JOE FONTANA and Brendan Connors know a thing or two about transforming a print communications company into a completely sustainable platform from the inside out. In 1994, the co-owners of MOSAIC made the decision to stray away from traditional lithography, by adopting waterless printing—a process that eliminates many harmful chemicals used in conventional offset printing.
"We chose waterless printing because we wanted to lessen our environmental impact—the waterless process reduces our paper and water usage, overall waste and VOC emissions," explains Connors. "It also enables us to print richer and more vibrant colors, since many of our customers' designs continually challenge the color spectrum."
What sprung forth since MOSAIC's switch to waterless printing were a series of environmental initiatives. For example, the company switched to VOC-free, soy-based inks, and now uses a solvent recovery system that dramatically reduces the need to dispose of solvents. In addition, MOSAIC recycles more than 1,200 tons of paper, plastic and aluminum annually.
In 2005, the Cheverly, MD-based operation was one of the first printers in the Mid-Atlantic region to become FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified and, in 2007, became carbon neutral through 100 percent wind power with the purchase of more than 3,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity from wind farms in Western Pennsylvania.
In early 2009, MOSAIC attained G7 Master Printer certification. "The timing of becoming G7 certified was perfect because we have several national accounts that demand consistency, and being G7 certified allows us to ensure color integrity when matching printed materials from other vendors," reports Joel Zelepsky, senior vice president of sales and marketing.
A Timely Honor
On Earth Day in 2008, MOSAIC became an EPA Climate Leaders Program Partner, illustrating the printer's long-term goal of reducing its overall greenhouse gas emissions. "The program is one of the most stringent commitments a company can make," explains Connors. "For the period of 2008 through 2015, MOSAIC has committed to net zero GHG emissions while reducing its GHC emissions by five percent per internally produced sales dollars."