Posts tagged ‘green printers’

Recycling Office Paper – Is it Enough?

The U.S. is the largest market for paper products in the world, producing 90 million tons of paper annually and, in-turn, consuming about 100 million tons, according to the Forest Stewardship Council, U. S. A. (FSC) So even though we think we live in a virtual world, we still love our paper products!

With that said, what responsibility is it of businesses to look at it’s print products? Is it good enough to recycle waste paper and use recycled print paper? Probably not. Recycled fiber is a key element of the traditional model for responsible consumption, but it is becoming increasingly clear that forest management in the production of the wood used in paper manufacturing, has more fundamental importance than even recycled fiber, according to the FSC.

Taking the next step means carrying the FSC-certification logo on your print products. This tells the world that you support the highest social and environmental standards in the paper market. Dealing with your company’s environmental footprint can help your brand if you understand what it means to be FSC certified and stay true its mission.

According to FSC, carrying the FSC-certification logo on your print products tells the world that you support the highest social and environmental standards in the market where you use paper. Your purchase of FSC-certified paper and print products contribute to conservation, responsible management, and community level benefits for residents near the forests that provide your paper.

Certification is complex, but never-fear, it’s the job of your printer to worry about compliance issues, not you! So do your homework and check out your printer. In order for a printer to be FSC certified or to use it’s logo, or any closely related phrasing, the printer must have chain-of-custody certification. This means that your printer carries the designation and is allowed to use the logo on your materials printed by that particular print shop. Here is a list of national printers currently FSC certified.

If you’re into pulp you can get more information on actual FSC certification requirements.

Another piece of the homework pie is knowing your paper. Going to your printer with informed FSC paper choices can put your project ahead of schedule. Luckily, this information is quickly at hand down to brand name, color and finish. Keep this table at your fingertips and you’ll quickly learn your favorite eco-friendly sheets.

In a world where resource management is critical, a savvy understanding of paper management just might land you your next client.

March 25, 2010 at 4:49 pm Leave a comment

What Does FSC Certified Paper Mean?

What’s The Difference Between FSC Certified and Recycled Paper and Which is Better to Use?

I’ve  been asked this question hundreds of times, so here’s the answer:

FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council. They are a third party certification organization who assess those who manage the care of forests. They look at how those managing the care of a forest are complying with federal law and international agreements relating to the rights of indigenous peoples, enhancing the long-term social and economic well being of workers and surrounding communities, and conserving the biological diversity, water, soil and ecosystems surrounding the forest. The FSC also requires a management plan. It must describe the scale and intensity of logging and renewal operations as well as the long-term objectives and monitoring of the forest, making sure that what is cut down is being replanted. If all the criteria of the FSC are met by the management of the forest, then the forest will receive an FSC Certification. Paper made from wood taken from FSC certified trees is given the FSC Certification as well. FSC Certified paper does NOT have anything to do with the paper being recycled, but that it was derived from trees from a well managed forest.

Recycled paper is made from either 100% discarded (post-consumer) paper, or a mix of post-consumer and pre-consumer paper (paper that is discarded during the paper-making process, but never gets used by consumers), or a mix of post-consumer and either FSC Certified or just regular, non certified paper.

So which one is better? There is a lot of debate about this in the paper industry. Paper made directly from trees still requires the trees be cut down, (although they are replanted). Large tractors and logging machinery are used, adding pollution and noise to the surrounding environments, as well as chemicals and water waste used in the paper-making process. On the other hand, chemicals are still used in the making of recycled paper, because the fibers have to be broken down and de-inked (although most recycled papers no longer use toxic bleach in the de-inking process). I always use recycled paper. Although both types unfortunately use chemicals in the process, you are at least not adding to the landfills or harming ecosystems during the logging process. I encourage everyone to use recycled paper, even if it is only 30% or 50% recycled. If you choose to use non-recycled paper, make sure it is FSC Certified. At least you can feel confident that the wood was harvested with the utmost care and concern for the forest and its surrounding ecosystem.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/What’s The Difference Between FSC Certified and Recycled Paper and Which is Better to Use? By: Renee

March 11, 2010 at 1:29 pm Leave a comment

New Poll on Green Printing

March 11, 2010 at 11:05 am Leave a comment

6+ Things to Know for Green Printing

We know that we need to protect our environment. And for the most part, we all try to do our part. We recycle our paper, cardboard, and plastic. We use refills for our ink cartridges for our desktop printers. We have paper recycling bins at the office right next to our desk right?

But for designers is this enough or do it mean keeping the environment in mind when planning projects and choosing a printer. Use the following 6+ guidelines when looking at printing your next project “green“.

Talk the Talk

Become familiar with the industry jargon regarding printing green commercially.

  • Low VOC Ink: Many printers now utilize low VOC inks for printing. Soy inks and vegetable inks are naturally low in VOC’s and are produced from sustainable sources.
  • Post-consumer content—Waste recovered from consumers and recycled
  • FSC and SFI Certifications: The purpose of the certification is to ensure that the usage of trees removed from the forest is being utilized in a sustainable manner that is also respectful to the indigenous peoples of the forests.
  • Carbon Neutral Certification: This certification involves purchasing Renewable Energy Credits, or offsets, in proportion with the amount of energy consumed during day to day operations.
  • Post-consumer waste: Paper material that has been recovered for recycling from waste generated by consumers once it has served its intended end use.
  • Processed Chlorine Free (PCF) and Totally Chlorine Free (TCF): In today’s market, PCF paper is preferable as it contains recycled fibre, while TCF is only used to refer to 100% virgin paper.
  • Enhanced ECF with ozone or hydrogen peroxide: Uses ozone or hydrogen peroxide as a brightening agent in the initial stages of bleaching. (Final or near final stage still uses chlorine dioxide.
  • Elemental Chlorine: Uses elemental chlorine to bleach pulp. In the US, elemental chlorine was phased by April 2001 as per EPA’s Cluster Rule.
  • Elemental Chlorine Free (“traditional ECF”): Uses chlorine dioxide rather than elemental chlorine.

Preserve and Conserve

The Recycled Products Cooperative estimates that over 100 million trees are cut each year to supply fiber for writing and printing papers in the United States. This is not only detrimental to forests, but to air quality and water reserves as well.

Ask yourself, can the job be printed on paper containing a high percentage of post-consumer recycled fiber? Specify paper with at least 50 percent post-consumer content.

What the Ink?

Do you know how your printer disposes of unused ink? If you’re unsure, ask. Petroleum-based inks leach VOCs—which cause cancer and birth defects—into the soil when printed papers end up in landfills. These toxins can also be released into the air as fresh inks dry. Avoid inks containing heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and mercury, which are commonly used to produce some bright colors.

Soy ink is an excellent alternative to petroleum based inks. Soy ink uses soybean oil that’s naturally low in VOCs. In most jobs, soy- or vegetable-based inks work just fine. In fact 90 percent of daily newspapers use them routinely for color printing.

Digital Printing

Digital printing utilizes plate-free technology to produce pleasing-color prints. The result is an inexpensive print that is faster and creates less waste. The ink doesn’t absorb into the paper of a digital press, instead sitting on top of the substrate, forming a layer on the surface.

Alternate Papers

Recycled paper saves trees, reduces use of toxic chemicals, uses less energy and produces fewer emissions than virgin paper. According to The Environmental Paper Network, each ton of 100 percent post-consumer recycled fiber that displaces a ton of virgin fiber saves 12 to 24 trees and provides a wood fiber savings of up to 310 percent.

Tree Free paper destroys no forests or wildlife habitat. It requires fewer chemicals and less energy to process than papers from tree pulp. It is acid free and can be recycled. Some is made from plants grown in dedicated fields, such as hemp, cotton, kenaf, soybeans and wheat. Others, such as sugar cane husk (called “bagasse”), use husks and straw left in the fields after the main crop is harvested.

Paper Bleaching

In order to meet Environmental Protection Agency rules, most paper is now “elemental chlorine free” (ECF), which means it is made from chlorine derivatives, such as chlorine dioxide.

“Process chlorine free” (PCF) papers have been bleached with oxygen-based compounds. But some chlorine or chlorine compounds may remain from source materials, such as recycled papers. “Totally Chlorine Free” (TCF) is oxygen based and applies only to 100 percent virgin paper.

Consider Design as Well

Standard sizes are standard for a reason; they make the best use of the paper on the press. A 6-by-6 inch booklet may please a designer’s eye, but it wastes a lot of paper and raises the cost of the project. Approach color creatively. Can you make a two-color design be as elegant and effective as full color?

Everyday at Prisma Graphic, we search for ways to step a little softer on the earth. From the inks we use and the paper suppliers we support, to the design of our 82,000 square foot facility and the company-wide recycling program, we are proud to say we have successfully implemented one of the most aggressive sustainability programs in our industry.

March 9, 2010 at 4:41 pm 2 comments

Print Smart: The Rewards of Being Green

Print Smart: The Rewards of Being Green

FSC LogoDespite the growth and popularity of the Internet as a marketing tool, the mailbox continues to be the preferred communication channel for information, promotions and announcements. According to a study by International Communications Research1, 70% of consumers prefer direct mail compared to 18% who prefer email.

 As consumer concern for the environment increases, so has sensitivity toward direct mail and its perceived negative impact. While direct mail accounts for only 2% of the country’s municipal waste, it is still a concern for businesses that use direct mail as a marketing strategy.

 So, what can marketers do to accommodate today’s consumers? Print Smart. For Sherri May & Company, a mailing proponent that specializes in direct marketing, being green is the positive result of simply printing smart. “We’ve been the most successful when we focus on delivering the right message, to the right audience, at the right time, using the most energy and cost-efficient means possible. Green production is a win-win all the way around,” explains Sherri May.

 To address the growing concerns of the environment and the impact of direct mail, the Direct Marketing Association, Pitney Bowes and the United States Postal Service have all published practical steps to become more efficient in direct mail and thus more environmentally responsible.

 Data Management – Reducing Undeliverable Mail

Each year almost 60 billion pieces of direct mail end up in landfills. By working with a partner who understands how to minimize undeliverable records and optimize the production process in general, you can save as much as 30% on each and every mailing. Incorporating USPS endorsed NCOAlink® software, Intelligent Mail® and OneCode ACSTM into the data process will ensure accuracy, helping to maximize ROI while maintaining good environmental stewardship.

 FSC Certified versus Traditional Recycled Paper

Besides positively positioning your company’s image, for little or no additional cost, using an FSC Certified paper helps reduce global warming, save forests, conserve water and lower emission of toxic pollutants. Moreover, using a recycled FSC Certified paper supports municipal recycling collection programs and diverts usable materials from incinerators and landfills.

 Generally speaking, the benefits of using a traditional recycled paper are more of a perception than a reality. Many countries continue to destroy rain forests for the hemp needed to produce the original papers used in the recycling process today. In fact, recycling traditional paper actually depletes more in fossil fuel and other non-renewable resources in the collection, fabrication and delivery than it saves for the environment. The FSC Certification demonstrates that your finished product was produced from start-to-finish, using sources and methods that promote responsible forest management worldwide.

 Manage the Mailbox

When possible, try to consolidate your message into fewer mailings. Instead of mailing monthly, consider mailing quarterly and augmenting the effort with opt-in, personalized phone and/or email communications. Combine multiple messages into a single envelope and always utilize the front and back of each insert. “Companies that are able to coordinate all their mailings through a single internal point person, do a great job of managing the customer mailbox. Customer perception can turn negative when they receive multiple mailings from the same company within a short period of time,” says Sherri May. These minor adjustments will stretch your marketing dollars and help to reduce your company’s impact on the environment.

 Manage the Message

Making an impression is sometimes easier than most people think. Minor size adjustments, self-mailers versus envelope mailers and even using a pre-printed corporate mailing permit instead of stamps, can all extend the budget of a direct mail piece. This creative thinking not only improves efficiency, but also inherently applies eco-friendly practices.

 Poly versus Poly-Less Envelopes

Implementing the use of a window envelope is a smart way to retain personalization, yet avoid the extra cost of match mailing. Also, by using poly-less window envelopes, especially on larger quantities, you can reduce production costs while making these envelopes easier for consumers to recycle.

 Vegetable/Soy or Petroleum Inks

The increasing demand for a front-to-back eco-friendly process has made vegetable and soy-based inks more cost-effective than ever before. Today, these inks are very competitively priced against petroleum-based inks, and customers appreciate receiving printed pieces from those who demonstrate a commitment to the environment.

Always Consider the Combo

Printing one project at a time is always more costly than printing multiple projects at once. Although that’s not always possible, a strategic approach to your next staggered, multiple-piece campaign could save your company thousands of dollars, while also reducing the manufacturing waste of the overall campaign.

 Become an Environ-mail-ist

Employing these simple initiatives into your direct mail strategy can improve your company’s image, will be good for your budget and ultimately good for our planet. Print Smart is more than a philosophy for Sherri May & Company and Prisma Graphic. We all have a responsibility to our clients and to our shared environment. Plus, if we’re able to reduce a carbon footprint along the way… we all win!

 Contact Sherri May & Company today to discuss everything from data optimization, mailbox management and how to develop a results-driven direct mail campaign that positively impacts our environment. Call 602 547-7020 or visit  www.sherrimayco.com . 

 1 International Communications Research (ICR) study dated 6/11/2007

2 The Truth About Green, February 2008, © Pitney Bowes Inc.

3 Forest Stewardship Council, see  www.fsc.org  for more information

 Mailing Made Simple

Over the years it became increasingly clear that print buyers were becoming tired and often frustrated managing multiple vendors in the direct mail process. This is especially true considering the everyday pressure to find ways of improving speed to market, while reducing costs at the same time.

 In response, Prisma Graphic hired a mailing expert, invested in the equipment and launched an in-house mailing department almost three years ago. This move quickly became an invaluable addition to our service offerings.  We have been able to shorten turnaround times and reduce overall project costs for our clients.  Today, our mailing department drops over 1.5 million pieces per month and continues to grow in output.

Advantages of a Knowledgeable One-Stop-Shop:

•          Start-to-finish quality control by a trusted contact

•            Improved speed to market

•          Waste reduction by using USPS endorsed NCOAlink®, Intelligent Mail® and OneCode ACSTM processes

•            Availability of saturation or demographic-specific list purchases

•            Promotional results tracking

 To find out how Prisma can help you reduce costs and make
your next direct mail project seamless, contact your a Sales Representative, or John Pisauro at 800 379-5777 or johnp@prismagraphic.com.

Sustainable Actions

Prisma PressEveryday at Prisma Graphic, we search for ways to step a little softer on the earth. From the inks we use and the paper suppliers we support, to the design of our 82,000 square foot facility and the company-wide recycling program, we are proud to say we have successfully implemented one of the most aggressive sustainability programs in our industry.

Most of our success and efforts are thanks to our General Manager, Alan McAbee. His 29+ years of seasoned commercial printing experience and devotion to sustainability have benefited Prisma, as well as the green initiatives of some of our clients, Arizona State University in particular. Truth be told, Alan is always willing to discuss current trends and real-world sustainability applications with anyone who shares his passion.

Prisma’s initiatives include:

•            Vegetable and soy-based inks

•            Energy-efficient equipment

•          Low-wattage halogen bulbs used in offices

•            Recycled shipping cartons

•            Recycle paper, aluminum and cardboard

•          FSC Certified & FSC Certified recycled paper

•          Trip Reduction Program (rewards for use of alternative transportation)

•          Eco-friendly floor mats, cleaning and restroom supplies

•          High efficiency HVAC units

 For more information about sustainability or to learn how Prisma can help with your efforts, please contact a Sales Representative, or Alan at 800 379-5777 or  alanm@prismagraphic.com.

November 10, 2009 at 3:24 pm 1 comment

Prisma Graphic’s Sustainability Program touches almost every aspect of the business.

Prisma Graphic Corporation Takes Another Step Toward Green

FSC Logo Prisma Graphic demonstrates respect for the planet, while maintaining its reputation as a high-quality commercial printer.  Prisma Graphic, one of the Southwest’s leading privately owned commercial printers, becomes FSC certified to help protect the environment. 

 The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) promotes good forest management that ensures sustainability, wildlife and stream preservation, biodiversity and legal logging practices.  Paper is a very visible and identifiable arena where companies can demonstrate their commitment to environmental and social responsibility.  Environmental organizations, paper buyers and consumers alike worked together to create this FSC Chain of Custody certification. 

 Rather than just focusing on recycling, where chlorine and other harmful chemicals are needed, this Chain of Custody tracks wood fiber from its original point of harvest, all the way to the end consumer who ordered the printing and finishing of the paper.  This certification establishes a credible system whereby the end client can be assured that the paper used on their project is linked directly back to the practice of sustainable forestry.

“FSC certification was the next logical step for Prisma.  Over the years, we have developed our own internal Sustainability Program.  This program has focused on reducing our overall power consumption, recycling excess production materials, as well as properly treating and disposing of the chemicals used in the printing process,” states Robert Anderson, President.

 Prisma Graphic’s Sustainability Program touches almost every aspect of the business.  The majority of inks used are vegetable based, rather than the more volatile petroleum based.  Their 82,000 sq. ft. building is cooled and heated with high efficiency HVAC and up-duct units.  Even the lights in the front office are low-wattage, halogen bulbs.

 “We realize how important it is to take responsibility for our environment,” exclaims Alan McAbee, General Manager. “We are very proud to receive our FSC certification, which is just another step in our mission to become a completely green printer.”

October 28, 2009 at 4:52 pm 3 comments


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