Label printer Suzhou Advance Printing first in Chinese printing industry to achieve carbon neutral certification using Asahi Photoproducts AWP-DEW, AWP CleanPrint water wash plates

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TOKYO & BRUSSELS, Belgium , May 17, 2023 (press release) –

Asahi Photoproducts AWP™ CleanPrint water wash plates help Suzhou Advance Printing, resulting in a 21% improvement in OEE and cost savings of 1 million Chinese yuan (US$145,000)

Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, today reported that Suzhou Advance Printing Co., Ltd, a label printer located in Suzhou China is the first label printing company in China to achieve Carbon Neutral status. The company was founded in 2001 and has now expanded to four locations: Suzhou (headquarter), Guangzhou, Tianjin and Urumqi.

Zhao Feng, the company’s technology department general manager, shared its experiences at a recent technical seminar, attended virtually by more than 100 people and organized by Asahi Photoproducts and ESKO. Suzhou Advance Printing, which has 300 employees and an annual turnover of 240 million Chinese yuan (US$35 million), achieved its Carbon Neutral status, in partnership with SGS, in September of 2022.

“We provide labels across a variety of industries,” Zhao Feng said, “including personal care, automotive (oil), food & beverage and pharmaceutical. In the past, we were using thermal plates, and were looking for a higher quality, more reliable and more sustainable plate solution.” Suzhou Advance Printing partners with a local repro house and worked with them to locate a solution that would not only meet these needs but also help the company reduce its carbon footprint to contribute toward the national peak carbon neutrality goal as well as to continuously improve its social responsibility as a company.

Zhao Feng notes that the AWP™-DEW and AWP-CleanFlat CleanPrint plates from Asahi Photoproducts were chosen for a number of reasons, including:

  • Water-wash processing, eliminating the use of less sustainable solvents.
  • Capability of producing long runs on press with reduced stops for plate cleaning due to high ink transfer and print stability. This improved throughput and significantly reduced waste.
  • High durability in printing small reverse text and highlights.
  • Color stability in long runs with high ink density and laydown.
  • Ability to deliver high quality print with stochastic screening.


“When we began using these plates in November 2020, we also found they significantly shorten make-ready times and improve our Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) by 21%,” he adds. “Adopting these plates has contributed to our journey to Carbon Neutrality. Plus, in the first year, we experienced a cost savings of approximately one million Chinese yuan (US$145,000) which we attribute to the improved efficiency and reduced waste these plates deliver.” The plates are imaged using an ESKO CDI Spark 4260.

In working with SGS to achieve Carbon Neutral certification, Suzhou Advance Printing worked to clearly identify emission boundaries and sources, determine emission factors and present data that accounted for all emissions. In addition to adopting Asahi’s Carbon Neutral water wash plates, the company is using green energy and continuously introducing energy-saving and emission reduction projects. “We are also establishing an Energy Management Center to help us pursue these goals,” Zhao Feng said. “We were delighted with our Asahi relationship and the work they have done to achieve Carbon Neutral certification for the AWP™ plates. Learning from their experiences and being able to include the data they provided us on the Carbon Footprint of their plates and their own Carbon Neutral Certification were valuable reference of our Carbon Neutrality journey. We look forward to our continued partnership and collaborating on our joint journey to an even more sustainable future.”

“At Asahi Kasei, achieving Carbon Neutral status is a high priority,” said Ryo Ichihashi, Technical Support Professional. “It is an extreme pleasure to be working with a forward-looking company like Suzhou Advance Printing who is as dedicated to the industry and to improving sustainability as we are. Our congratulations to them on this amazing achievement, and we are grateful we have been able to help.”

To learn more about Asahi Photoproducts’ journey to Carbon Neutrality and the process used by Asahi Photoproducts to achieve its recent certification for Asahi AWP™-DEW water-washable flexo plates, download our white paper, “Carbon Neutrality: A Goal Worth Pursuing”.

For more information about flexographic solutions from Asahi Photoproducts that are in harmony with the environment, visit

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Dan Rivard
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