10th December 2021
Crane Currency at the Forefront of Making the Currency Industry More Sustainable
A recent report “Cash: A Roadmap to Sustainability” published by Reconnaissance International Ltd., highlighted projects Crane Currency is deploying to render its processes more sustainable and reduce its environmental impact.
Crane Currency recently invested €2.6 million in a new water treatment plant to purify and recycle the water used in the intaglio printing process within its Malta facility. The improved process uses ceramic membranes within an ultra-filtration process that enables the recovery of a very high percentages of wiping solution, while eliminating the chemicals traditionally used in water treatment plants. Approximately 500,000 liters of wiping solution is used each week in Crane’s state-of-the-art printing works. With the new treatment plant now operational, 98% of this wiping solution is recovered and re-used. The process has an impressive 0% wastewater rate and removes the need for introducing precipitating agents required by other systems. The handling of the filtered residue is also much easier, avoiding the need to ship it from Malta to mainland Europe for processing. The small volume of remaining wiping solution residue is treated as solid waste.
The report also mentions Crane Currency’s initiative to use the small volume of solid waste from its printing operation, such as printed paper trim and similar, to local livestock farms e.g., for animal bedding.
The Crane Currency banknote paper mill in Tumba, Sweden is located close to its water sources and already has a well-developed purification process for the water used in production before returning it to nature. Today, all wastewater from the facility is sent to a local wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) that separates the cotton fiber fines from the wastewater. The cotton fibers are then used as fuel for biogas generation or as soil fertilizer. A new filtration system will be operational in the first half of 2022 and will reduce the amount of water and fibers processed by the WWTP by approximately 35% per year by enabling the re-use of filtrated water in the paper production process. The yearly water savings will be around 500,000 m3.
At the same time, the new filtration system will capture cotton fibers for re-use, separating over 100 tons of fibers and solids annually. Re-using these cotton fibers will allow for decreasing the amount of new cotton fibers used during the papermaking process, expanding the original water saving project to a water and material saving project.
At an international level, Crane Currency is a member of the International Currency Association (ICA) which was formed in 2016 to be the voice of the global banknote and coin industry. In September 2020, the ICA members signed the ICA Sustainability Charter which includes economic and social equality initiatives as well as environmental initiatives. The ICA Sustainability Charter takes a life-cycle approach, providing the opportunity and tools for everyone in the industry to contribute to a more sustainable future.
In summary, “Cash: A Roadmap to Sustainability” records the currency industry’s initiatives to be ‘good citizens’. Acknowledging that cash remains a key pillar of the payment eco-system, the report documents how private as well as public organizations in the currency industry around the globe are actively contributing to reduce their environmental impact.