Being ‘Green’ Helps the Bottom Line

With the removal of heavy metals and solvents from inks in favor of soy- and vegetable-based systems, the printing industry has always been on the leading edge of environmental responsibility. This has been driven by a combination of wanting to do the right thing and increasing pressure from regulatory agencies.

Now, there is another reason to become “green.” In an increasingly difficult economy, green helps the bottom line. Becoming green is not only good for the environment but it can also help a business reduce operating costs and perhaps develop an additional source of revenue.

For a business that has a return of 10 percent, each dollar saved is equivalent to $10 in revenue. A simple action that saves $10,000 is the equivalent of a new $100,000 customer who pays on time and doesn’t ask for credit!

Becoming green is an economic imperative for all businesses. To go green is to do the right thing by the economy and at the same time strengthen your business, market share and image.

Traditional operating, recycling and reuse practices have provided some benefit but many of these practices were developed at a time when green was not important and energy was cheap and easily available. Now we need to re-examine these same problems but with the green mindset. It drives us to be creative and think beyond today, to open our minds to ideas that are truly game changers and very attractive from green and economic perspectives.

Reducing Waste

One New Jersey printing operation has taken the challenge head on. During the past few years the company has swapped out energy burning Metal Halide lamps to power sipping fluorescent lighting, with a payback of under 18 months and a first year energy savings of $30,000. The next step is to replace the newly installed fluorescents with cutting-edge LED, which will further reduce operating expenses and have a quick payback. The firm also implemented an aggressive paper recycling program which cut the amount of trash thrown in a dumpster by 65 percent, significantly reducing waste collection costs and increased its profit stream four-fold.

Scrap as a revenue center? Yes, we all bundle, bail and pack our waste stream and have found that it can generate income. The challenge comes in trying to maximize the effort without sending the wrong message that increased scrap is good. Here is where creativity comes in. Customer satisfaction, measured by on-time and in full order fulfillment, is paramount. With the business’ guiding principles established the firm can take more aggressive steps to segregate its waste stream, extracting more value and recovering costs. In addition to the environmental benefit of decreasing the amount of material sent to the landfill is the salvage value of the waste not sent to a dumpster.

Energy Savings

The next waste stream being evaluated is energy. As an operation expense, energy when examined from a green perspective produces significant environmental and economic benefits. We all know that energy costs have risen sharply over the past 10 years. However, there are practices that have crept into the energy markets that make the costs higher than many realize.

Our electric infrastructure has not developed to match the expanding domestic and commercial needs and is under severe pressure from the increasing load. All of the electric utilities have introduced “demand response” practices aimed at getting big users of power to reduce power “on demand” where total demand is exceeding supply. While currently voluntary, participants in demand response receive payments for “being part of the solution, not part of the problem.”

We all know that energy costs have risen significantly over the past 10 years. Introducing an energy efficiency program and on-site energy production model to reduce power consumption not only provides a facility more control over its use of power, it greatly reduces operating costs.

The right energy partner can help lower utility bills by developing a program that reduces consumption through identifying and implementing energy conservation efforts, providing utility rate management services and renewable energy options. Energy efficiency solutions are generally easily implemented with quick paybacks. Alternate energy solutions tend to be more expensive with longer but still attractive paybacks. Many options exist and most can be sized to optimize the economics of the initial investment.

Leading providers specialize in the design, construction, installation, servicing, monitoring and assist in securing funding for energy conservation and renewable energy systems. Securing their services is designed to help manage current and future energy expenses while making a positive impact on our environment and lowering our dependence on fossil fuels (foreign and domestic).

A Comprehensive Process Will:

* Follow guidelines of Lean Manufacturing, going beyond standard efficiency to recover costs and improve bottom line;
* Be structured and disciplined, based on measurable results;
* Assist in developing and managing a support system from inception to completion of project;
* Deliver return on investment in as little as six months to several years, depending on scope of project.

Expected Benefits

1. By establishing an efficiency and renewable energy program you will:
a. Reduce your carbon footprint and associated pollution;
b. Stabilize your energy costs today;
c. Reduce our addiction to foreign oil and fossil fuels in

2. Realize energy consumption reduction from 20 to 40 percent.
a. Building envelope analysis;
b. Energy management systems;
c. LED and Induction lighting options;
d. Equipment usage analysis and suggested controls.

3. Utility rate management lowers per unit cost (kWh, BTU) 10 to 15 percent.

4. Renewable energy production yields savings from 20 to 30 percent.

5. Waste management:
a. Efficiently streamlined recycling program to maximize

Half the battle is in understanding your options. We have developed a program, which takes the guesswork out of the process and delivers short and long-term savings. To learn more about our model, realize true savings and embrace “green printing,” visit our site at