Greening of Print — Saving Earth, Saving Money
PRINTERS, ONCE considered polluters by virtue of their manufacturing processes, are vigorously cleaning up their acts by using technologies, papers and inks that are sustainable--and recycling, reusing and reducing nearly everything that's not. And, for many printing business owners, their efforts to save the earth can even save (and make) them cold, hard cash. In today's eco-friendly frenzy, greening up can subsequently mean more "greenbacks."
Printing Impressions contacted green printers from major metropolitan cities to small town America that report "social responsibility" as the No. 1 reason why they are becoming stewards of sustainability. By implementing a wide range of initiatives--which include everything from installing more efficient, eco-friendly presses, to using low- and no-VOC inks and chemicals, to being chain-of-custody certified--these companies are concerned about doing "the right thing." After all, a cleaner, greener environment benefits everyone.
However, the "side effect" is that while they are protecting the planet, they may also be paving the road to increased profitability.
Fineline Printing Group, Indianapolis, believes that being a green printer is good for the environment and good for business.
"While the environment is very important to us, so is staying in business," says Shawn Smith, director of marketing and public relations. "From a business point of view, being green helps reduce cost, improves overall product quality and worker health and safety--and it opens up whole new markets that had been previously untapped. How many other programs in business can have all three of these benefits?"
Fineline has incorporated many green initiatives into its operation, but most of them center around the work the printer is doing for the Sustainable Green Printing (SGP) Partnership as a Beta site printer for the program. "What we like about the SGP is that it focuses on the actual sustainability within the printing process itself. FSC and SFI only look at the paper and its source, but SGP is covering things like the waste and energy used during production."