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Increasing sustainability in the life of a banknote: G+D launches “Green Banknote Initiative”

06/04/2022 Munich Giesecke+Devrient

Giesecke+Devrient (G+D), together with its subsidiary Louisenthal, has launched the "Green Banknote Initiative". The aim of the open dialogue platform is to make the production and life cycle of banknotes more sustainable. This involves the principles of circular economy, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the efficient use of resources in the production process and global value chains.

Actively addressing climate protection, supporting projects that increase sustainability and reducing one's own ecological footprint are deeply rooted in G+D's values and behavior. With its subsidiary Louisenthal, a leading global manufacturer of banknotes and security paper, G+D has been working for years to reduce the environmental impact of banknote production and to make the entire life cycle of a banknote more sustainable. For these efforts, Louisenthal was awarded the "Best New Environmental Sustainability Project" prize by the International Association of Currency Affairs (IACA) in 2020.

Together, G+D and Louisenthal have now launched an initiative for environmentally-friendly banknotes that expands on previous endeavours. The "Green Banknote Initiative" is an open dialogue platform addressed to all cash issuers. The aim is to work together to create the banknote of the future – one that is sustainable, durable and counterfeit-proof in order to make the cash cycle more sustainable and efficient.  

G+D’s research has identified that longevity alone does not make a banknote sustainable. Only a balanced interplay of security, sustainability and longevity can achieve this. A study commissioned by G+D found that cotton-based coated banknotes have the lowest CO2 footprint of all available banknotes. Hybrid banknotes generate up to 13 per cent less CO2 during their lifetime and up to 24 per cent less CO2 during their production than banknotes made of polymer.  

At the same time, their durability is comparable to that of polymer banknotes: they last about 2.5 to 3 times longer in the cash cycle than conventional cotton banknotes. Additionally, replacing conventional cotton with organic cotton or alternative fibres not only further reduces the CO2 footprint, but it is also the biggest lever for reducing the water consumption of banknotes.

G+D calls the interplay of durability, security and sustainability "Durability+". The concept takes into account the entire spectrum, from product to production to end of life, and covers various fields of action over the life cycle of a banknote. This starts with security solutions for banknotes in a combination of embedded, printed and applied security features and ends with the multitude of options for the use of natural fibre-based banknotes.

"The Green Banknote Initiative and the Durability+ concept expand our sustainability strategy and help us to support our customers and partners in their sustainability goals," explains Bernd Kümmerle, Managing Director of the Banknote Solutions Division at G+D Currency Technology. "For example, we advise them on their environmental strategy or work on specific production and product solutions. This ranges from analysing substrate optimisation to discussing end-of-life solutions, to name just a few examples."

Event information
G+D will provide more information on the sustainability of banknotes based on natural fibres in a presentation at the Intergraf Currency+Identity conference in Lyon on Friday, 8 April 2022 at 9:50 a.m.: Sustainability & efficiency by nature - the green banknote of the future (presentation by Alexandra Geiger, Sustainability Engineer at Giesecke+Devrient)

This press release and an image of the Green Banknote Initiative in high-res can also be downloaded here.

About Giesecke+Devrient
Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) is a global security technology group headquartered in Munich. As a trusted partner to customers with the highest demands, G+D secures the essential values of the world with its solutions. The company develops technology with passion and precision in four major playing fields: payment, connectivity, identities and digital infrastructures. G+D was founded in 1852. In the fiscal year 2021, the company generated a turnover of 2.38 billion euros with around 11,800 employees. G+D is represented by 81 subsidiaries and joint ventures in 33 countries. Further information: www.gi-de.com

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Christoph Lang

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E-Mail: christoph.lang@gi-de.com