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Success and Sustainability

(March 2012) posted on Wed Mar 14, 2012

Five print providers who have plotted out a green course.

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By Paula Yoho

Part of the company’s motivation to be “green,” Wittenberg admits, is influenced by the overall culture of the Portland community. The “natural way of thinking is ingrained in everybody” and it created an awareness among his employees and customers of the importance of ‘green’ efforts at work and in their homes. The emphasis on environmental stewardship eventually led the company to pursue SGP Certification.

“Through that process, we learned that certification is a holistic approach to your business. It shows that you’re taking care of your employees, you’re making sure they understand it and that they carry it on to their home. You’re concerned about the environmental welfare of your whole community, so you’re not dumping a whole bunch of stuff in to the local waters, and you’re making sure that that your employees are taken care of ergonomically and they’re not hurting themselves. It’s way more than you would think of in terms of sustainable printing,” he says.

The company has also undertaken an extensive recycling program for one of its more popular substrates – a proprietary vinyl laminate on a rubber backing commonly used for magnetic walls.

“In the past we were not able to recycle it, but in conjunction with a third-party supplier, we are able to do so now. We just kicked off this recycling partnership in December, so instead of throwing the scrap and leftover materials in the garbage and having it end up in landfills, we’re now able to recycle it.”

Another natural extension of the company’s green initiatives was the acquisition early last year of a new wide-format UV printer.

“We bought a brand new HP Scitex FB7650 flatbed press with UV inks with a maximum print size that’s roughly 126 x 65 inches. In the way of VOCs, there’s almost nothing there,” says Wittenberg. “We can print edge-to-edge on it, so that means you have no ‘bleed’ and no need for a secondary step to cut all of that off. We’re able to eliminate all that scrap material going into the landfill, plus we save on electricity by eliminating that second step on the trim machine.”

The purchase was part of the company’s overall strategy to offer its customers more sustainable print options while also cutting production time.