Environmentally Friendly Printing

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We all have a responsibility to future generations to help insure that we are taking care of our planet so they have the same opportunities as we do. Printing as an industry is a heavy user of electricity and natural resources such as trees to make paper. There are ways that printing companies can participate in helping to reduce their impact on the environment. Here are the main ways although they certainly don't encompass everything.

-Using Recycled papers. Over 50% of the paper used in the US is recycled. This means that 35% of the fiber used to make paper in the US is from recycled paper. While we may not be able to totally alleviate the use of new trees being logged for fiber a small % increase in the above numbers can translate to millions of trees being spared and the corresponding increase in greenhouse gases associated with the logging and manufacturing of virgin fiber papers. Printing companies at the very least can recycle all waste not used in their final product.
At The Odee Company we recycle all of our waste paper and have for well over 10 years. There are also a couple of organizations that give a chain of custody for recycled papers being used in a customer's end job. These organizations give training and annually audit the companies processes to insure customers are printing there product on certified environmentally sustainable paper. One is the Forestry Stewardship Council(FSC) and the other is Sustainable Forestry Initiative(SFI). These organizations promote the use of paper that passes from certified forests all the way through certified printing companies. This also helps the end customer promote this initiative by displaying the FSC & SFI logo on their printed pieces by using certified paper and printer.

-Renewable Energy used by a printing company can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Odee Company purchases from a utility that purchases an unspecified % of wind power. While we are unhappy about the unspecified part at this juncture we at least have made them aware of our concern for more accountability and that it will require 50% renewable energy for us to renew our contract when up.

-Carbon Credits can be purchased through organizations that work to offset the greenhouse gases a company produces. The Odee Company purchases carbon credits from Carbon Fund to make it carbon neutral. We support the reforestation project but there is also Renewable Energy or Energy Conservation. By being a Carbon Neutral printing company we offset all greenhouse gases from the manufacturing of printed product we produce.

-Recycling of All ink, plates and Press Solutions. A printing company should also dispose of all ink waste, press solutions and recycle all plates. These services are available to all printers to insure that these materials do not get in our groundwater or fill our landfills.

-Energy Conservation is also something that makes sense for all companies to do. We are replacing our fluorescent lighting with lower wattage lighting as bulbs are being replaced. This reduces our lighting energy usage by 20-25%. We look forward to being able to use LED lighting as it becomes more economically viable as it is touting energy use savings of 70-80% over normal incandescent lighting.

The point is to get started on the path. If you are looking for a printing company that is striving to be an environmentally friendly printing company please feel free to contact us to see how we can help you reduce your companies environmental footprint from its printing.

Written by Buzz Tatom