Becoming a Top Green Printer the Hemlock Way – Part 2

Last week, we learned how Hemlock Printers made the decision to become the “Greenest Printer in the World” and how other companies can make a business case for sustainability initiatives.

This week, President and CEO Dick Kouwenhoven talks about measuring the results of Hemlock’s green initiatives, incentives and reporting, and working with designers to create projects that are recyclable or reusable.

Gail: How do you measure the results of your green initiatives?

Kouwenhoven: Hemlock is a small company, but we measure as much as we can. We measure our waste reduction and our carbon footprint, and track the kind of paper we buy. It’s a concentrated effort. We write down what we’ve accomplished, put some metrics behind it, and then report the results.

With our carbon neutral program, we need to collect as much information as we can, especially for paper purchases. We have a reporting system to know how many jobs we’ve done in order to know how many offsets we have to purchase. To do that requires that our suppliers give us precise statistics for all the paper purchased.

We measure what we can without getting obsessive; it’s part of our everyday process so we don’t have to search for the data when we want to report our results. It’s already there.

Gail: How have you embedded your green goals into your incentive and reporting structure, into your corporate DNA?

Kouwenhoven: We don’t actually incentivize our managers to be green; it’s just part of the way we do business.

It is important that our environmental values be incorporated as a high-level goal within our mission statement. We have an environmental policy, but it hasn’t been embedded in the mission statement yet. It’s in practice, but it hasn’t really be articulated to all stakeholders.

A business adviser and problem solver, Gail is managing director of Business Strategies Etc., which provides strategic marketing and business planning services and manages the execution of marketing communications tactics that help companies:
• Define their sustainability strategies,
• Deliver a positive, sustainable image,
• Gain credibility, trust and respect, and
• Measure the results of their green initiatives and actions.

Gail is a nationally recognized speaker on a wide range of subjects and brings enthusiasm and a unique blend of experience to the podium. As an industry analyst and journalist contributing to publications in the United States, Canada, India and Brazil, she has covered a number of beats, particularly sustainability in printing and mailing, print on demand, variable data printing and direct mail.
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