Sustainable is defined by one source as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs."
Can it be achieved in Printing? Printing as an industry is a heavy user of natural resources such as timber and electricity to produce our final product. I don't see any way we entirely eliminate as an industry 100% use of both of these resources but we can certainly contribute to sustainability by conservation, use of renewable energy and recycling.
Here is the way The Odee Company is going about reducing its uses of these resources and helping to become a sustainable printer.
Our first step was in conservation to reduce our use of these resources. We recycle all of our paper waste that is not included in the final product. On the electricity end, we are changing all of our lighting to high efficiency low wattage lighting that cuts our lighting electricity use by 40%. We have installed time control devices on all of our HVAC units. Our delivery truck was replaced with a high efficiency diesel truck that gets 24 mpg. We recycle all ink and press waste not used in the final product and use vegetable based inks.
Our next step was in promoting and supporting the use of eco-friendly products. We use as much recycled paper as possible in our daily print jobs and are becoming certified in Chain of Custody for reforestation of paper. Our utility provider buys an undetermined % of electricity from renewable sources. We are in a contract with them and have expressed that we will need to see over 50% of the electricity coming from renewable to renew. We purchase carbon credits to offset 100% of our greenhouse gases from the carbonfund.org. As said above our ink is vegetable based.
So while The Odee Company still uses these resources by offsetting our carbon credits we are creating a sustainable environment. The use of trees and forests in printing will continue to some degree but by recycling as an industry we can increase the amount of recycled pulp in paper from the present level of 35% to a much higher number.
Leave the World better than you found it. That creates a sustainable environment for future generations.
Written by Buzz Tatom
PD: if you have questions about sustainable printing services, please, contact us!.