Sustainability Q&A with John Roberts’ Keene
Environmental stewardship is of ever growing importance that spans globally and directly impacts the printing industry. An increasing amount of customers are now expecting printers to apply environmental initiatives in the production of their products. Have you ever wondered exactly how one of top sustainable printers in the world responded to these needs and looks to develop its solutions?
I would like to welcome special guest Michael Keene to my blog this week. President/CEO of The John Roberts Co. and an accomplished industry veteran, Michael has lead the company with an innovative vision and commitment to environmental protection. We’re here to share the company’s unique story and offer insight on its sustainable operations.
Could you share with us a little background information on The John Roberts Co.?
The John Roberts Co. was started in June of 1951 by the two founding partners, E.John Chelberg and Robert Keene. They used their first names to come up with The John Roberts Co.. John passed away in 1970.
We moved to our current site in 1974 with 40,000 square feet; today, we have 225,000 square feet of operation. I was named President in 1986 and CEO in 1996. We continue to be privately owned.
You have been committed to environmental sustainability for more than 30 years. Can you talk about how the first initiative began and what “green” looked like back then?
I went to college in the late ’60s and early ’70s when the first Earth Day celebration was held. We had an operation person, Jeff Adrian, who also headed up the safety committee. Jeff came to me with a plan to reduce our VOCs by eliminating the alcohol in the pressroom. It was an easy decision for me, and from there we continued to look at all areas of the operation where we could reduce, reuse or recycle.