FSC Certified Printer
If you have heard of the term FSC Certified Printing company you may have wondered what FSC stands for. FSC is short for Forest Stewardship Council. The Forest Stewardship Council is a international non profit organization dedicated to responsible management of sustainable forests.
By a printer having FSC certification he gives his customer chain of custody validation that each step of their products manufacturing process follows the stringent FSC policies for responsible forest management. This includes the harvesting of the trees to manufacture of the paper to printing of the product.
A FSC Certified Printer has been trained and is audited by an independent 3rd party annually. By having this certification the end customer can proudly display the FSC logo on their printed piece showing that they are supporting sound forest management.
What is sound forest management?
-Not clear cutting but using selective cutting practices.
-Taking into account the wildlife, the forest and any indigenous people living in the forest. -Supporting reforestation of forests that have been harvested and the use of eco friendly chemicals in the manufacturing of the paper product.
-Leaving a forest that is capable of regenerating itself after harvesting.
For more information on FSC, visit www.fscus.org . Should you have any questions regarding printing green please feel free to contact The Odee Company at email@example.com
Written by Buzz Tatom
What is a Sustainable Forest?
As a carbon free green printing company located in Dallas, Tx, I get some questions sometimes that I start to answer and then realize that I need to do some more research to get a technical definition. This was the question that was posed to me today from a potential client and although I thought I knew the answer I decided to research and report back.
The principle of a sustainable forest is that the amount of product(wood)yielded from the forest should be at a level that the forest is capable of replacing without degradation of soil, watershed or seed source for the future.
Sustainable forestry includes clean water, natural cover for wildlife and recreation where seed trees are left for natural regeneration. The system is not only about the trees but the whole natural plant process of the forest.
Sustainable forestry usually applies to human interaction with the forest and harvesting of the wood product. It also can apply to fire management and/or fire suppression. Both can be useful tools in improving forestry yield if done right.
A sustainable forest harvest should employ selective cutting and try and mimic natural occurrences or disturbances that would occur in nature without human intervention. Clear cutting is not a practice that a sustainable forest would use. It is damaging to the land and the surrounding eco system.
There are a few organizations that offer auditing processes to verify that the harvest is using best practice of sustainable forestry. FSC(Forest Stewardship Council) and SFI(Sustainable Forestry Initiative) are two such organizations that can give Chain of Custody guarantee that the paper product being used has passed from a sustainable forest to a certified paper manufacturer and been printed at a certified printing company.
Most of the content of this article was pulled from Wikipedia and can be found at this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_forestry
Please let us know if you have any questions. We can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and please make sure you check out the rest of our green printing section at: www.odeecompany.com/green-printing.php
Written by Buzz Tatom
Printing Green and A Few Facts
Many times customers have opinions that are based on old facts. Being a Green Printer many times customers are concerned about using recycled paper. They think it is more expensive and not as high of quality. Many times printing companies that aren't as current will discourage their customers and are doing their customers and the environment a disservice.
Recycled paper and paper manufacturers started off struggling with recycled paper quality and cost but that was quite a few years ago. As demand increased, costs came down and quality improved. At this point, recycled paper gives you many quality options. Many times the quality will exceed virgin fiber paper and runs fine on both offset and digital printing. Paper manufacturing has also reduced or eliminated in some cases their use of chlorine which is very bad for the environment. As industries, printing and paper manufacturing are very heavy users of electricity and production of greenhouse gases.
Printing is the 3rd largest user of energy behind automobiles and steel. Paper manufacturing is 5th. Most conscious companies in both industries are making great strides from reducing energy use to conservation. Green printing companies can now be carbon neutral and can use recycled post consumer waste paper (PCW) and renewable energy to greatly reduce their environmental impact. For every ton of 100% PCW paper used by green printers 20,000 gallons of water is conserved. Recycling paper is not hard to do and saves considerable trees and water.
Written by Buzz Tatom
The Odee Company
Top Ten Green Printing Practices
Green printing or eco-friendly printing is something that all print producers should consider being a part of their daily job. Here are some of the top green printing practices.
1.Recycle, Recycle, Recycle-Paper, ink and press solutions that are not used in the final product should be recycled as part of the daily process.
2.Vegetable Based Inks-Inks have historically been petroleum based which emit VOC's and harm the environment. Inks can be vegetable based thus not emitting VOC's. This also includes considering using less metallic inks or a substitute metallic without the heavy metals associated.
3.Press Solutions-These should be alcohol free.
4.Paper-Use recycled or PCW(post consumer waste) paper. There are certifications such as FSC or SFI that support sustainable forestry practices.
5.Consider Alternative Substrates-Not all paper is made from pulp from trees. Papers can be made from Cotton, Hemp and other more renewable plant sources or fibers.
6.Conservation-Reduction of energy used to produce the product. For instance, replacing lighting to higher efficiency low wattage or LED lighting.
7.Renewable Energy-Use of wind, solar, thermal sources from the utility supplier.
8.Energy Efficient Equipment-Replacing equipment that consumes more electricity.
9.Inventory Control-Reduction of waste to landfill on paper, ink, etc.
10.Digital Printing-Instituting smaller quantity orders so obsolescence and waste are reduced.
These are our top 10 ways we at The Odee Company are improving our footprint on the environment.
Top Ten Green Practices
Written by Buzz Tatom
Printing Green-A Few Things You Need to Know
The definition of "printing green" is up for debate. You are going to see a lot of printers talking about their green printing capabilities. There are several things to consider when talking to a printer to decide what they are doing to reduce their footprint on the environment. Here are a few thoughts:
Terms-Here is a list of terms you may need to know about:
VOC's-Volatile Organic Compounds
Virgin Fiber-100% pulp or fiber from new trees
PCW-Post Consumer Waste paper that the fiber is recycled from previously used paper. This is expressed as a %. Usually, 30%, 50% or 100%.
PCF-Processed Chlorine Free
TCF-Totally Chlorine Free
ECF-Elemental Chlorine Free
FSC-Forest Stewardship Council
SFI-Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Ink-do they use soy or vegetable based inks? Most inks used in the printing industry are still petroleum based. Those emit VOC's and are harmful to the environment as they are being used and afterwards in our landfills. Vegetable inks use the oil from plants to create inks. These are much more eco-friendly both in use and clean up. They should be able to supply a MSDS sheet that shows this. Are they recycling all of their waste ink and press solutions?
Alcohol Free-Are there press solutions alcohol free? Again, if needed they should be able to supply a MSDS sheet to show you that.
Paper-Do they preserve and conserve? As a printing company they should be recycling all paper waste from the production process. Can they supply you with recycled paper? Are they FSC or SFI certified? If not do they have plans in being. What does FSC & SFI stand for? If I want to print those symbols on my job, what is the process? Can they do it?
Carbon Neutral-Is the company carbon neutral? This can be done by reducing utilities purchased that aren't created by renewable energy. Carbon credits can also be purchased to offset greenhouse gases that are produced by the production process.
Renewable Energy-More and more utilities provide an option to purchase a % of clean energy.
Digital Printing-Is this job something that would be produced better in smaller quantities and produced using digital inks or toner? Digital inks and toners can be even better than vegetable based inks.
These are just a few questions you can ask printing companies to decide how they are helping to make our world sustainable for future generations. None of us have all the answers but all of us should be making an effort.
Printing Green - A few things you need to know
Written by Buzz Tatom
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!.
Why is The Odee Company Going Green?
We have written several articles and produced some videos that you may have seen on The Odee Company and green printing. Some that read this will have a healthy skepticism of whether we have done this for the right reasons.
My name is Buzz Tatom and I own The Odee Company and I'm going to attempt to tell you why we are making such a effort. First of all, I'm now the father of three children and I have a real concern for what the world will be like for future generations. The present generation(Baby Boomers) and the previous generation(The Great Generation) have done a pretty good job of laying our waste at the foot of future generations. They will either have to clean up our mess at great cost to themselves or continue on until at some point there will be collapse of society as we know it. Disclaimer: These are my opinions.
Our government(USA) and politicians do not have the courage to correct this either from a budget standpoint or a environmental standpoint. This is however true of most governments and politicians in the world. They are looking out for themselves and their fiefdoms instead of doing what is right.
Again, my opinions.
Having our children has changed me the most. Now, I care for their future and their childrens future. This has led us to change how we are running our business. We are in the printing business located in Dallas, Tx and are carbon neutral through cutting energy use and the purchase of carbon credits. We are also becoming certified Chain of Custody certified printers for certified friendly forest paper suppliers.
The second thing that changed me was that we own a ranch north of Dallas that we and the kids retreat to when we can. It is a pretty place with draws, trees and three lakes which we actually built. We do not own the mineral rights to this property and so we have been invaded by the oil & gas people in search of the Barnett Shale. They are trying to destroy the property by drilling wells, knocking down trees and laying pipelines. We,of course, are fighting them. They don't have to develop the property the way they are but have no concern for trees and the beauty of the place.
Then on the other side we have been approached by a wind company that wants to put wind turbines up to capture the wind that blows in our area. They approached several in our area and the area decided as a whole to not put them up. I don't know the right or wrong of this but as a generation we are going to be faced with many tough decisions.
This is why I felt that The Odee Company needed to do its part. I don't know if we will make a difference but I thought for future generations sake I could not continue to waste what realistically is not mine to waste. Again, these are all my opinions.
Written by Buzz Tatom
Green Printing-Soft Proofing and Hard Proofing
Green printing is not always perfect. Let's take the proofing of a job. Ideally, from a green approach we would like to show a proof online(soft proof) and save the transportation of a hard proof from us to the customer and back. If there are changes you could be saving a lot of time, money and reducing the impact of the transportation of the proof.
There are some drawbacks to showing hard proofs at times, although, systems are improving all the time and have made dramatic improvements in the last few years. The problem occurs that you may not see accurate color on a soft proof. Most computer monitors are not calibrated and even if they are the translation of RGB(Red, Green, Blue) on a computer monitor to CMYK(Cyan, Magenta,Yellow & BlacK) inks can make this a challenging and possible problem area.
Most good printing companies are interested in coming as close to the end product that you want and that a hard proof should reasonably predict. The problem is if you are judging your color from a monitor most times you are using very different platforms to judge final color. That being said we recommend on more critical color jobs such as skintones, jewelry and fabric swatches that a customer see a hard proof. A hard proof is a proof produced on a paper substrate that is produced by equipment calibrated to the rip(raster image processor)that will be burning the plates and the press.
In digital printing you are actually seeing a press proof off of the actual press that will be running the job. Soft proofs are ideal for pleasing color jobs or very quick turn where the color is not absolute match color. As an industry, well over half the print jobs produced are pleasing color jobs that a soft proof would suffice.
Our recommendation at The Odee Company is if you are trying to match something very closely you need a hard proof. If you get a soft proof there is a real possibility of not having exact color. You are definitely helping to save the environment more by accepting a soft proof because it is all done over the internet and there are no transportation costs involved.
There are systems that give you more accurate color soft proofs but for the conventional mass majority of printing customers the cost does not warrant the end result. These systems will continue to evolve and improve and over the next few years soft proofing will gain more and more acceptance as it continues to become more accurate and costs are driven lower. Monitor calibration will be one of the biggest challenges so that all the monitors in the proofing change see color the same. A daunting challenge to do at a reasonable cost.
If you have some question about green printing soft or hard proofing, please contact us!
Written by Buzz Tatom
A printing company that cares about our world
Digital Printing can be Green!
Digital printing was invented for smaller quantity runs at lower costs but does a pretty good job of being eco-friendly. One of the reasons for the substantial growth in digital printing was the need for people to print smaller quantities due to information changing on their printed literature. This reduction in obsolescence has reduced the amount of old literature not deemed useful anymore being thrown away. While this was not necessarily by design this has saved a massive amount of trees by doing more relevant Just-In-Time printing.
Our digital press that we use is the HP Indigo 3050 press. This digital press does not have the variables and compounds that are used in Offset Printing that can result in higher waste and waste disposal. The Indigo 3050 does generate some wastes but none of these are categorized as hazardous according to Federal Regulation 40 CFR 261. All waste ink and imaging oil is disposed of with a recycler. Our ink is liquid Electro Ink that has no Air Pollutants as listed under Section112 of the Federal Clean Air Act.
The only Volatile Organic Compound(VOC's) that is produced by the Indigo 3050 is from the Imaging Oil and the emission level is lower than levels associated with a typical offset printing press. HP has stated that emission levels from a very similar press emits approximately 0.23 lb per hour when operated within manufacturers normal tolerances.
The Odee Company also purchases carbon credits from the Carbon Fund so that it is a Carbon Neutral Printing Company.
If you have the need for a eco-friendly digital printer please contact us.
Written by Buzz Tatom
The Odee Company
Printing Goes Green!
The printing industry like many other industries is starting to pick up steam in going "Green". From recycling paper to using soy ink, smart printing companies are starting to realize the benefits of going "Green".
A printing company can reduce it's emissions of greenhouse gases by buying carbon credits supporting reforestation or renewable energy. One such fund is www.carbonfund.org. This fund gives you choices of how your credits will be used. There are 3 choices: Reforestation, Renewable Energy, or Energy Conservation.
Recycling of paper or being certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council(FSC) or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative(SFI) gives you the ability to control the fiber that is being used to make your certified paper. This is usually going to be the largest waste component of a printing job. By using recycled post consumer waste paper you are directly saving trees and if you use FSC or SFI certified papers and certified printing companies you can also display the FSC & SFI logos on your printed product.
Recycling of all ink or using soy based inks is another way to be "green" with your printing. You can and should recycle all press solutions and plates used in the printing process. This can and should be done.
Energy conservation by using lower wattage lighting or actually purchasing renewable energy is another good idea that printing companies can do to reduce there environmental footprint on our planet.
All of these are ideas that are taking hold in the printing industry. Make sure the companies you are using to print for you are doing their part to help keep our environment clean. If you need a printing company that has gone green please contact The Odee Company. We are located in Dallas, Tx and have been in existence since 1923.
Written by Buzz Tatom
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas