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Spirit Graphics and Printing earns WhatTheyThink Environmental Innovation Award

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

Chula Vista, CA—Spirit Graphics and Printing, Inc. won the Environmental Thought Leader Award from WhatTheyThink.com for achieving excellence beyond certification and green business practice initiatives. The award celebrates companies who are taking viable steps toward innovation, implementation and communication of environmental solutions in their daily business operations.

Spirit Graphics and Printing, Inc. was one of five companies nationally recognized by WhatTheyThink.com for converting to environmentally-friendly business practices. WhatTheyThink.com is a member-driven website that delivers comprehensive industry news and market intelligence for the printing and publishing industry. This is the first year the award competition has been held. WhatTheyThink.com, based in Atlanta, GA, notified Spirit of their win on April 22, 2009 via email.

“We have had a plan to be environmentally conscious since their beginning in 1986” says Thomas Ackerman, owner of Spirit Graphics and Printing, Inc. “As chemicals, ink low in VOC’s and recycled and or alternative paper products containing sugarcane and limestone appeared on the market were we finally able to make a huge impact on our facility and the community as a whole. This award is the result of our commitment to that plan. We put our environment and the health of ourselves, our employees and community before our profit margins. It is important for us all to do what we can to minimize our carbon footprint.

It is nice to know there are organizations out there acknowledging companies like ours who are doing their part.”

The company took its first steps toward sustainable business practices in 1986, by using recycled papers, conserving fuel for deliveries, and consolidating print jobs by color to minimize wash-ups.

Next, they used soy and linseed-based inks which are organically based not petroleum based. Soy ink is naturally low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds, chemical compounds that evaporate and react to sunlight) and its usage can reduce emissions causing air pollution. When they made the move to Computer-to-Plate (CTP)

technology, there was no turning back. The technique speeds up the printing process by transferring electronic files directly from computers to press plates, eliminating film, plate and proof processors and the chemicals they require to function, this also saves thousands of gallons of water each month, demonstrating again Spirit’s commitment to a better environment for all.

Their dedication to “going green” was rewarded recently when Spirit Graphics qualified for and was granted Chain of Custody Certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests; the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management; and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), a non-profit organization promoting sustainably managed forests through independent third party certification. Spirit also became members of Green Seal and the Chlorine Free Products Association. Green Seal provides science-based environmental certification standards to the marketplace to help safeguard the environment by promoting the  manufacture, purchase and use of environmentally responsible products and services. The Chlorine Free Products Association promotes Total Chlorine Free policies, programs, and technologies throughout the world.

Their ultimate commitment to corporate environmental responsibility occurred when the company relocated from San Diego to Chula Vista, where all but one of the company’s employees live. Owner Thomas Ackerman notes that the reduced commuting time alone saves 80,000 pounds of carbon annually, as estimated by 3Degrees.

The building Spirit Graphics chose for its new location also reflects their eco-friendly initiatives with stringent green building and remodeling codes mandated by the City of Chula Vista. The requirements include auditing energy usage, converting grass lawns to water-saving rock and shrub landscapes, and developing a solar energy program to help businesses install photovoltaic systems.

Spirit Graphics also buys RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates) for wind power energy through 3Degrees, a provider of greenhouse gas emissions reduction credits. RECs enable businesses and consumers to match up to 100% of their electricity with clean, renewable energy. Future company plans include taking advantage of the city’s solar program to add solar power to its facility.

Spirit Graphics and Printing, Inc. is a full-service commercial printer specializing in
environmentally-responsible printing services and products. The privately-held company has been family-owned-and-operated since 1983.

To learn more about Spirit Graphics and Printing, Inc., visit them at www.sgink.net




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