Nuts & Bolts: Partnering for the Good of the Planet
“I know we can impact the environment by working with people who are as committed as we are,” asserts Marge Maxbauer, director of marketing for medical liability provider ProAssurance Group, when describing one of the key things her company is doing to improve the environmental footprint of its marketing efforts: partnering with like-minded vendors. That insistence on collaboration seems to be working, as ProAssurance Group has made great strides in implementing earth-friendly programs, particularly when it comes to production of its printed collateral. Maxbauer identifies four key environmental solutions that have come out of these partnerships.
• Recycling—and not just of paper. ProAssurance’s print vendor recycles all of the excess paper as well as leftover ink and any other waste used in creating its print products.
• Soy—and other agri-based inks. “We are now printing 90 percent plus of our jobs using soy-based inks,” states Maxbauer. The average soy content in these oils, she explains, is about 20 percent, though in PMS inks that goes down to 10 percent. These earth-friendly inks do still contain small amounts of metals that need to be disposed of responsibly by the printer, so again, the collaboration comes into play.
• Responsible purchasing. “We don’t buy or allow the purchase of papers from Pacific Rim producers,” asserts Maxbauer. This is important because manufacturers in the Pacific Rim do not have the same controls on emissions and responsible forestry as manufacturers in North America and Western Europe.
• Recycled papers. “We are very careful about evaluating, even on our corporate letterhead, whether we can increase the percentage of post-
consumer waste,” states Maxbauer.
Recently, ProAssurance moved its newsletter—which has a distribution of about 600,000 pieces annually—to a stock with 30 percent recycled content. This fall, it began printing six of those 12 issues on 100 percent recycled content paper. “The quality has gotten amazing on this. Our newsletter is a two-color piece, but it’s not affecting the brightness of our colors that much by increasing the content,” she explains.