Award winners aren’t always trailblazers but it’s hard not to be impressed by the meticulousness of New Jersey printer Sandy Clifton’s environmental programme. The company has just won an award from America’s Sustainable Green Printing Partnership after designing a new wide-format facility to be as environmentally friendly as possible and reconfiguring an existing wide-format area to use less energy.
On the company website (www.sandyinc.com), the company says clearly: “Every decision we make – from the choice of ink and paper to the handling of printed waste has implications for the environment.” The rhetoric is reinforced by an impressive depth of detail, revealing its strategy to achieve carbon neutrality, its preference for wind power (the annual environmental benefit that accrues from this policy is, it says, is equivalent to planting over 9,000 acres of trees) and even where the company feels it still has scope to do better.
It seems harsh to cavil but the one area it could do better is timeliness: the last sustainability report on its website covers 2009. But in almost every other respect, Sandy Clifton offers a model of best practice.
The New Jersey printer’s efforts have been matched by Oregon printer Portland Press (www.premierpress.com), another SGP award winner. The printing firm already stands out because it is owned and run by three sisters – Jodi, Juli and Joni – who “grew up with ink in their blood” because the company was founded in 1974 by their parents Diane and Arnold Wheeler. Portland relies entirely on wind energy and buys carbonless offsets to achieve a carbonless footprint. In their efforts to become greener, management have considered everything from motion sensor lighting in warehouses to Baldwin blanket wash technology which reduces wash-up VOCs by 95%. The company modestly says: “Our goal is to be a forerunner in the battle for true sustainability”.