Solar Power : Solar Has Printers JuicedNovember 2010 By Erik Cagle
When it comes to implementing enviro-friendly measures for conducting business, there are several rationales to consider. One is the politically correct answer: Doing everything possible to help Mother Earth, deep down, just feels right. After all, we don’t want to leave behind a mess for our children and our children’s children.
That philosophy is not everyone’s cup of tea. Not recycling a Yoo-Hoo bottle is not going to hasten the melting of the polar ice caps. Then again, IT MIGHT.
Secondly, many print buyers seek chain-of-custody certification (FSC, SFI, etc.) because their clients want every assurance that a product, and the way it is produced, is done with the utmost of environmental sustainability in mind. That is good for business and, frankly, you don’t need to buy into every greening practice du jour in order to see the benefits of winning more market share.
But when an environmentally-friendly measure directly deposits funds onto your bottom line, then a commercial printer has every right (nay, obligation) to shout at the heavens: I love going green!
Sorry to take the cynical approach here. The greening movement seems to have peaked, and the economy is still unfavorable for many types of capital equipment investments, so it takes a compelling argument to persuade printers to part with dollars that some may view as better kept in a bank account. But, for those companies that are firmly entrenched in their facilities, and don’t mind waiting five to 10 years for a return on investment (ROI), I have two words for you: Solar power.
Poised for Solar
Don’t take our word for it. We have the testimonies of two printers that recently made the decision to stop leaning on “the grid” for 100 percent of their energy needs. Making the move to solar has certainly left these businesses with a sunny disposition.
Alan Goltzman had long entertained the idea of installing solar panels at his company, Presswrite Printing in Minneapolis, but the move wasn’t feasible until recently. A visit to the Minnesota State Fair, where Goltzman got a more in-depth look at the hows and whys of installing solar panels, spurred him to ask more questions and make more phone calls.
Intrigued, Goltzman contracted a pair of solar technology providers to perform a site assessment and determine if the Presswrite Printing facility was optimally positioned to leverage the sun’s rays. Fortunately, the building faced the south, so the path was cleared for an installation.