified paper are traceable. The end product with a FSC label is the result of a long manufacturing process starting in a FSC certified forest. From a tree to a printed page, that is one long way with many steps in between, where every step is certified by FSC. Annually an audit takes place, where our production site is inspected for the correct way of storing paper supplies, the acquisition of paper supplies and the correct invoicing administration, and more. The same process is provided by PEFC: Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification. Graphius is not certified by PEFC. There is no noticeable demand by our customers for PEFC certified paper. When we report in this Sustainability Report +-on sales of paper and sustainable paper, we mean exclusively the sales of paper bearing the FSC label. The collection and analysis of the paper acquisition data required consulting the paperwork delivered by respective paper manufacturers. Last year, Graphius acquired 15,166 ton paper, of which some 5,746 ton were FSC certified. Supplies of paper with a FSC label formed 38% of the total paper acquisition. The share of recycled paper acquisition was 4%.

One tip To keep track of all the available sustainable brands, we suggest consulting www.labelinfo. be in the process. Network Conscious Use vzw provides information on sustainable manufacturers of clothes, maintenance products, vacation books ‌ and therefore also of paper supplies.

From well-­ managed forests



Inks and non-durable items Graphius is a sheet-fed offset press, and is in state to produce print matter digitally. Our team assesses the received orders and makes the decision as to which way to produce the printed matter: digitally or using an offset method. A minor part of the orders are produced digitally. We work with toners, rather than ink, for digitally produced printed matter. Upon completion of use - just as with other forms of waste products at Graphius - toners are collected by a specialized waste collection company. If we have the chance, we prefer to use vegetable oilbased inks, but mostly we get orders from customers, and have no say in the design. In 2014, we bought 95 ton vegetable oil-based ink. It was 110 ton in 2015, and in 2016 it amounted to 116 ton. The increasing amounts are due to the increase in sales. Not all inks are available on vegetable oil basis. That is for instance not possible for metal based inks, such as silver and gold, and for fluorescent inks. In 2015, we acquired 135 kg of metal based ink, and 114 kg of fluorescent ink. In 2016, we used 404 kg of metal based ink, and 205 kg of fluorescent ink. Also here the amounts have increased due to the increase in

turnover and design, something we unfortunately cannot control. A system is installed in the printing hall, whereby it automatically measures the colors and the register, and provides management of colors where necessary, while the production is in process. This has a positive result in its economic and ecological aspects, because we can limit the number of inserts, as well as the use of ink and other supporting materials.



Energy The energy audit conducted by the City of Ghent and Emaze in 2013, resulted in some recommendations, and further action plans were developed. These plans are intended as directional guidance.

We now see for the first time the globally positive results for our energy acquisition and consumption. This has led to reduced use of electrical power from 180 kW to a maximum of 30 kW, presenting a significant difference. At this point, there are two centralized pumping systems, equipped either with frequency management or soft starters. This installation has its pumping action directed to the outside in the summer. In the winter, we recycle warm air - just as compressed air as well - for the production halls’ heating systems. Compressor blast air is used in the winter as a heating element.

Graphius possesses photovoltaic panels, but we have to acquire extra power as well. We prefer green energy. In 2015, the total use amounted to 5,285 MWh. In 2016, we registered 5,471 MWh. Use of energy is strictly monitored. It came close to expected amounts, given the increase in turnover. In 2014, we also acquired 26,208 liter of fuel oil. In 2015, this amounted to 15,280 liters, and in 2016 we acquired 26,220 liters. This is similar to 2014. Using more or less fuel oil is not noticeable in itself, but depending on the dates of the measuring, and the dates of fuel oil delivery, this has an impact on the numbers registered. Graphius has a complete installation of the cooling and heating system available, and satisfies all lawful requirements in this respect. Besides centralization of compressed air, centralization of vacuum and blast was also achieved on full scale.

In 2016, we examined how we can best optimize the heating system in the offices and the book binding hall. There was a special study required, and we decided to invest in it. Some offices will still have to be heated using furnace oil. The exhaust waste from the book bindery (35 mÂł) will be stopped. Air recycling takes place via a paper extraction system and from the inside. The recycled air comes back inside. A sensor measures the quality of air. It is a smart system that allows for pumping fresh air inside when required. This investment has had a positive impact on the living environment, because not only do we not need to use fuel energy for this application any longer, but also because we do not use the cooling/heating system with the windows open anymore.





Everywhere people are concerned about water. The global warming phenomenon threatens the lives of many people. Too little water, and the connection to hunger is easily made; too much water and the connection to new migration flows becomes clear. Thousands and thousands of people have no access to pure water, whereby their health and their future come under threat. Therefore, even if we are not prepared to handle this problem single-handedly, still we can do something to that effect. Handling water consciously constitutes an important factor. Graphius keeps track of all acquisition and use in detail. We regularly analyze the data, and take action when necessary. Our Ghent site is equipped to collect rain water for hygienic use. This water may not be used in the printing production. In its place, we buy mains water. Offset printing is a process, whereby image material is printed on paper using a combination formula of water and ink. Use of dampening water ensures a good transfer of ink. Mains water is therefore adapted to accommodate the printing process. The current modern technologies allow use of water in 100% operational printing facilities to be limited to 10 liters a day. A printing facility uses water in the preparation process, namely to rinse the offset plates. In 2015, we used 240,658 m² of plates, which is comparable to 35 average size football fields. In 2016, this amounted to 250,741 m², or the surface square meterage of 36 football fields. In the 2015 report, the stated total water use was 3,737 m³, which presents an improvement in regard to the 4,562 m³ in 2014. Our calculations show that in the past year we have acquired 4,782 m³ of water. This cannot be attributed to irresponsible behavior or any extravagance. Graphius has expanded its operations and processed more orders.

Mains water is adapted for use in the printing process by adding extra elements. One of these additives is called isopropylalcohol or IPA. Isopropylalcohol provides for a lowering of dampening water surface pressure. It is used to reduce water use, and can achieve a more balanced ink to damper equation. IPA cleans, degreases and disinfects pipes. Besides these clear advantages, isopropylalcohol has its own disadvantages, too. Fire and explosive hazards arise due to low flammability levels. One other clear disadvantage is that it presents health hazards to those employees breathing in high concentrations of IPA substance. We strive to offer a healthy working environment. Graphius has experience with alcohol free printing, because one printing press was initially started as an alcohol-free operation. We have a vision of printing alcohol free on other printing presses, but at this moment it does not appear to be economically feasible. In a sector, where the margins are already under pressure for many years, it becomes necessary to work as efficiently as possible, and there is no sense in incurring production losses due to experiments. IPA-free printing requires a special approach and a learning curve, representing a risk we cannot take at this moment. That is why Graphius chooses to print with reduced IPA, and on average we add some 5% isopropylalcohol to the solution.



Logistics and Transport

Nevertheless, we continue to take up the challenge of making good on our commitments and timely deliveries. Graphius bundles transport requirements, and uses a joint cargo model. We deliver printed matter with our own fleet of trucks and pick-up wagons, but we outsource to partners too, for instance: Post. be, TNT and messenger services. Graphius trucks are equipped with Euro-5 or Euro-6 engine, and demonstrate relatively low exhaust levels. We will inquire if Bubble Post would be interested to become a logistics partner. They are specialized in eco-deliveries, and are active in and around Ghent. .

Printing press employees know well how to deliver under time pressure. Technically, turnaround time keeps getting less and less, due to the appearance of still better machines working faster and more efficiently. Printing companies invest in these performance oriented machines, but the time saving is experienced primarily by the customers. They know that everything can be done faster, and adjust their expectations appropriately. An integrated printing press allows us to save on the transporting of the printed matter, conducted earlier by external partners using special technologies.

The Graphius’ truck and pick up fleet features a track-andtrace system that registers the data on vehicle use, drive time, and other elements. These data are then analyzed with the aim to improve our planning system and mobility opportunities.

Besides the speed of production, there are the transport and mobility challenges present in the picture. Road works and traffic jams present concrete threats to the operational activities of a printing press. There may not be any time gone lost on the way, neither by us, nor by the suppliers on the way to Graphius to make a delivery.

Logistics also presents the issue of receiving goods. During the week, our suppliers deliver all orders: from paper to non-durable goods, from packaging material to products for maintenance of storage space. Our employees check the information on order coupons with that in the manufacturers’ notes, and at a later stage also with the invoice. We have perfected a system, whereby we can follow the acquisition and sales data with precision. We undertake to be proactive whenever a hazardous situation is indicated, and we will continue to acquire knowledge for future acquisitions.

The road works around Graphius provide for confusion among visitors to the location, who cannot find the way, it almost ensures that employees arrive late for work, or otherwise they are obliged to leave earlier from home and take a different route, it ensures that manufacturers making deliveries get stuck ‌



Commuter traffic Under normal circumstances, delivery transport can get fairly fast to and from Graphius, because of its location on the edge of Ghent and the harbour. The impact of the road works is extensive, but even these works will end given time.

• Using a bike can be attractive for 33% of the employees living at a distance of 5 km away from the site, and it constitutes a possible option for those living at a distance of 5 to 9 km away from the site as well.

A good location for transport does not always mean a good location for the employees. Whoever arrives by car, can reach Graphius in no time, and can park right on the premises. The public transport system is another good alternative, except for those employees involved in shift work. The public transport service is not yet available both in the wee hours of the morning as employees leave from work, nor as they leave at the end of the day.

A Physical Access Profile was compiled for Graphius with the following conclusions: • Graphius is located in Ghent Harbour, an urban area home primarily to manufacturing and logistics companies. It is a clear-cut vehicle access location. The congestion on the strategically important traffic route, the Kennedylaan, has become a great obstacle for daily traffic. • Acknowledging the efforts made by the Province administration, reliance upon a bike for transportation is becoming more pronounced, which certainly has a potential in the residential neighbourhoods adjacent to the harbour. Bike routes and highways are being prepared for use. Bikes with wagons are available. This offers clear opportunities for the future. • Public transport service (The Line) runs on a small scale, and primarily provides for the needs of those living in the residential neighbourhoods adjacent to the harbour. It also provides a connection to the railways. It does not fulfill the specific needs of companies employing people on a shift basis. • For those working shifts, the organization Max Mobiel vzw has developed a solution using shuttle services for the eastern part of the harbour. However, this service run has not yet been explored, because the time schedule has not yet been fixed on Graphius part.

Transporting people and moving vehicles required an acquisition of 109,044 liters of diesel oil and 5,280 liters petroleum by Graphius. It shows a slight decrease in acquisition of fuel, inasmuch for petroleum, as for diesel oil. In this third Sustainability Report, we mention the commuting problems experienced by all our contracted employees, but we combine it with the Mobiscan analysis executed in 2016 by the Province East-Flanders on our request. Two companies Sweco and performed the analysis on request from the Province EastFlanders. Mobiscan is an analysis of physical access to a company, and the mobility level that company generates, with an aim to optimization in the direction of sustainable cargo operations. The Graphius mobility profile shows that Graphius generates more vehicle mobility than the average numbers shown by Ghent, Flemish or Federal statistics. Use of bikes in the area mirrors Flemish and Federal statistics. One important comment is that the public transport service is almost unavailable. Driving dominates all distance categories of commuting traffic, but there is clearly enough space for bicycle use growth. • 50% of all employees, living at a distance of maximum 5 km from the site, drive a car: presenting one serious potential contingent to start using a bike.

We added the kilometers travelled by motorcycles or mopeds to those travelled by car. There were 1,638,273 km travelled by car, moped or motorcycle for commuting purposes. 21 colleagues rode a bicycle to work, and together they travelled 63,993 km. A few brave colleagues still use the public transport services to come to work. One colleague travels 3,220 km in commuting with a bus, and one other colleague travels 25,760 km with the train. 49% of all Graphius employees in Ghent live within a distance of 10 km from the production site. 72% live within a distance of 20 km. The calculations are based on the data collected from 191 employees, excluding 4 employees with long-term disabilities. It concerns momentous statistics, but it supports the number of employees as of 31/12/2016, namely 206 employees in Ghent.



Waste To be able to engage in our core activities, we need to buy raw materials, non-durable goods, etc. All waste products are registered and sorted. Paper waste is collected for recycling. Other waste products are sorted and selectively collected.

Will the ‘cradle to cradle’ model - products developed on the principle that from the start to the end of use they remain safe and recyclable - become a realistic business model? Would not the circulation of raw materials become more and more of a closed circle, if it is used too systematically? Asking questions is a way of providing answers to the issue…

Currently, Graphius produces 18 types of waste matter, which for the most part remains effectively unsorted. One positive note is that 95% of all our waste gets recycled. Aluminum printing plates used during the printing process will, for instance, be picked up by a specialized company, and upon some re-processing, will be put again into circulation. All waste products are monitored and followed up as to the results. Detailed data are available, and at a request Graphius colleagues are available to address any inquiries.

CO2-footprint We had our CO2 footprint calculated by ClimatePartner, which uses a methodology based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, or GHG protocol. Our footprint in 2016 was 726,14 tonnes. One tonne of CO2 is the equivalent of a 200-cubic-metre balloon, or 125 cubic metres of Coke. Converting our total CO2 emissions into biomass would take 36,307 trees one year. A 2.3-megawatt wind turbine would have to operate for 1, 815.35 hours to offset them.

Carbon neutral printed matter packaged in organic foil? We have already stated in previous Sustainability Reports that Graphius would welcome the move to completely CO2 neutral production methods. It is in fact financially not feasible to compensate for all CO2 exhaust gases produced by the entire Graphius Group, without passing the costs to our customers. As an alternative, and already for years, we offer our customers a possibility to compensate for the CO2 exhaust produced, while executing their individual orders. It is stated clearly on all our invoicing. This year too, we remarked that this issue is not a priority for everyone. The CO2 exhaust footprint was compensated for executing a total of 19 orders. Added up, it comes up to a turnover of 332 euro.

Organic foil is technically a perfect alternative for the traditional wrapping materials used for packaging our mailing orders and magazines … It is organically recyclable, and is manufactured from starch. Organic wrapping materials can be burned together with the rest of the waste, and provide additional energy in return. We try to stimulate our customers, but up to now there has been little interest shown towards use of a product with the least impact on the environment. Healthy environment is of great importance for our future and that of our children, but the will to dare and the preparedness to think concepts through, and consequently choose for the most sustainable solution, are lacking.



GRI-index and Sustainable Development Goals and Targets G R I - G 4 G E N E R A L S TA N D A R D D I S C L O S U R E S Reporting level





1, 4, 5, 8, 9

complete complete complete complete

5 2, 3, 5 5, cover 5

partly complete complete complete

5 5 5, 8 5, 8 100% 8, 9 1

SDG Goal and SDG Target


G4-1 G4-2

Statement from the most senior decision-maker of the organization about the relevance of sustainability to the organization and the organization’s strategy for addressing sustainability. Description of important consequences, risks and possibilities.


G4-3 G4-4 G4-5 G4-6 G4-7 G4-8 G4-9 G4-10 G4-11 G4-12 G4-13 G4-14 G4-15 G4-16

The name of the organization. The primary brands, products, and services. The location of the organization’s headquarters. Number of countries where the organization operates, and names of countries where either the organization has significant operations or that are specifically relevant to the sustainability topics covered in the report. The nature of ownership and legal form. The markets served The scale of the organization Employees The percentage of total employees covered by collective bargaining agreements The organization’s supply chain Significant changes during the reporting period regarding the organization’s size, structure, ownership, or its supply chain Report whether and how the precautionary approach or principle is addressed by the organization List externally developed economic, environmental and social charters, principles, or other initiatives to which the organization subscribes or which it endorses. Memberships of associations and national or international advocacy organizations in which the organization holds a position on the governance body or participates in projects or committees

complete complete complete complete

8 and 8.5 8 and 8.8

introduction, 4, 9 6, 7



G4-17 G4-18 G4-19 G4-20 G4-21 G4-22 G4-23

Operational structure and scope of the report The process for defining the report and how the organization has implemented the Reporting Principles for Defining Report Content. The material Aspects identified in the process for defining report content. The Aspect Boundary within the organization The Aspect Boundary outside the organization The effect of any restatements of information provided in previous reports, and the reasons for such restatements Significant changes from previous reporting periods in the Scope and Aspect Boundaries

complete complete

5 5

complete complete partly N/A

5 5, 6 5, 6



G4-24 G4-25 G4-26 G4-27

List of stakeholder groups engaged by the organization The basis for identification and selection of stakeholders with whom to engage The organization’s approach to stakeholder engagement, including frequency of engagement by type and by stakeholder group Key topics and concerns that have been raised through stakeholder engagement, and how the organization has responded to those key topics and concerns, including through its reporting

complete complete complete

6 6 6



complete complete complete complete complete complete

5 5 5 cover 5 5


1, 5


introduction, 1, 4, 6


G4-28 G4-29 G4-30 G4-31 G4-32 G4-33

Reporting period Date of most recent previous report Reporting cycle The contact point for questions regarding the report or its contents. Core/Comprehensive The organization’s policy and current practice with regard to seeking external assurance for the report



The governance structure of the organization, including committees of the highest governance body



Describe the organization’s values, principles, standards and norms of behavior such as codes of conduct and codes of ethics.


16 and 16.1



Reporting level volledig


SDG Goal and SDG Target


5 and 5.4 / 7 and a, b / 8 and 8.1 / 9 and 9.1, 9.4, 9.5, 9 a 2 and 2.a

8 and 8.4 / 12 and 12.2 12 and 12.2 7 and 7.2, 7.3 / 8 and 8.4 / 12 and 12.2 / 13 and 13.1 7 and 7.3 / 8 and 8.4 / 12 and 12.2 / 13 and 13.1


G4 EC 1

The direct economic value generated and distributed


G4 EC 4

The total monetary value of financial assistance received by the organization from governments during the reporting period The percentage of the procurement budget used for significant locations of operation spent on suppliers local to that operation


G4 EC 9

not discussed


G4 EN 1 G4 EN 2 G4 EN 3

Energy The total weight or volume of materials The percentage of recycled input materials Total fuel consumption from (non-)renewable sources and energy consumption

partly partly complete

6, 9 6, 9 6, 9

G4 EN 6

The amount of reductions in energy consumption achieved


6, 9

G4 EN 8 G4 EN 10

Water The total volume of water withdrawn from Surface water and ground water The total volume of water recycled and reused by the organization

complete partly

6, 9 6, 9

G4 EN 15

Emissions Direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 1)

6 and 6.4 6 and 6.3, 6.4 / 8 and 8.4 / 12 and 12.2



G4 EN 21

NOX, SOX, and other significant air emissions



G4 EN 23

Waste water and waste streams Total weight of hazardous and non-hazardous waste

12 and 12.2 / 13 and 13.1 / 14 and 14.3 / 15 and 15.2 / 3 and 3.9 3 and 3.9/ 12 and 12.4 / 14 and 14.3 / 15 and 15.2


6, 9


6, 9


6, 9

8 and 8.4 / 12 and 12.2, 12.5 16 and 16.3


6, 9


6, 9

11 and 11.2 / 12 and 12.4 / 13 and 13.1 7 and 7.a / 9 and 9.4, 9.5 / 12 and 12.4 / 13 and 13.1, 13.3 / 14 and 14.3 / 15 and 15.1 / 17 and 17.7


6, 8

8 and 8.5, 8.8


6, 8

3 and 3.3, 3.9 / 8 and 8.8



4 and 4.3, 4.4, 4.5 / 5 and 5.1 / 8 and 8.5

partly partly

8 8

8 and 8.5 5 and 5.1 / 8 and 8.5



5 and 5.1, 5.5 / 8 and 8.5



5 and 5.1 / 8 and 8.5 / 10 and 10.20



1 and 1.14


6, 9

2 and 2.3



16 and 16.3



12 and 12.8

G4 EN 25 G4 EN 28 G4 EN 29

G4 EN 30 G4 EN 31

G4 EN 33

Weight of transported, imported, exported, or treated waste deemed hazardous under the terms of the Basel Convention Annex I, II, III, and VIII,… Percentage of products sold and their packaging materials that are reclaimed by category Monetary value of significant fines and total number of non-monetary sanctions for noncompliance with environmental laws and regulations Transport Significant environmental impacts of transporting products and other goods and materials for the organization’s operations, and transporting members of the workforce Total environmental protection expenditures and investments

Significant actual and potential negative environmental impacts in the supply chain and actions taken

no sanctions

3 and 3.9 / 6 and 6.3 / 12 and 12.4 3 and 3.9/ 12 and 12.4

not discussed

S O C I A L : W O R K C I R C U M S TA N C E S A N D D E C E N T W O R K

G4 LA 1 G4 LA 4 G4 LA 6

G4 LA 9 G4 LA 10 G4 LA 11

G4 LA 12 G4 LA 13

Employment Total number and rates of new employee hires and employee turnover by age group, gender and region Minimum notice periods regarding operational changes, including whether these are specified in collective agreements Injury, occupational diseases, lost days, and absenteeism, and total number of workrelated fatalities Training and education Average hours of training per year per employee by gender, and by employee category Programs for skills management and lifelong learning that support the continued employability of employees and assist them in managing career endings Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews, by gender and by employee category Diversity and equal opportunity Composition of governance bodies and breakdown of employees per employee category according to gender, age group, minority group membership, and other indicators of diversity Ratio of basic salary and remuneration of women to men by employee category, by significant locations of operation


G4 SO 1 G4 SO 2

Percentage of operations with implemented local community engagement, impact assessments, and development programs Operations with significant actual and potential negative impacts on local communities



G4 SO 8

Monetary value of significant fines and total number of non-monetary sanctions for noncompliance with laws and regulations



Type of product and service information required by the organization’s procedures for product and service information and labeling, and percentage of significant product and service categories subject to such information requirements



And the future? Our social and environmental priorities for 2017 Renovate compressed air and heat recovery systems Achieve long-term reduction in paper waste Reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency Research alternative fuel-oil tank Calculate CO2 footprint Implement sustainable commuting measures Encourage sustainable commuting Lease electric bicycles Increase biofoil awareness Increase carbon-neutral printing awareness Sustainable purchasing policy and enhanced customer relations Involve employees in corporate social responsibility strategy Employee assessments Encourage healthy lifestyle Local roots


Stakeholder consultation Short-term internships


In-house cooperation with Ryhove sheltered workshop


Change heating in offices and book bindery




Colophon: Members of Graphius Group: Geers Offset, Sintjoris, New Goff, Druk In De Weer, De Duurzame Drukker, Deckers Snoeck, Boone-Roosens, Etiglia, Dereume Printing, Stevens Print & GuidoMaes.Printingdeluxe.*****. Editor in Charge: Denis Geers, Eekhoutdriesstraat 67, 9041 Ghent, Belgium. Graphius, Eekhoutdriesstraat 67, 9041 Ghent, Belgium. Tel. +32 9 218 08 41,, Sustainability Report Team: Olivia & Julius, Halina Bletek Contact person for additional information, or if you have a comment or a tip for our Sustainability Report: Thomas Dewitte, +32 9 321 99 87, Graphius Ghent Eekhoutdriesstraat 67 9041 Ghent Belgium +32 9 218 08 41 Graphius Brussels Hemelstraat 2 1651 Beersel Belgium +32 2 300 76 44 Cover is printed using vegetable oil-based ink on Cocoon paper 250g. Interior is printed using vegetable oil-based ink on Cocoon paper 140g. Shipped wrapped in organic starch-based wrapping material.


En duurzaamheidsverslag 2016 lr  
En duurzaamheidsverslag 2016 lr