Adding by Subtraction
The programs the company has put in place are about sound business practices, not being part of a cause. Implementing tools such as Six Sigma/Lean Sigma has made it a more efficient print producer and cut defects, thereby reducing its waste. More efficient processes also happen to be more environmentally friendly and create cost savings, the company representatives assess.
“We’ve developed a process called DEPCR—design, engineering, procure, consume and recycle,” Podmayersky points out. “The earlier we can get engaged with the client, upfront in job design, the more eco-engineering we can incorporate into a project. Very often we can keep that price point of a piece where it was and incorporate a lot of environmentally friendly aspects into its production.”
Paper is one of the major drivers of costs in printing, so by reducing the size of a piece or making another change it’s possible to get a cost and environmental benefit, Seitz says. “You’re not necessarily paying to achieve it (eco-friendly print), you’re actually saving to achieve it,” he adds.
Process improvement may be the main driver for L.P. Thebault’s efforts, but it doesn’t hurt that being environmentally responsible can have a marketing benefit. “It certainly is part of what makes us a very attractive supplier for clients to do business with,” Podmayersky maintains.
Both company representatives agree that the stakes are too high for sustainable and carbon neutral business practices to be a passing fad.
“We’ll do our best to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Podmayersky vows. “If you look at the Dow Jones Sustainabililty Index, you’ll seeing that this trend is rippling through more sectors. It’s huge in financial services now, and we’re starting to see it in pharmaceuticals. It’s not going to go away because this isn’t just an environmental issue, it’s very much a financial and economic issue.”