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August 31, 2009

From the recycling craze of the 1960s and '70s to the “Save the Planet” campaigns of the '90s, awareness of our impact on the environment has had its peaks and valleys. In the new millennium, a definitive peak was reached once again when our former vice president revealed the “inconvenient truth” about our planet. Since then, improving green practices has remained in the global spotlight. As many commercial printers now look at implementing green initiatives, others in the industry have gained further momentum from their already rich tradition of environmental consciousness and green practices.

In recognition of these commercial printers' continued commitment, AMERICAN PRINTER is proud to announce the winners of its second annual Environmental Excellence Awards.

“Our goal is to heighten the awareness of environmentally sound practices in the commercial printing industry,” says Scott Bieda, group publisher. “We're proud to salute the efforts of these progressive companies.”

AMERICAN Printer teamed up once again with NAPL and premier sponsor Kodak to recognize these leaders in the industry. Gold-level sponsors include Agfa, HP, manroland and Presstek.

An independent panel of judges reviewed participants' production composition, personnel involvement, and manufacturing process and facility to determine Gold, Silver and Bronze award recipients. Many participants also submitted entries for “Best Environmentally Produced Product” recognition.

The Environmental Excellence Awards were presented during an evening ceremony at PRINT 09. The honorees on the following pages are testimony that commercial printers can make a green impact.


25 Employees or Less


MLI Integrated Graphic Solutions, Tampa, FL, started up its presses more than 40 years ago as a conventional printer. In an effort to maximize the marketing solutions it offers its clients, the printer has successfully expanded its portfolio through the years to include hybrid digital printing, 1:1 media, direct mail and fulfillment services, Internet-based applications, and custom software solutions. Along with its commitment to providing creative marketing solutions, MLI also has sustained an ecofriendly tradition.

MLI is recognized as the first printer on the west coast of Florida to achieve Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and SGS certification. Along with this milestone and to further achieve its environmental objectives, MLI established a Green Purchasing Team that reviews environmental purchasing and quality criteria as well as develops MLI's program to support its green initiatives.

A critical component to this green program is MLI's choice of sustainable materials. MLI purchases products and materials from individuals and organizations that “demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and equality.” MLI gives preference to suppliers that have an accredited environment management system and documented waste reduction strategy; meet the relevant standards for a particular product or service; and have a good track record for quality and environmental performance.

The printer reduces the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with the use of vegetable-based inks, ecofriendly soy inks, alcohol-free chemistry and aqueous coatings.

MLI not only strives to implement green practices within its small print operation, but also is dedicated to teaching it. The company offers periodic “Lunch n Learn” workshops to introduce clients to new material and technological updates.

Other green initiatives at MLI include:

  • Sequencing of print jobs by ink color, saving ink changes and waste.
  • Storage of used chemicals and ink waste in containers, which are picked up by Environmental Recovery for processing.
  • Reuse of paper for press setup and makeready.
  • E-mailing PDF proofs to clients when possible, saving the paper and ink of traditional hardcopy proofs.
  • Replacing match prints with high-resolution digital proofs, which require no chemical processing or heating.
  • Packaging of products with biodegradable packaging materials and waste paper instead of petroleum-based foam “peanuts.”

Eco tip: The chemicals from the process of making its printing plates are filtered before disposal and the aluminum plates are recycled after use.

26 to 99 Employees


Founded in 1989, Impress Communications (Chatsworth, CA), is a 75-employee operation offering traditional commercial sheetfed and digital/variable-data printing, specialty packaging, graphic design and website/interactive services.

“Clearly it is our people, our presses, and our singular vision of smart growth that drive success,” comments Paul Marino, executive director. “The Impress customer is a diverse mix of Fortune 100 consumer product goods marketers; large-to-small business; design and creative marketing agencies; and high tech, healthcare, education and publishing companies.”

With its host of printing capabilities, Impress realizes its responsibility to the environment.

In January, Impress introduced the “Think Green” campaign consisting of a themed 13-month calendar (featuring new capabilities). The brand brochure, printed using no-VOC inks on FSC-certified stock, details the Impress message and its portfolio of capabilities.

“Our versatility, press know-how and benefits of having a highly skilled staff are undeniable. Yet, the adoption of ecofriendly reusable, recyclable or compostable print solutions can be difficult to sell through to clients,” explains Marino. “Rather than focusing on the price of the project, we ask our clients to consider the results these print pieces can generate for them.”

Impress is a FSC-certified printer and a strong supporter of using environmentally friendly paper. In 2008, the printer purchased 6.6 million pounds of paper. Twenty-four percent of the stock was used on registered FSC jobs. Impress works with eight primary paper vendors who supply recycled and post-consumer papers for its sheetfed and recently acquired digital presses.

Impress uses low-VOC soy and organic inks, no-VOC UV inks, water-based coatings, low-VOC blanket washes, and solvents. The printer says its change to water-based coating, low-VOC blanket and washes and solvents two years ago has allowed it to reduce VOC emissions 48.6% year-over-year.

Eco tip: To reduce the impact of energy loads on the electric grid, Impress staggers production start times and effectively avoids operating at full load during peak run time hours of 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

100 Employees or More


From its name alone, EarthColor makes a clear statement of its focus and leadership in sustainable printing. The printer has worked hard to implement environmentally sustainable values into every aspect of its manufacturing and logistical process.

“EarthColor's core mission and values include a genuine dedication to sustainable and responsible business practices that protect our natural resources, promote healthy forests, fight for clean air and water, and support biodiversity,” explains David Podmayersky, director of sustainability.

The printer's commitment to research and development is only one of the many facets of the company's comprehensive sustainability program. With an operational prototype carbon sequestration device in its headquarters, EarthColor is presently hosting the technology development of this apparatus in conjunction with Dr. Samuel Sofer of Air and Water Solution Inc. The printer is currently working with the state of New Jersey on an emerging technology permit to get both state and federal government to understand and recognize bio-oxidization as an effective tool for remediation of airborne pollutants.

As a member of the Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Leaders Program, EarthColor is committed to reducing carbon emission by 40% of revenue dollar by 2012.

In the area of product composition, EarthColor offers its own privately-branded, climate-balanced Earth Aware Paper line, which is both FSC and Rainforest Alliance certified, elementally chlorine free, and consists of a minimum of 10% post-consumer waste (PCW). The printer also employs ecofriendly vegetable-based, reduced- and zero-VOC inks and coatings.

“EarthColor has gone to great strides to ensure that our company and business adheres to the highest green standards through the implementation of thorough environmentally sustainable methodology not only in our manufacturing process, but also in our product composition,” says Podmayersky.

Using the Global Reporting Initiative Standards, EarthColor takes pride in its environmental achievements, which include:

  • 101 acres preserved via managed forestry.
  • 317,696 less trees consumed.
  • 219,873 million BTUs less energy used, the equivalent annual energy usage of 2,416 homes.
  • 115 million fewer gallons of water consumed.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) reduced by 75% at all sheetfed plants and 20% at all web press plants via bio-oxidation and chemistry reengineering.

Along with its Silver Award honors last year in AMERICAN PRINTER's inaugural Environmental Awards program, the company also received the New Jersey Public Utilities Green Power Purchaser of the Year Award.

Eco tip: All of its facilities run on 100% renewable wind power in excess of 25,000,000 kilowatt-hours.


25 Employees or Less


Ambit Press launched its business 12 years ago as Cambridge's (MA) first Minuteman Press franchisee. The printer provides a complete portfolio of print services described as the “perfect blend of a commercial printer and a quick printer.”Ambit Press offers on-demand digital printing as well as conventional offset and enterprise-wide procurement.

“Ambit Press has an enduring respect for the environment and we soundly believe in the products and practices that we use,” says Lauren Kennedy, marketing director.

The company is FSC certified and seeks vendors who can provide paper from certified sources, keeping several types of paper in stock for both its digital and offset presses. For digital printing, the printer stocks a 100-lb. text from Finch with recycled content of 10% PCW. For cover stock, Ambit Press offers the 100-lb. Sterling Ultra Gloss Cover, which also is Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified. The printer's offset house list has numerous environmentally friendly options with seven of the 12 available papers having SFI certification and recycled options with 10% PCW. In addition to diverse portfolio of paper offerings, Ambit Press's selection of ink vendors has also been critical to its environ-mental strategy, as the company uses vegetable and soy-based inks on its sheetfed presses.

Ambit Press's recent investment of the Presstek 52DI press met the printer's ecological and high quality print standards. The press sends digital files directly to print without the need for traditional printing plates. Ambit reports the printing process is clean, both operationally and on the final product. Sellable sheets are produced after just 8-10 makeready sheets, significantly less than the 80-100 pages a traditional plated press might use before producing useable sheets.

Eco fact: Outside the walls of its facility, Ambit Press has become an active member in its community, which has been an essential step in its environmental approach. Ambit has collaborated with the City of Cambridge to become a Cambridge Climate Leader, specifically in a community effort to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. In 2008, the City of Cambridge awarded Ambit Press its GoGreen Award for its efforts in waste reduction.

26 to 99 Employees


In December 2008, Monroe Litho (Rochester, NY) became the fifth commercial printer in the United States to earn certification as a Sustainable Green Printing Partner. It is a designation the company doesn't take lightly.

“We believe that sustainability means doing more with less to ensure that necessary natural resources are in place for subsequent generations,” says Stephen Whittaker, vice president, quality management/sustainability initiatives. “We intend to align these disciplines with our financial goals and objectives while addressing the concerns of all stakeholders.”

Always keeping the environment top-of-mind, Monroe Litho uses FSC-certified paper in which PCW accounts for 25% of sales dollars. The balance of paper purchased through a house sheet program (also FSC-certified) adds an estimated 55%, making the total an estimated 80% of all paper purchased.

To complement its use of ecofriendly paper, Monroe Litho uses inks that are mostly composed of soy and vegetable components. A recent set of ink tests were conducted on a very low VOC content ink set manufactured by Kohl Madden/Sun Chemical that will soon be integrated in the printer's system. Monroe Litho recently changed to aqueous coatings that also have contributed to lowering total VOC emissions.

For prepress, the printer uses the Magnus 9000 CTP platesetter, which utilizes Prinergy workflow software to ensure accuracy and precision with repeatability. The use of Staccato screening capability is being evaluated as a potential opportunity for improvement in reducing press makeready and waste.

In 2007, the firm conducted numerous experiments to test and evaluate substitute chemicals for blanket auto-wash systems. The chemical selected has allowed the residue to be classified as non-hazardous waste. This was a substantial reduction in 2008 in the amount of hazardous waste manifested (10 drums down to 1 drum) in a 12-month period.

“Through the design of experiments in the press room, a substitute for the current press washup chemical is being evaluated,” reports Whittaker. “By the end of the year, Monroe litho plans to reduce VOC emissions by 10%.”

Monroe Litho has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a member of the Green Suppliers Network. The Rochester Business Journal also recognized Monroe Litho with an Environmental Leadership Award for Pollution Prevention, and the firm was an exhibitor at the “Go Green Expo” in May 2009.

Eco fact: In 2006, Monroe Litho began operating on 100% wind power.


100 Employees or More


With over 60 years of print expertise, Illinois specialty printer JetLithocolor provides its clients with enhanced brand and revenue growth through uniquely applied graphic communication technologies and an innovative green program.

Jet offers its clients the option to print on laminate with Inego biopolymer, Nature Works' trademarked polylactic acid (PLA). PLA uses 65% less fossil fuel resources to produce and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 80-90% vs. traditional petroleum-based polymers. PLA is also approximately 97% biodegradable through industrial compositing. With PLA costing approximately 60% more than PVC, Jet reports that its clients have expressed their commitment to comprising more ecofriendly final products by ordering more than 70 million PLA cards from March 2008 to March 2009.

Jet also offers the option to print on BIOGraph.ics Cereoplast, a non-petroleum, agricultural-based polymer made from the starches of various plants and vegetables. It is 100% biodegradable through industrial compositing. Jet's clients have ordered 300,000 pounds of recycled PCW, approximately 15% of its total paper orders.

The printer offers the choice to print with UV inks and coatings. More than 50% of Jet's orders were printed with UV inks and coatings. Clients can also choose to print with soy and bio-content inks made from renewable resources.

For shipping, Jet uses stretch film to wrap, secure and protect all pallet loads for shipping. In 2008, a cross-departmental team worked with Jet's stretch film supplier to produce thinner and stronger films. The printer reports that its Downers Grove, IL, facility had a 32% reduction and its Bolingbrook, IL, operation had a 43% reduction. Improving pallet wrapping methods also caused noticeable reductions.

Also as part of its environmental efforts, Jet uses chipboard between manufacturing steps, during storage, and for shipping. Along with the chipboard switch to 100% PCW, the cross-departmental team also switched to 100% PCW cardboard for all packaging and shipping needs, with positive results.

Another critical element of the printer's green practices is energy conservation. Working with an engineer from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center to improve its energy efficiency, the printer upgraded to new LED exit signs, turned off vending machine lights, improved HVAC duct work and completed a lighting retrofit project. Jet invested $60,000 in the lighting retrofit, replacing T12 fluorescent lights and magnetic ballasts with energy efficient 5000 K T8 florescent lights and electronic ballasts. By also replacing the reflectors with aluminum specular reflectors that further enhance light distribution, many lamps were removed without compromising the quality of light.

Eco tip: Upgrading from a 60 gallon to an 80 gallon aqueous solution parts washer allowed the printer to reduce VOC emissions.


25 Employees or Less


Launching her printing business from the basement of her home in 1973, Marilynn Jones recognized early on that printing was full of hazardous chemicals, and she was dedicated to doing her part in reducing her operation's impact on the environment. Through the years, Jones has searched tirelessly for vendors offering safer inks, toners, parts washers, and specialty chemistry, as well as opening her printing operation as a beta site for several new technologies.

Jones' efforts did not go unnoticed. Consolidated Printing's long-standing commitment to green practices has been recognized with awards from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the Chicago Department of Environment for Market Transformation in Green Products and Green Practices, three Illinois governors, Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and most recently the William D. Schaeffer Environmental Award.

In the prepress area, Consolidated Printing operates a closed-loop plate process that limits the use of raw materials and the quantity of waste. The printer's transition to digital technology has reduced waste, paper, chemicals and film. The move to soft proofing also has eliminated most hard-copy proofs.

Consolidated Printing uses alcohol-free fountain solutions and non-hazardous solvents in its printing process. In 2008, the printer implemented THINK, a new technology that reportedly does not require any curing devices, ovens, or blowers running during printing. The technology contains 72% renewable products; less than 0.5 percent VOCs; no heavy metals, lead or phthalates; and stay-open inks. Consolidated Printing reports the use of this technology on its sheetfed presses has resulted in faster setup, eliminated the use of IR dryers, increased production, eliminated all federal and state regulated toxins, and accelerated drying times.

Consolidated Printing also has patented the green printing process, Printedgreen, which achieves:

  • The elimination of all petroleum by using 100% natural based inks, ink pigments and press washup solutions.
  • Reuse or recycling of 100% of its paper, 100% of which is from sustainably harvested forests.
  • Reduction of overall energy consumption by over 30% by making changes in lighting throughout the operation.
  • Total elimination of plate processors that run 24/7, plates that expose in half the time and energy-efficient equipment.
  • Elimination of all hazardous water.
  • Recycling and reuse of 90% of all wastes, including but not limited to inks, paper, cardboard, plates, batteries, packing materials, etc.
  • No hazardous waste.

Eco tip: Consolidated Printing uses recycled restaurant cooking oil and supermarket products such as Crisco, Pam, Snuggle Fabric Softener and Bounce to eliminate toxic chemistry.


26 to 99 Employees


Chicago-based Digital Hub attributes its efficient and ecofriendly manufacturing process to its use of quality equipment, chemistry and inks.

Digital Hub is a designated Unisource paper “Respect” certified printing company for its commitment to using FSC-certified paper in the production of its printed materials.

Operating its facility on 100% wind power, the printer is an EPA Green Power Partner and Clean Air Counts member. The printer is also an active member of the Chicago Sustainable Business Alliance.

As a partner with the American Forests, the printer has planted over 1,215 trees, which is an average of 405 tons of carbon being sequestered. The printer's partnerships reforest areas in North America that have been hit by forest fires, hurricanes, tornados or other devastation.

Digital Hub has an extensive waste management system. With this system, the company recycles 100% of its waste paper, aluminum printing plates, waste printing ink, office toner cartridges, plastics, glass materials and batteries; 10% of its used office equipment; and 100% of all other recyclable materials.

The printer has maintained a strong focus on educating employees on general environmental and OSHA related topics such as MSDA information, recycling procedures and FSC training.

Its prepress room utilizes computer-to-plate technology (CTP), which eliminates the need to make film as well as the chemistry that accompanies film-based systems.

Sustainable printing is accomplished on a 2-color Heidelberg Quickmaster; a 5-color Heidelberg Waterless GTO DI; and a 5-color manroland press featuring a coater and UV (no-VOC) capabilities. All three presses use vegetable-based printing inks that contain 0.05% VOCs, as opposed to 1.55% VOCs from soy-based inks.

The manroland press is CIP3 capable, which minimizes makeready paper waste by setting all of the ink keys according to the file sent from prepress.

The Heidelberg GTO DI Waterless Press doesn't use fountain solution — cutting VOCs, conserving water and eliminating the need to dispose of used fountain solution.

Eco tip: Digital Hub uses shipping materials that contain a high level of recycled content, and the firm offsets its shipping carbons by 305%, purchasing carbon credits through Carbon Fund.

100 Employees or More


As one of the oldest and largest commercial printers in Dallas, Williamson Printing is quick to affirm: “Green is more than a fashion statement. It's the way we work.”

“At Williamson Printing, we believe being on the cutting edge of reducing our carbon footprint is absolutely vital,” says Jon Croft, sustainability and quality services manager. “By working as a team to keep abreast of the latest advancements in environmentally friendly printing, we hope to continually raise the bar on industry standards.“

Williamson Printing's presses feature the Sentinel inks system, which automates the ink delivery to the press.

“By keeping a minimum amount of ink in the fountain, there is very little ink left at the end of the run. Because the ink is in self-contained, airtight canisters, there is no skinning of the ink,” Croft explains. ”When ink canisters are empty, there is less than 2% left inside and 100% post-consumer packaging is easily disposed of.”

Williamson Printing encourages the use of UV inks, which emit virtually zero VOCs and allow for recycling. The printer uses only soy or other renewable vegetable oil in its inks and tries to maximize the renewable resource oils in each ink. Croft says of the ink that is not implemented in the printing process, 50% is returned to the ink manufacturer to be recycled and remade into ink. The remaining 50% is used as an energy efficient industrial fuel. All presses are equipped with ink monitoring devices to reduce waste by 30%.

In its pressroom, heatset presses feature thermal oxidizers, which incinerate any VOCs emitted from its processes with almost 99% efficiency. In all of its aqueous fountain solutions, Williamson Printing uses alcohol substitutes, completely eliminating isopropyl alcohol. The printer has also eliminated the use of chlorinated solvents from its operations.

Its recycling program includes different materials from the printing process to ensure minimal waste. Williamson recycles 1,000,000 lbs. of waste paper each month and approximately 40,000 lbs. of aluminum each year from its plates. The printer also has an extensive recycling program for office paper, plastic, glass and other materials.

Williamson Printing's inventive waste reduction program, “Waste Watchers,” encourages employees to be involved in the company's green efforts. Employees submit ideas to reduce consumption in the plant, whether it is energy, paper, ink or even time. Top suggestions each month are rewarded and are featured in the company's newsletter. The program is designed to boost employee participation in the green aspect of the company and helps everyone realize the benefits of even small changes on a day-to-day basis.

“Williams Printing's environmental stewardship is a company-wide ideal that permeates every level of our organization and is embedded in the very fabric of our policies,” says Croft. “We are committed to not only practicing a green business model, but also spreading the knowledge and benefits of this positive mentality.“

Eco fact: The company recycles 40,000 lbs. of aluminum every year.


25 Employees or Less


Mercer Color in Coldwater, OH, is no stranger to green practices. From the company's inception in 1981, it has consistently strived to improve its facilities and print processes with the environment in mind. “Being sustainable or green isn't just something you do in a measurable one-year period,” says Pat Berger, vice president of Mercer Color. “It is decades of doing the right thing every day.”

Although the printer had always recycled, Mercer Color's big environmental leap came in 1990 when it switched to sustainable products and decreased its ink consumption by 25%. Currently, the printer recycles over 30 tons of paper, plastic, cardboard, pallets and “anything else that isn't bolted down” each year. In 1996, Mercer Color branded its environmentally friendly and sustainable offset printing system, Ecologically Controlled Offset Printing (ECOLITH). In addition to low VOCs, ECOLITH uses neither hazardous air pollutants nor acetone and is virtually odor free. The ecofriendly printing process encompasses ink, fountain solution, metering roller cleaner, roller-cleaning paste, blanket/roller-wash general cleaning, and filters.

26 to 99 Employees


The Advertisers Printing Co. was the first printing company in the greater St. Louis region to obtain FSC certification and the ability to offer power used with renewable energy in the production process. The company is currently a Candidate Pending Verification (CPV) with the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership.

A key component of its green initiative is the recycling of all waste paper and corrugated board. In 2008, the printer recycled 14.1775 tons of corrugated, 577.3150 tons of high-grade paper and 715 lbs. of paper trash. It also recycled 4.1 tons of ink, 7.2 tons of metal and 1,141 lbs. of solvent. The printer actively recycles all printing plates, soda cans, cell phones, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, old computer equipment, tin, glass and plastics.

The company continuously researches new ideas and products to reduce its environmental impact. All of its presses use an alcohol substitute. The printer's metering roll cleaner (MRC) is low VOC and it successfully reduced spent waste solvent sent out as hazardous material from 715 gallons in 2007 to 165 gallons in 2008.

The Advertisers Printing Co. is an AmerenUE Pure Power Leader Gold, which allows it to purchase renewable credits equal to 6% of the total amount of electricity used in its production facility. The renewable energy certificates are Green-e Certified and support the development of new wind farms and other forms of renewable energy in Missouri and the Midwest.

100 Employees or More


As the first printer in Minnesota to achieve three chain-of-custody certifications (SFI, FSC, PEFC), The John Roberts Co. is a premier commercial printer who recognizes that leadership means leading by example. As an EPA Climate Leader Partner, John Roberts completed a corporate-wide inventory of its greenhouse gas emissions, setting long-term reduction goals and reporting its progress annually to the EPA. John Roberts is the first commercial printer in the country to be certified as a Sustainable Green Printer (SGP).

The high efficiency motors on its Heidelberg sheetfed presses reduced its electricity usage 19% in 2008. The presses have also helped cut start-up waste by 10% over last year and reduce the amount of energy used in paper feeding and drying.

Other ecofriendly achievements include green purchasing and recycling efforts; a closed-loop recovery and cleaning system for solvents; a switch to reusable varnish totes rather than traditional 5-gallon plastic kits; and a transition from conventional printing ink to a new series provided by Ink Systems Inc. called e2, which has enhanced pressroom performance while dramatically reducing VOCs. The company recycles 100% of all reusable ink. Its use of soft proofing also reportedly saves one ton of materials annually.


25 Employees or Less


Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid receives a huge boost with its dazzling “Reaching for a Better World” candidature highlights booklet, printed by Consolidated Printing. This project, completed for the City of Chicago, was produced using the printer's own environmental process, Printedgreen, which completely eliminates toxic chemicals and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). It was printed on Mohawk Options 100% PCW paper using the printer's new thin ink technology and fountain solution, which contain no petroleum, heavy metals, lead, alcohol or alcohol substitutes, or phthalates. In addition, the press wash made of bean and seed esters from American farms emitted zero VOCs and contained no HAPs. The prepress department is totally chemical and processor free, emitting no HAPs or VOCs, and saving time and electricity.

Paper: Postconsumer fiber for the cover and text stocks, no new trees, natural ph. Packaging: recycled content ranges from 30 to 100 percent.

Paper processing: PCF (process chlorine free) certified paper; no chlorine or hypochlorite used in the 100 percent postconsumer pulp, certified by the Chlorine-Free Products Association.

Paper production: 100 percent renewable energy used in the production of the paper.

Printing: Printedgreen by Consolidated Printing.

26 to 99 Employees


Improving its print processes with the environment in mind has been a consistent goal for Utah-based Paragon Press. Paragon was one of the first printers in Utah to replace high-VOC alcohol with low-VOC alcohol substitutes in the pressroom over 15 years ago. Paragon's commitment to ecofriendly printing remains evident in its Trail Guide Project for the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve.

In the beginning, the project had a diecut pocket that created waste, but held a fold-up map using synthetic paper. As there was concern that the map might fall out (and with it being synthetic, that it wasn't very biodegradable), it was suggested the guide be self-contained and reusable from one visitor to another. The due date for the 200,000 guides requested was also forcing the use of mill stock sizes, which caused 21-24% trim waste. Paragon suggested a 5,000 partial run to allow time for bringing in a special size stock with less waste, reprinting 195,000 with changes if needed, and delivering on time for the spring reopening. The trim waste of nearly 2,000 pounds paid for all the extra work. The guide was printed with vegetable-based ECOTEC inks on 100% post-consumer recycled Imagination text from New Leaf Papers.

100 Employees or More


EarthColor's collaboration with Wal-Mart was a result of months of planning to develop the necessary environmental criteria and entailed a thorough environmentally sustainable logistical manufacturing process. The project resulted in two end products, an annual as well as a sustainablility report.

The project involved carbon-managed and climate-neutral printing utilizing 100% renewable wind energy as well as reduced VOC inks and coating on FSC-certified paper, resulting in virtually no airborne emissions.

Paper selection was critical in producing the project. The paper chosen was EarthColor's privately branded FSC-certified EarthAware, which is compromised of 10% PCW, is elemental chlorine free, and is climate-managed (offsets purchased matching carbon signature of paper where carbon emissions could not be eliminated). The only exception was paper chosen for the cover of the annual report, “Opus.” Unfortunately due to the volume of the web-printed reports, printing on 100% PCW paper was determined not to be cost effective.

An important aspect of the project was to properly quantify real environmental savings resulting from EarthColor's adopted methodology and manufacturing process. This was done through a comprehensive peer review of the above mentioned environmental paper strategies employed during the project by the Institute for Sustainable Communications as well as a collaborative panel of environmental experts including Compliance Management Intl.

A condensed executive support version of Wal-Mart's sustainability report was printed in limited copies. The majority of the content was posted online.



Washington, DC-based Svec Conway Printing owner Sheila Firestein worked with local designer Glen Hennessy to create a 2008 holiday card that would inform clients of its green initiatives. The company chose to illustrate this by using waste paper collected over the course of the year that normally would return back to the stream of recycling. The cover stock is skid wrapping paper from paper deliveries. Some cards have the logo still visible; others have tear marks from sealing tape. French-folded inside pages are reused makeready sheets that have been overprinted with three hits of Eco-Smart Environmentally Responsible Opaque White Ink and a final overlay pass of metallic silver for a holiday effect, which the printer reversed out to allow the white text to highlight its environmental initiative.

Improvements SVEC Conway has made toward achieving its goal to become an earth-friendly steward:

  • 100% Wind Powered
  • Green-e Certified
  • EcoSmart Environmentally Responsible inks
  • EPA Green Power Partner
  • FSC certified
  • Rainforest Alliance certified
  • SFI certified
  • PEFC certified


Impress Communications' “Think Green” campaign was launched in 2008 to inform clients and other stakeholders of the printer's commitment to the environment. The brochure was engineered to feel like plastic, but shows that being green can be “sophisticated, modern and smartly executed with striking graphics.” An FSC 95-lb. Topkote Gloss Cover stock was used in the production of the brochure. The project was produced in-house and delivered CTP using a digital blue line. Impress printed the brochure on its 29-inch press using 4-color process plus soft dull reticulating varnish plus UV. The finished folded size of 8.75 inches × 11.5 inches fits perfectly in a regular-sized envelope for mailing, but also can stand alone for tradeshow use and client presentations.

Mixed sources: FSC certified product group from well-managed forests and other controlled sources.


Williamson Printing's “Green from the Ground Up” is a 20-page self-promotional brochure to educate clients, employees and business partners on the environmental campaigns the printer has initiated recently. Produced using entirely wind-generated electricity, the FSC-certified brochure was produced on 100% recycled post-consumer stock with UV inks. The full-color images are intended to show the impact that quality and printing precision can have when combined with environmentally friendly processes.

This brochure was printed and produced using the most environmentally friendly standards available in the industry today.

Manufactured with 100% wind generated electricity.

Paper: Neenah Environment PC 100-lb. Cover containing 100% recycled PCW, and FSC certified.

Flysheet paper: Wassau Royal Fiber 80-lb. Driftwood cover containing 100% recycled PCW, and FSC certified. Printed using earth-friendly UV inks.


AMERICAN PRINTER magazine, in conjunction with the National Assn. for Printing Leadership (NAPL) is proud to salute the winners of our second annual Environmental Excellence Awards.

We thank our sponsors, our independent panel of judges, and the participating printers. We hope you'll find their stewardship as inspirational as we do.

Our coverage continues online. Editor Katherine O'Brien will be speaking to the winners for her blog, KOB on Commercial Printing. See www.americanprinter.com.

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