Print Providers Are Improving Their Environmental Practices
"There will be a[n] eco-econ reorganization," predicts Rob Lederer, founder of the New York-based environmental consultancy Management Resources, which helps green businesses run better and regular businesses move into green territory. "More and more companies and customers are paying attention. The good news is that most of the solutions out there are good for their budget[s] and good for the environment."
Here are five environmental and cost-effective solutions, a few of which revolve around the first-ever green printing certification.
1. Rename Your Green Practices 'Efficiency Practices'
"Any time you buy an ink fountain solution or solvents that you don't use efficiently, you've just wasted your money and done further impact on the environment," explains Lederer. That's neither green nor efficient. Anything that a print provider ends up having to discard through any sort of responsible disposable system costs more money to pay for the disposal—it's better to have a recapturing method in place.
Additionally, certain print providers have cut back on their transport fuel usage by becoming partners in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay program. The voluntary alliance was established four years ago between the EPA and shippers to improve the efficiency of freight transport. Wisconsin-based catalog printing giants Arandell Corp. and Quad/Graphics both are involved in this program that uses freight carriers that improve their fleet fuel efficiency while optimizing logistics around shipping and receiving operations.
Gary Jones, manager of environmental, health and safety affairs for the Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF) based in Sewickley, Pa., has seen huge, systematic changes take place. "You need to get the entire workforce involved. It's amazing how the companies that do this can find ways to reduce their waste. Doing this on a cross-media platform; looking at ways to reduce their waste consumption, waste water and solid waste generation; finding new markets for recycled materials; finding new and lower VOC cleaners; tackling transportation issues. They're saving a lot of money," asserts Jones.