With the rising awareness of climate change and other important environmental issues, many printing companies are scrambling to earn coveted recognition as an eco friendly company. Our sustainability journey began in 2004 and we’ve been guided by a Triple Bottom Line philosophy in maintaining the fragile balance between People, Planet and Profits. It is through that cultural lens that most of our critical decision making is made.
Let’s take a look at what it truly means to be an eco friendly printing company.
Working with a Sustainable Company
If you’re looking to work with an eco friendly company, we recommend reviewing their initiatives in these three areas.
Some companies talk a big game about being environmentally friendly, but in practice, they do the bare minimum required of them. While it’s admirable to make any strides towards sustainability, you should look for a company where sustainability is a cultural mantra for their people and processes. The firm should have a record of meaningful sustainability achievements and milestones. To include onsite renewables such as rooftop solar, critical landfill avoidance goals and use of efficient gas-electric hybrid vehicles which can save thousands of gallons of fuel each year.
A company’s policy on sustainability should be prominently featured on their website for your review. In their written policy, companies should list out the various programs and commitments they do to prove they are green. You should also consider asking a company about their carbon footprint; how they approach material procurement, production, and logistics can have a huge impact on the environment.
Third party validation is especially helpful in determining if the company you want to do business with engages in environmentally friendly practices. We recommend looking for these certifications:
- Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP)
- B Lab
- US Green Building Council (USGBC)
- US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
These organizations evaluate, measure, and monitor businesses for their environmental practices.
Most printing companies have FSC or SFI certification. While remotely associated with sustainability, This merely deals with the material sourcing inputs. Base level stuff that is relevant but only about 25% of the sustainable story. The more important decisions involve the measure of sustainability within a manufacturing firm and production processes.
Certified Sustainable Options
Earning certifications is one tangible way for a company to show its continued commitment to sustainability. In addition, it proves companies work daily to reduce environmental impact while increasing social responsibility.
Companies committed to sustainability offer relevant solutions across all of their services and processes. Examples of sustainable programs include:
- Comprehensive recycling of ink, paper, metal plates, and other materials throughout operations.
- Use of carbon neutral, plate less, zero spoilage, digital offset printing equipment
- Only utilizing low-Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) or VOC-free inks and coatings for printing.
- Constant improvements to facilities and vehicles to enhance energy efficiency and use.
- A program for recycling and repurposing paper goods at local schools.
- Scheduling pickups of print materials for clients for recycling or repurposing.
Sustainable companies should conduct business and deliver quality work in an environmentally responsible way each and every day.
Sustainability means commitment to working safely, protecting employees’ health and welfare, and preserving the environment while still delivering the highest quality product and superior service. Eco friendly companies should have a policy to:
- Comply with applicable laws and regulations concerning safety, health, and the environment. If non-compliance is found, environmentally friendly companies will immediately take action to remedy any problems.
- Provide employees, clients, and visitors with a safe and healthy work environment.
- Commit to pollution prevention by reducing, reusing, and recycling materials used in the printing processes along with items used personally by employees while at work.
- Communicate the sustainability commitment to employees, clients, vendors, contractors, and visitors.
- Take actions necessary to continuously improve all business areas, including safety, quality, service, health, and environmental matters.
Comply with applicable laws and regulations concerning safety, health, and the environment. If non-compliance is found, environmentally friendly companies will immediately take action to remedy any problems.
Provide employees, clients, and visitors with a safe and healthy work environment.
Commit to pollution prevention by reducing, reusing, and recycling materials used in the printing processes along with items used personally by employees while at work.
Communicate the sustainability commitment to employees, clients, vendors, contractors, and visitors.
Take actions necessary to continuously improve all business areas, including safety, quality, service, health, and environmental matters.
Finding a sustainable company to work with doesn’t have to be a chore if you know the right questions to ask and certifications and practices to look for. We’re proud to say at Advertisers Printing, we’re highly committed to becoming one of the single most sustainable print providers in the entire U.S. Notably, Advertisers Printing is one of less than 60 U.S. printing companies to have earned SGP (Sustainability Green Partner) Certification, the industry standard for sustainability performance.
For more information on environmentally friendly policies and practices (as well as how our services meet those goals), contact us today.