Kodak is expanding a global literacy programme by using sustainable technology to provide books and school supplies to communities in need around the world.
The US-headquartered company is to create a volunteer printer network that will produce thousands of children’s books and school supplies in 2018.
Kodak launched its Print for Good programme in 2016 at Drupa, kicking off its first literacy initiatives in the fourth quarter of that year.
“Focusing on literacy lets us talk about the value of print in a very tangible way,” said general manager for sales, print systems Richard Rindo.
“While companies like Facebook and Google are leveraging their footprints to expand internet access throughout the world, many areas of the globe have no internet.
“They can, however, be reached with print. In middle-class communities, there are about 15 books per child. In underdeveloped or impoverished areas, it is one book for every 300 children.”
He did not disclose how many UK printers were involved, but said Kodak would make an announcement once everyone was on board.
Rindo said the company would also make a “monetary donation” to support a literacy project in Rajasthan, India, and provide product rebates to some of the volunteer printers.
They will use Kodak's sustainable printing systems, such as Sonora process-free plates, as part of the company's programme.
To start with, about 2,000 or more children’s book titles or school notebooks will be distributed across the world through literacy organisations, schools and local non-profit groups.
Last year Print for Good sent more than 30,000 books and other printed materials to children in Europe, the US, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.
The programme also donated funds to help build a library in an all-girls Haitian orphanage, provided prayer booklets to children in Israel and hosted book-signing events.
The initiative also saw Kodak employees volunteer to support their own community literacy initiatives including local school reading programmes.
Kodak will make multiple designs and narrative children’s stories available to its Print for Good printer network in the coming months.
“At Kodak, we view sustainability through the lens of the ‘triple bottom line’ otherwise known as people, planet and profits,” said Rindo.