Finance & Economics

German company presented a sustainable product solution for banknotes

The banknote industry is striving to act on its responsibilities for the environment and the sustainable development of the economy

Germany-based Giesecke+Devrient has presented a new type of banknote.

The innovative “Green Banknote” acts as a blueprint for using ecological, resource-saving materials and production processes for banknotes. Coupled with durability and state-of-the-art security features, it makes a decisive contribution to a more environmentally friendly and efficient cash cycle.

It has been developed off the back of findings from a study by G+D subsidiary Louisenthal, which calculated the product-related carbon and water footprint of various substrates in the entire cash cycle. The result: natural fibre-based hybrid solutions best combine banknote durability, sustainability and security.

The core of the banknote paper is an emission-minimising fibre mix of organic cotton and FSC® (FSC-C138716) certified cellulose, which comes from European forestry.

The material mix reduces carbon emissions by 63 per cent compared to fibres made from conventionally grown cotton. G+D is the first manufacturer to also offer cotton from regionally certified initiatives such as “Cotton made in Africa”, which promotes fair working conditions in addition to ecological sustainability.

The carrier film for the RollingStar i+ security thread and the varifeye ColourChange security patch comes from a certified recycling circuit with 70 per cent recycled polyester. This transforms recycled plastic waste into a high-quality security feature.

For a greater durability in the cash cycle, the natural fibre substrate is wrapped with a PET film, which is thinner in the “Green Banknote” and therefore conserves resources. Taking these two measures reduces the plastic content by a total of 38% compared to the previous hybrid substrate.

Finally, for the first time, inks for simultaneous printing based on vegetable oils and thus without mineral oils are used in the printing of the banknotes.

In total, the production of a ‘green’ banknote results in 29 per cent less carbon dioxide emissions than typical competitor products made of polymer. Subsequently, this product innovation is the most sustainable solution on the market to date. It also strikes the optimal balance between sustainability, durability and maximum security. The development of this particularly environmentally friendly product solution is part of our recently established ‘Green Banknote Initiative’. Together with our customers and partners, we want to use it to make the cash cycle greener
Bernd Kümmerle, Managing Director of the Banknote Solutions Division at G+D Currency Technology

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