Special Sustainability Report: Embrace Certification, Conservation

To join paper manufacturers and distributors in tapping this market, printers can go green by bringing their operations into compliance with all environmental regulations, and by adopting pollution prevention and resource conservation practices. As an example, consider these Green Printing Practices developed by printers and representatives of the Printing Industries of Northern California (PINC):

1) Computerize prepress operations (eliminates photochemicals and saves water and energy).

2) Establish a solvent recycling program (saves material and reduces air pollution).

3) Use alcohol-free printing (improves air quality, worker health/safety and reduces chemical usage).

4) Print on “treeless” and recycled content papers (saves trees, energy and water; encourages new agricultural development; and keeps paper out of landfills).

5) Educate customers on sustainable printing (printers that produce greener products help in pollution prevention, compliance and resource conservation).

6) Use low-VOC inks (reduces air pollution and improves employee safety).

7) Sequence print jobs by ink color (saves ink changes, labor and ink waste).

8) Establish inventory control (saves money and reduces landfill waste).

9) Use energy-efficient equipment (saves energy and money).

Printers can also embrace environmental responsibility and sustainable practices by using soy- or vegetable-based inks without a price premium; eliminating toxic chemicals, waste, ink and solvents; lowering pollution in their processes; using eco-friendly papers with high post-consumer recycled content, or are non-chlorine-bleached; educating customers about reducing the environmental impact; and ensuring that print shop air quality exceeds legal guidelines, thereby providing their employees with safe working conditions (including advanced air filtration systems).

Eco-Pillars of Green Paper

How can you tell if a paper product is green? Besides other environmentally responsible attributes, such as chlorine-free, tree-free, etc., you can look for three eco-pillars that identify green paper products:

o Paper manufactured using pulp from certified sustainable forests (FSC, PEFC, SFI) is green for many reasons. These three globally acclaimed certification organizations promote responsible forest management, such as eco-friendly harvesting techniques, soil erosion prevention and waterway preservation. It is recommended that printers become tri-certified in order to broaden their choices of Chain-of-Custody paper available to them.

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