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Turning CMYK into Green

Touting your shop's shrinking environmental footprint makes good business sense.

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By Peggy Middendorf

Eco-aware print customers may require proof of your green-ness. Documentation of your processes, suppliers, and compliance with regulations will become more and more important. In addition, offering an eco-friendly line of products may make the buying decision easier for some customers. Let’s take a look at three print providers that have seen a need and are filling it with their own Earth-friendly programs.

Filmet (, a print provider with two locations in Pennsylvania, is promoting its line of environmentally friendly graphic solutions: "Eco-Graphic." Eco-Graphic brand manager Andy Bachelder noticed the movement across all industries toward environmental responsibility and he wanted Filmet to lead the charge in the printing industry.

Primarily using its two UV-curable EFI Vutek PressVu 180s for the printing, Bachelder has been working with suppliers to identify green substrates for its Eco-Graphic portfolio. Specifically, Filmet is looking at the substrate contents, how media is manufactured, if the product is biodegradable, VOC production, and more. The company has identified several fabrics from Dickson Coatings and Neschen Americas, wallcoverings from Korographics, rigid boards from FormFlex, and papers from Mohawk.

Filmet is also looking at 100% recycled boards for use on its screen-printing presses, as well as eco-friendly paper stocks that would run on the shop’s narrow-format toner-based printer. Bachelder notes that the company is looking for a "balance between being eco-friendly and meeting the application needs of its customers."

Throughout the process, the company has been working with a customer that has its own Earth-friendly program. That customer wants all aspects of its shop to be environmentally responsible, including its graphics.

"This customer is not just buying one banner; they are buying a graphics solution for the whole store-including wallcovering, banners, and documents," says Bachelder.

Even though Filmet has been working on this project for months, the Eco-Graphic program does not make its official debut until Q2 2007. In addition, the company’s website promotes the company’s recycling program for plastic, cardboard, and paper.