Environmental Sustainability — The Greening of Print

Geographics’ lead pressman, Jeff Caston, and print superintendent, Bill Tuner, confirm that a web roll is FSC certified.

Cara Kass, Hi-Tech Imaging

PRINTING USED to be synonymous with pollution. But, not anymore. One thing that’s constant in this world is change. And 2007 was a milestone year for earth-friendly initiatives in the commercial printing industry.

Last year, lots of printers of all sizes started turning green, while many others turned greener still.

Printing companies are becoming stewards of the environment… in the paper they buy, the ink they use and the less VOCs they emit.

New and improved vegetable-based inks and recycled paper grades are more available. Paper manufacturers and print providers are earning Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) chain-of-custody certifications. Printers and suppliers are turning to alternative energy sources, such as wind-power-generated electricity. These are but a few of the changes going on in today’s printing industry.

The mantra for 2007 (and, more than likely, 2008 and beyond) was “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.”

Better known as the “Three Rs,” more printers are committed to ingraining this sustainability motto into the minds of their employees—and are incorporating it into the very heart of their operations. Here are just a few examples:

McNaughton & Gunn
Saline, MI

The Three Rs are not only in daily practice at McNaughton & Gunn, they stand out like a banner ad in the printer’s Environmental Endsheet newsletter. The words, the symbols, the promise are also part of its Print Buying Guidelines.

“As a print buyer, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment,” the guidelines read. “One way to make a difference is to choose to do business with companies that practice sound environmental policies.”

McNaughton & Gunn has been committed to the environment since 1996, when it became the first printer in Michigan to be recognized for environmentally friendly practices by the Michigan Great Printers Project (MGPP), a statewide effort promoting pollution prevention.

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