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

“We’ve significantly reduced our amount of chemical wastewater, as well as the waste generated in the manufacturing process,” says Jim Clark, director of customer and business services, noting that the company accomplished these feats in a multitude of ways: by eliminating the use of 20,000 lbs. of isopropyl alcohol annually in the dampening systems on all presses; replacing chemical additive processes with aqueous-based plates; purchasing black ink in large bulk containers; modifying film processors to reduce wash water usage and to increase silver recovery; recycling aluminum printing plates; employing a scrap removal system and baler for recycling; and recycling plastic, including strapping from web press bundles and stretch and shrink wrapping.

McNaughton & Gunn prides itself as being an environmentally conscious book printing operation. Over the past 10 years, even though the company has experienced 40 percent growth, it has decreased its landfill waste from 1,660 cubic yards to 120 cubic yards.

McNaughton & Gunn has also obtained FSC chain-of-custody certification. “We have certified all of the white uncoated text paper that we run. This represents almost 80 percent of the text paper we put through our plant annually,” notes Clark. “And we have certified all of the 10-pt. and 12-pt. board we use, which is on 75 percent of the books we produce.”

The printer has received various honors and recognition over the years, including 1999-2007 Certificate of Partnership in the Community Partners for Clean Streams Program (for protecting local water quality); 1998-2007 Waste Knot Award (for waste reduction and recycling); and 1999 Washtenaw County Environmental Excellence Award (the county’s highest honor for leadership in environmental preservation and protection).


Geographics has been riding the “green wave” for some time, according to Norvin Hagan, president and founder. “However, as environmental, social and economic concerns become increasingly important to our customers, our efforts to maximize sustainability represent a promise that is being made to both our customers and our employees.”

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