It's Not Easy Being Green

While many companies agree they need to have a strong commitment to building sustainable businesses that seek to reduce environmental impact, support efforts to preserve green space, and educate employees and the public on the importance of conservation and preservation, not everyone follows through. “Going green” is still a fight in many places. Why? Experts point to costs as the number one reason why companies sometimes shy away from implementing sustainability initiatives.

According to Brian Wolfenden, Director of Marketing Communications, Presstek (Booth 3417), too many companies still think of environmental sustainability as a cost center. “In fact running an environmentally sustainable printing operation can actually drop savings directly to the bottom line. In addition, print buyers are increasingly seeking environmentally friendly printing, although they generally do not want to pay more for it. When implemented correctly, they should not have to.”

“One of the biggest challenges is to show printers the impact of a given investment on the ‘triple bottom line.’ This means evaluating not only its economic impact, but also its social and environmental consequences,” says Joerg Daehnhardt, Director of Product Management for Heidelberg USA (Booth 1214).

“Sustainability deserves our attention. Companies must have access to sustainable technologies and materials, but can’t afford to pay a high premium,” says Rich Rindo, General Manager, WW Graphics Marketing and Vice President GECF, Kodak (Booth 1221). “They must find ways to boost sustainability while also managing costs or removing inefficiencies to improve workflow.”


Altering mindsets

Overcoming the mindset that sustainability costs too much to implement is one of the key challenges. In fact, sustainable practices don’t necessarily have to be huge, all-encompassing changes to the way a company operates. “Our industry offers plenty of opportunity to make changes and become ‘greener’; small changes can add up to big impacts,” says Jim Crawford, Director, Consumable Sales, Fujifilm North America Corporation (Booth 414).

“Encouraging all employees to embrace a company’s corporate sustainability policy can be a challenge. Sustainability should be a logical result not a compulsive task. When sustainability, on even footing with any other corporate policy, is more than a mere tool to ‘green up’ a corporate image, it becomes easier for an entire organization to accept,” says Dave Carey, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Prepress, Agfa Graphics North America (Booth 627). “Sustainability involves systematically improving the cost and environmental performance of your products and operations, an idea embedded in the corporate strategy. When environmental sustainability is rooted in the technical requirements of everything a company does and stands for, it becomes more readily acceptable to the corporate structure as a whole.”


Consultant’s Corner

As part of the GREENspace initiative, Printing Industries of America’s Environmental, Health, and Safety Affairs team will be present at Booth 2939 to answer your questions for free.

Whether you have an interest in sustainability or regulatory compliance, the team of experts is ready to provide you with the information you need to become a sustainable green printer.

The EHS Affairs department is your partner and voice. Discover how to cut costs and meet customer demands through: green and sustainable operations, cost reductions with lean and green approaches, avoiding penalties, minimizing liability due to injuries, driving down insurance costs, and more.

The EHS Affairs Department has played a vital role in defending the printing industry against the agencies and regulations that you need to meet. The EHS Affairs team has been actively engaged with many agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). When regulations affect the printing industry or if customers are requiring green initiatives, the EHS Affairs team takes action.

Think of them as being your own professional Green and EHS staff, so stop by and ask your questions.