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Bindery Sustainability -- Greening from End to End

February 2009 By Cheryl Adams
Managing Editor
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MATT ANSON’S quiver runneth over with “green” arrows. His multi-location binding, finishing and packaging company, Bindagraphics, is a mega corporation that has embraced sustainability practices across the board. And, those eco-measures are on time, on target and helping his postpress operation whizz past its competition. With each bulls-eye he hits, Anson is zeroing in on expanding business endeavors, as well as environmental cleanliness. 

“Being eco-friendly is a win-win,” he says. “We’re generating revenues by reclaiming waste and, at the same time, we’re availing ourselves of a new window of opportunity with buyers who want green products.”

Bindagraphics has implemented a wide range of sustainability practices at its Baltimore headquarters, as well as at its facilities in Buffalo, NY; Atlanta; and High Point, NC. It recycles and reclaims paper, selling the reclaimed waste at a rate of about 7 million pounds each year. The Buffalo plant is FSC and SFI chain-of-custody certified. The Buffalo facility is also an EPA Green Power Partner and purchases more than 10 percent of its energy generated from wind power.

All Bindagraphics facilities have auto/vacuum scrap collection systems that remove waste directly to a baler, and dust from binding equipment is also captured. Additionally, investments have been made in equipment capable of processing paper-free products, such as synthetic paper, and lighting throughout each facility has been replaced with energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs.

The company is ISO 9000 certified, customized to accommodate various eco-friendly efforts. “In addition to covering quality control procedures, we also built FSC and SFI chain-of-custody procedures into our ISO manual,” explains Anson. “It wasn’t easy. But, it was important.”

Yet another arrow in Bindagraphics’ sustainability quiver is its involvement in an energy-load curtailment program: It cuts back on its electricity usage when there is stress on the grid. And, it complies with EPACT 2005, wherein tax credits and/or rebates are given to the company for curtailing energy usage by certain thresholds and conserving energy within the building. 

An assortment of substrates used at the Bindagraphics facilities are also green. Two popular ones are an eco-friendly laminate and plastic coil, the latter of which is made from either 96 percent recycled plastic or PET/PETG that does not release any dioxins when incinerated.

At Bindagraphics, sustainability is an essential part of the business, and the company is walking the (green) walk. “We are reducing our corporate carbon footprint and, by doing so, we are helping to preserve the planet,” Anson says. “When it comes to cleaning up the environment, we want to do our part.”

Holum & Sons Co., a Westmont, IL-based custom looseleaf packaging and promotional products provider, has also incorporated sustainability into its business practices.

“We are doing our part to use the planet’s natural resources in a responsible way,” says Richard Holum, president. “Let’s face it; we only have a limited amount of resources to work with before they will be depleted. If 80 percent of what we used to throw away is being recycled, then we are saving an amazing amount of resources.”

Rooted in Responsibility

Holum & Sons was founded 76 years ago, producing turned-edge products made from linen-based book cloth, chipboard and protein-based adhesives, which are all environmentally friendly materials. The company has never let go of those green roots, which have grown even greener over the years.


 

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