Prusa Research announced a comprehensive program of sustainability for the company.
Sustainability is rapidly becoming a key component for corporations as stakeholders realize the benefits possible through sustainable practices. The 3D printing industry is no longer a stranger to this phenomenon, as we’ve increasingly seen announcements of varying types related to sustainability by many companies in the space.
Last year Stratasys took a huge step by announcing a comprehensive sustainable strategy they call “Mindful Manufacturing”, and even putting in place a corporate leader dedicated to sustainability, Rosa Coblens, who we recently met.
At the time of their announcement, I believe Stratasys was the only additive company that had announced a sustainability program of such depth. Now, that’s changing as Prusa Research has announced their own comprehensive program.
Why undertake such a challenging program during difficult times? Prusa Research founder Josef Prusa explained:
“By the end of last summer, I finally decided that we want to clearly focus on sustainability, throughout the whole company. Why? First and foremost, we have always enjoyed doing things with a positive spin and we care about the environment in which we make business. At the same time, I see room for innovation and further development of the company.”
Prusa Research undertook an internal survey to identify how sustainability could be undertaken, and the result was three “pillars” for their agenda:
- We want to minimize our company’s environmental impact and introduce new, more sustainable products
- Fair relations with colleagues and business partners
- We want to help solve today’s problems through 3D printing
They’ve also created a new role for “Sustainability at Prusa Research”, which is now led by Vladimír Víšek, who previously led sustainability initiatives for IKEA and the founder of No Greenwashing, a Czech organization that promotes honest sustainability over superficial corporate statements so often seen these days.
Prusa Research has actually long had sustainability aspects appear in their operations, for example, recently announcing new filament products based on recycled manufacturing scraps that would otherwise have been discarded, or using recyclable materials for their filament spools. They’ve also switched their packaging to use sturdier cardboard to reduce the use of plastic when shipping equipment.
Now those informal practices and more will fall under a single sustainability strategy.
Among the upcoming changes will be formalized measures for company sustainability. They intend on publishing the environmental impact of their products, starting with their flagship MK3S+ 3D printer, later this year.
They are also computing the company’s overall carbon footprint, and that itself will lead to ongoing sustainability improvements. You can’t change what you don’t measure, and Prusa Research is taking the first step by measuring themselves. They explain:
“We don’t want to do things rashly, which is why we decided to have our company’s carbon footprint calculated, in its entirety, including the supply chain. The calculation follows an internationally recognized GHG protocol. The data will be available in about a month. We will use them to make decisions on where to aim our efforts and resources, to reduce our carbon footprint as efficiently as possible.”
The program will inevitably result in a series of practice changes at Prusa Research, and over time, will significantly reduce their impact on the environment.
It’s my belief that these issues will become monstrously important in coming years, even as many dismiss them today. I believe that companies adopting sustainability practices today will be in a far better position in years to come.
First Stratasys, and now Prusa Research. Which 3D print company will be the next to announce a significant sustainability program?
Via Prusa Research