RR Donnelley — One Big Green Machine

IN ONE of RR Donnelley’s private mail handling and logistics facilities, the largest operation of its kind in the world, an employee exits a section of the interior space, and the lights over that area turn off…automatically.

A global enterprise elects to have RR Donnelley produce printing using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) chain-of-custody certified papers, and it responds in its plants in Mexico, Canada, the United States and China.

A fan that cools a press used to run continuously. Now, it intelligently senses when heat needs to be dissipated and runs only as required.

Instead of being discarded, damaged wooden pallets are repaired and put back to work. The paper at the end of a roll that cannot be fed into a press is used as packing material. Even incoming bubble wrap is given a second job protecting outgoing thermal paper rolls.

Sustainability encompasses working with customers and with the supply chain across a broad set of initiatives that help to reduce waste and emissions, to promote recycling and to re-examine processes to make them more efficient. Sustainability does not involve making a choice between being cost-effective and being conscious of environmental impacts. It integrates the two.

History of Leadership

RR Donnelley is pursuing sustainability initiatives across its platform and across the world. Since 1907, when the founder’s son and CEO T.E. Donnelley was appointed to head the Chicago Smoke Abatement Commission, North America’s largest printer has been active in blending the twin and complementary objectives of increasing sustainability and operating more efficiently.

For example, during the 1930s, RR Donnelley became the first printer to use water washers to reduce the emissions associated with letterpress printing. During the ’50s, afterburners were installed, again to reduce emissions. In 1969, it became the first printer in Chicago to operate a solvent recovery system to reduce hydrocarbon emissions.

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