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Industry Insight

Celebrating the Environmental Innovation Award Winners

Putting together an awards program is not an easy task! And until you've done it more than once, it's hard to claim success. This year, at the dinner for the winners of the Second Annual WhatTheyThink Environmental Innovation Awards, it was clear that the program is recognizing the companies that are truly industry leaders.

By Gail Nickel-Kailing
Published: May 20, 2010

Putting together an awards program is not an easy task! And until you've done it more than once, it's hard to claim success. This year, at the dinner for the winners of the Second Annual WhatTheyThink Environmental Innovation Awards, it was clear that the program is recognizing the companies that are truly industry leaders. Unisource Worldwide Inc. has been our partner for these awards programs, and this year we were joined by three additional sponsors to make it happen: NewPage Corporation, Neenah Paper, and Heidelberg USA. Five companies received awards this year:
  • Environmental Sustainability and Your Plant: Brown Printing Company, New York NY, represented by Jack Johnson Each of Brown’s three facilities have implemented energy efficient lighting, free cooling chillers, variable frequency drives, computerized building management systems, and motion sensor lighting installation. A regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) system “scrubs” VOCs out of the air with over 99% efficiency and turns them into fuel, replacing more than 316 million cubic feet of natural gas in 2009.
  • Environmental Sustainability and Your Processes: Portland Color, Portland ME, represented by Paul Glynn Portland Color’s waste reduction and recycling program extends beyond the company’s walls. Portland has developed a retail fixture program that allows customers to quickly change graphics without having to replace the entire display, thus cutting both the costs and carbon emissions from shipping. The company also partners with a local company, Ruth’s Reusable Resources, and the local university theater program to reuse offcuts of substrate and fabrics.
  • Environmental Sustainability and Your Community: Patient News Publishing, Haliburton ON, represented by Alice Miller Patient News’ Strategic Consumable Recycle and Assessment Program (SCRAP) has resulted in a long list of achievements including: cloth bags available for employees to use when shopping for lunch, a free lecture series on green topics called the Green Geek series, replacement of all CRT  monitors with LCD displays, an arrangement with Sears Canada for an employee discount for energy efficient appliances, and a screening of An Inconvenient Truth for employees and residents of Haliburton County.
  • Beyond Environmental Sustainability: Green Books and Binders, Langhorne PA, represented by Jerome Elion Green Books and Binders has devised a new binder that is made of recycled materials and is fully recyclable. Its Low-Carb Binders are shipped flat and assembled thanks to a snap-in fastener that secures the recycled metal ring mechanism to the vinyl-free base. Covers can be recycled by simply removing the fastener.
  • Environmental “Thought Leader:” EarthColor, Parsippany NJ, represented by David Podmayersky EarthColor has been involved in the development of a VOC scrubber as well; one that incorporates enzymes and natural bacterial to reduce captured VOCs and carbon emissions into non-hazardous solids. All airborne emissions are monitored and where they can’t be eliminated, EarthColor purchases carbon offsets. The company has also developed a patent-pending calculator that uses comprehensive algorithms and environmental workflows to identify the environmental impact savings of the print and paper supply chain.
Patient News Publishing is a two-time winner; this year submitting 22 community initiatives they have launched. When I asked Alice Miller where all the ideas came from, her answer was, "The ideas come from the employees. They really enjoy coming up with the ideas and seeing them put in place." During an afternoon educational session, Joerg Daehnhardt, Heidelberg U.S.A., presented numerous operational initiatives that can reduce time, eliminate waste, and cut costs for even the smallest printer in his presentation: "Sustainable Practices Sustain Your Business." Following Joerg was Tom Wright, Neenah Paper, who inspired everyone with his energetic and informative discussion, "Using Technology To Drive Demand and Inspire Use of Print." Demonstrating how Neenah used social media to support the launch of their ThinkInk, iPhone app, and their environmental calculator, Tom stepped us all through the process with honesty about both the pros and cons of social media. Closing the information sessions was Nancy Geisler, Unisource, talking about "Sustainability Myths and Mysteries." Her advice? Question everything, look behind the face value, and learn what's really true about sustainability issues today. We're looking forward to doing this again next year so watch for the announcement that we will be taking applications early in 2011.

 

 





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