FREE - How Green Was My Expo – Part 2
Graph Expo 2006 was an opportunity to discover companies manufacturing products that tread lightly on our environment and to talk about their long-
By Gail Nickel-Kailing
Published: November 22, 2006
Graph Expo 2006 was an opportunity to discover companies manufacturing products that tread lightly on our environment and to talk about their long-term visions, strategies, and policies. In this small space, we can only highlight a few, but there are many companies that are exploring a “third bottom line” measuring the effects of their products and services on people, society, and the earth.
Part 1 of this report highlighted several ink and paper manufacturers: Sun Chemical, Flint Group, Toyo Inks, Inkware (an EFI company), Mohawk Papers, Xerox, and Boise Cascade. This time around, we’ll take a look at Fujifilm Sericol and Pitman, a supplier of inks, papers, and equipment to the graphic arts industry.
We must also recognize Sun Chemical for having achieved several important “firsts” in delivering environmentally-friendly inks. In 1969, Sun Chemical was granted the first patent for UV inks, which don’t have the VOCs of traditional printing inks. In 1985, in conjunction with the Newspaper Association of America, Sun was the first to introduce soy oils for news ink. More recently, the company was the first to offer waterless, water-washable inks eliminating the need for solvent-based washes; press washes are the largest source of VOCs in most coldset and sheetfed pressrooms.
Pitman, a value-added supplier to the graphic arts industry, provides a full range of digital imaging solutions, support services as well as a complete line prepress and pressroom consumable products. As a distributor, Pitman doesn’t manufacture products; however the company carefully selects the products it offers.
Many companies are exploring a “third bottom line” measuring the effect of their products and services on people, society, and the earth.
“As a corporate citizen, Pitman continues to evaluate and provide products, technology and services that are focused on improved quality as well as being friendly to the environment,” said Dwight Collier, vice president of Pitman’s Pressroom Division. “From a chemical perspective, one of the significant features of selecting new chemical products is to assess the effects on the environment in which it is utilized. Our goal is to offer the highest quality and safest products available.”
Collier continued, “Recently in California, we responded to ‘VOC Reduction Regulation’ by working together with one of our manufacturers to develop a new press wash – called 1171D – designed to reduce VOCs.” At Graph Expo, Pitman featured several technologies that provide a positive impact to the environment:
• Maratek Solvent Recycling System, which recycles pressroom solvent from autowashing units on press, significantly reducing purchased solvent as well as reducing hazardous waste hauling by up to 95%.
• Maratek Fountain Solution Recycler, used on-line with the press to improve the consistency of working fountain solution while reducing fountain solution waste.
• LithoTel Ink-Key Pre-Set and Closed Loop Color Software, which significantly enhance press makeready and reduce ink, chemical and paper use and disposal.
• GFI Innovations Ink Dispensing Unit, which dispenses customized ink formulas, in real time and to order, thereby reducing consumption and waste ink and disposal.
• Wide Format Air Purifier Systems: printer-connected systems that use sealed, highly effective carbon filters and a high-powered fan to remove air-volatile organic compounds released during the wide format solvent printing process. When used appropriately these systems provide a clean, safe printing environment.
Fujifilm Sericol has had a Health Safety and Environmental policy since February 2003. The policy includes the goal of “No damage to the environment” and the pledge to “Help raise the standards of our industry.”
“One of the significant features of selecting new chemical products is to assess the effects on the environment in which it is utilized. Our goal is to offer the highest quality and safest products available.”
With this goal and pledge in mind, Fujifilm Sericol's CEO, Ed Carhart, instructed all business units of Fujifilm Sericol globally to work for and obtain ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 registration. When used together these standards ensure a business management system that ensures high quality products and minimal impact to the environment.
FujiFilm Sericol recently received an ISO14001 certification, an eight-month effort driven by a team consisting of Quality Assurance, HSE, and Operations. ISO14001 impacted every aspect of the manufacturing plant and shop floor activities. Carhart drove the ISO14001 initiative; he and the entire executive management team were very supportive in expenditures required and as a course of ISO certification were involved with—and helped develop and approve—the environmental policies which are the core of the program. Additionally the ISO program falls within the overall scope of Fuji Green Policy and is fully endorsed at that level.
Fujifilm Sericol's commitment to the environment can also be demonstrated by the company’s product offerings and development. As a world leader in UV-cure ink technology, Fujifilm Sericol helps reduce the amount of VOCs associated with solvent based ink printing. The company has also formulated and launched VOC free cleaning formulations that meet the State of California's environmental laws.
To minimize the impact on the environment, Fujifilm Sericol reclaims and distills its cleaning solvents and all waste considered hazardous is sent to be used as fuel for cement kilns rather than disposed in land fills. The company uses an aqueous caustic solution in its vessel cleaning operation and a water-based floor cleaning solution to reduce the use of solvents and the release of VOCs to the environment.