Being ‘Green’ Pays Dividends
It wasn’t too many years ago that the phrase “green printer” evoked comparison with oxymorons like “Microsoft Works,” “a little pregnant” or “living dead.” But, oh, what a difference there is between then and now.
Gone are the days when printing companies’ no-frills environmentalism meant doing only what was necessary to avoid inspections and fines. Historically a large-scale environmental offender with an outsize carbon footprint and a voracious appetite for fossil fuels, the printing industry has become increasingly aggressive when it comes to the environment, implementing voluntary programs that transcend basic compliance with environmental regulations, documenting and communicating their commitment to environmental quality to customers, employees, suppliers and the communities where they do business.
Commercial printers are also letting their money do a lot of the talking, modifying their presses, installing VOC oxidizers, solvent recovery systems and other equipment to collect, recycle and reuse the by-products of the printing process. These companies report that, in all cases, the return on their investment in the form of new and repeat business, community goodwill and regulatory compliance has more than offset the attendant cost.
Out with the Bad Air
To say that Cenveo Anderson Lithograph (Los Angeles) approaches the environmental quality of its operations with the same level of concern and commitment with which it serves its customers is something of an understatement.
Like the majority of heatset web offset printing operations, Anderson Lithograph employs an energy-efficient regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) to destroy the ink and varnish VOC emissions generated by the natural gas-fired hot air dryers installed on its web offset press lines. The pollution control device subsequently uses the fuel value of the VOCs entrained in the dryer exhaust as fuel to maintain the thermal destruction process.
What this means in practical terms, explains Frank Barnett, director, manufacturing systems, environmental, health and safety facilities, and cogen operations, is that “under normal operating conditions, no additional natural gas is required, and the device burns cleaner with less nitrogen and carbon oxide emissions than a gas-fired thermal incinerator pollution control device.”