Greening of Print — Saving Earth, Saving Money
Ed Rothchild, an AlphaGraphics franchise owner with three locations in Colorado, says being a green printer is critical for him personally, for his business and for his customers. "The Denver area is one that is very environmentally conscious and, as such, our efforts are a great match for the demands of our biggest customers."
Before taking up a career in printing 12 years ago, Rothchild spent two decades as a hydrogeologist and environmental engineer involved with environmental assessments and cleanup. "So. . . yes," he says, "being green is in my blood. And, for my business, it is just the right thing to do. We save money, have the support of our staff and simply feel better about what we do."
As for saving or making money, Rothchild believes that being more conscientious about the waste of paper and electricity will no doubt bring his costs down in these areas. In addition, the printer is using and buying equipment that is more efficient in terms of makeready waste and power consumption, which will also reduce costs.
Green initiatives for Rothchild include: FSC certification; acquiring carbon credits to offset 125 percent of annual carbon emissions; various recycling efforts; transitioning to papers that contain 100 percent post-consumer recycled content, are chlorine free and are often produced using wind power; installing DI digital offset presses and online proofing systems; using vegetable-based inks; and being ISO certified.
The environmentalist-turned-printer doesn't have an exact figure on how much his company is financially benefitting by employing green practices, but he doesn't hesitate to hazard a guess. "In our market, a significant portion of our new growth will be because of our environmental standards. For maintaining several of our largest customers, adopting high environmental standards is a given."
Based on his vast environmental experience, Rothchild stresses: "It is critical that 'saving the earth' is market driven. As such, everyone will both save money and solve critical problems. The consciousness is raised by individuals, but the solutions and impact are driven by business and institutions." PI