"Sustainable practices are a cost of being in business," said MaryAnn Fong, assistant creative director at Temple University. She citet the 2008 American College and University Climate Memorandum in which educational institutions adopted a position of educating students, and changing their own practices, to be more environmentally responsible.
The trend represents an evolution in demand for sustainable printing, as businesses and non-profits have structured sustainable procurement and corporate social responsibility into mission statements and buying practices. "We [buy sustainably] because it's the right thing to do," said Nathan Hand, development associate for Christel House International, a social service agency working with 2,000 children to alleviate poverty at sites around the world. "We can't help kids by day and kill trees by night." Historically, print buyers have expressed a preference for greener print, but were reluctant to pay upcharges for sustainably produce projects.
"In procurement, we have established a criteria, that if price and quality are the same, the environmental impact will be the factor," in awarding contracts, according to John Harris, who is Global Product Stewardship Progam Coordinator for pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly. In fact, Harris noted, a contract could go to a greener printer, "even if the price is a little higher."
At State Farm, the insurance products are invisible for the company's 34 million customers, said the firm's print buyer, Jeff Dickerson. "What you can see are the printed materials," Dickerson said. State Farm, which insures one in four U.S. consumers, requires papers contain 10% post consumer waste and that printed materials carry the FSC logo. State Farm has also launched, "A good neighbor is a green neighbor," a high profile campaign to identify its green pratices.
Eli Lilly's Harris said energy efficiency and product stewardship are key components of procurement for the international pharmaceutical firm. Sales, research and packaging and manufacturing have access to funds to promote sustainable practices. Harris asked printers in the audience to "come up with innovative ways " to help his firm achieve its sustainablility goals. In Eli Lilly marketing materials, logos such as SFI and FSC, indicating responsible paper procurement, are required. Harris said that for marketing materials and packaging of pharmaceuticals, "when vendors ship materials we ask them to use returnable bins rather than cartons."
State Farm's Dickerson, who has worked at World Color, Internatinoal paper and Taylor Corp., says he places high value on printers' expertise in sustainability. "Our printers do a wonderful job," he said, and. "But if I choose a paper that won't run on your machines, I need to know that."
The opening keynote, "Extreme Recycling at Subaru," was by Denise Coogan, manager of safety and environmental compliance for a plant that produces 200,000 Legacy, Outback and other models for the Japanese auto manufacturer. Coogan recounted efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle that have led the plant to eliminate waste byproducts from manufacturing. The small amounts of waste generated that cannot be recycled are sent to a local power plant for generating electricity.
Practices at Subaru that resonate with printing industry production include reduction in curing oven temperatures, which a 58% reduction in solvent emissions using a recovery system. Similar to washing out ink fountains during color changes, solvents are used to flush spray paint lines between auto body color changeovers. Solvents are recycled by a reycling firm that separates pigments and solvents for reuse or sale--a process that in 2008 saved $2.3 million for Subaru. "We never call our waste trash," Coogan said. Metals, plastics, foams and paper packaging are recycled or reused, she said Coogan. In addition to getting support by management and buy-in by employees, Subaru's program has taken, "a commitment to do the right thing when it's not popular." The Subaru plant used services partners to help it in its efforts, including, Allegiant Global Services to organizing recyclable collectins; Coventa Energy; and Pollution Control Industries.
VIA Graphic Arts Online