Give Sustainability the Green Light

In early 2011, OCB Reprographics began conducting business under its new name, ARC-Southern California, but retained the same commitment to innovative business practices and outstanding client service it had demonstrated since its founding in 1926. In recent years, that commitment has included productive efforts to promote sustainability company-wide while helping customers meet their own sustainability objectives as well.

ARC-Southern California’s environmental initiatives have measurably reduced its own carbon footprint and supported environmentally friendly practices by its customers, earning the Irvine, CA-based company this year’s “Green Reprographer of the Year” title. The honor is awarded annually at the IRgA Convention and Trade Show by Océ, a Canon Group Company.


Actions that Make a Difference

ARC-Southern California’s focus on sustainability at each of its 15 locations permeates all aspects of its business operations, from products used to services provided—by and for the company’s customers as well as its employees.

According to the company, it saves more than 750 trees each month by printing 100 percent of its construction documents, including specs, on recycled media. In addition, the reprographer encourages clients to use its other recycled products such as 100 percent recycled small-format media, binders, mounting substrates, and banner material.

ARC-Southern California provides numerous other opportunities for customers seeking to minimize their environmental impact. For example, the reprographer places printing equipment directly in customer offices through its On-Site Services program. And it helps clients further reduce the use and expense of fuel—and paper—by offering digital document management options. These include Planwell online planroom and its integrated solutions of Planwell EWO electronic work orders, Planwell EasyPrint, and Planwell BidCaster, which enable clients to place, print, plan, and bid for jobs online. “We also have the ishipdocs program which allows us to send our client’s job electronically to the print shop as close to the final destination point as possible,” said Alicia Langer, green coordinator at ARC-Southern California.

Plus, more than 400 clients participate in ARC-Southern California’s innovative recycling program, taking advantage of free recycling bins and pick-up service. “Our clients appreciate that we go above and beyond their green expectations. In turn, it also shows their clients how dedicated they are to environmental conservation,” Langer said. Last year, the recycling program collected more than 60 tons of paper. All proceeds earned are donated to the Arbor Day Foundation and earmarked for reforestation.


An Environmental Leader

Well aware that actions speak louder than words, ARC-Southern California leads the way to a greener tomorrow by example. Overhauling its delivery strategy has been one of the biggest contributors to measurably shrinking the company’s carbon footprint. By reconfiguring its delivery route, the company realized a 30 percent reduction in its annual fuel consumption. It replaced its aging delivery fleet with newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles. And by restructuring its dispatching strategy, the company was able to cut the fleet in half.

ARC-Southern California continues to look for ways to support its sustainability objectives wherever possible. “Our Green Committee has made a number of improvements to reduce our overall impact on the environment,” Langer said. Other improvements include:

  • Updating and upgrading light fixtures and thermostat controllers to minimize energy use
  • Replacing plastic product bags with biodegradable wrapping
  • Implementing a recycling program for paper, cans, and bottles at each location, and using the proceeds to fund additional facility improvements

The company actively encourages its employees, as well as its customers, to make sustainable choices. More than 18 percent of ARC-Southern California’s employees benefit from an average $1,500 in monthly ride-sharing incentives by carpooling, taking public transit, walking, or biking to work. And each month, an employee who has gone the extra mile to contribute to the company’s sustainability efforts is honored with the Green Guardian of the Month award, which includes recognition at each of the 15 locations and a hand-written thank you note from the senior vice president of the region.

ARC-Southern California has also established a Green Guard team of volunteer employees and family members. The team participates regularly in community hosted environmental projects including habitat restoration, native plant reforestation, and waste recovery. Green Guard members were involved in more than 15 events over the past year, and vendor sponsored rewards encourage ongoing participation.

“We know that sustainability is a team effort,” Langer said. “Working together with our employees and customers, we believe that we can continue to explore and integrate business practices that make sustainability a reality, not just a promise.”