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Establishing a ‘Green’ Identity

(June 2013) posted on Thu Jun 27, 2013

Becoming more sustainable can provide your shop with additional efficiencies and additional profits.

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By Mike Antoniak

The manufacturer view
Manufacturers and suppliers also have a role to play when it comes to being considered sustainable – for print providers as well as for the industry as a whole. We talked to a handful of companies in order to get their take on the topic.

“Sustainability is not about any one company becoming better in one area, it’s about the entire supply chain,” says Mandy Hulke, product response liaison for 3M. “You have to look at the whole business holistically, to take steps to reduce waste as much as possible and operate in a socially responsible manner.”

3M’s Commercial Graphics division offers a downloadable “Environmental Solutions Catalog,” explaining special attributes of its graphic products; it’s the latest example of a 3M commitment that began in the 1970s. “There’s an overall view within 3M to become a more sustainable company, built around environmental stewardship and reducing waste,” says Hulke. “In the commercial graphics division we’ve done a lot to minimize the environmental footprint of our products.”

“We’re working to develop new and innovative materials to help our clients, and meet our own sustainability goals all the time,” she continues. The company’s new Envision line of large-format wrap and window films is not only high-performance and highly durable, but the films are PVC-free and also free of added chlorine and other halogens as well as phthalates.

Efforts within the print community parallel initiatives in our society as a whole, says Robert Honn, product marketing for Canon Solutions America, which markets Ocè printers and supplies. “Sustainability is a big initiative and we’re one part of it. There’s business and personal elements to it, and it usually starts with one individual within a company who embraces the concept of giving back to the environment.”

Information on Canon’s website describes the environmentally friendly features of the entire Ocè product line – and how they can be integrated into a print provider’s environmental strategy.

If certification is too much of an undertaking, says Honn, print providers can start on a small scale. “Once people embrace these ideas, they can expand the things they do over time. Start with one piece of it and do what you can to make your business more sustainable. At first, it can be as simple as trying to reduce waste, using recycled papers, or recycling ink and toner cartridges.”