WhatTheyThink and WhatTheyThink’s Going Green wish everyone a slightly belated happy Earth Day!
Part of our annual Earth Day celebration is our recognition of five printing companies that are expending a great deal of time, effort, and resources to make real and concrete contributions to improving their environmental sustainability. They’ve done the hard work, and we feel they should be recognized, not only to reward their efforts, but also to hold these companies up as role models for others in the industry to follow.
These companies have been selected as winners of this year’s WhatTheyThink Environmental Innovation Awards, presented in partnership with Unisource Worldwide, Inc. and Unisource’s respect™ Printers’ Program, and cosponsored by Boise Inc., Burgo Group, Domtar Paper Company, MeadWestvaco, Neenah Paper, and NewPage Corporation.
We had some strong contenders this year, and our judges had their work cut out for them. You’ll hear more about these companies over the coming weeks, but for now, here are the winners in our five categories:
- Environmental Sustainability and Your Plant: Sandy Alexander, Clifton, NJ—When they required a new facility for wide/grand-format printing, they designed it to be as environmentally friendly as possible from the outset, and configured a previously existing space for wide-format printing primarily with energy reduction in mind.
- Environmental Sustainability and Your Processes: DST Output, El Dorado Hills, CA—The hallmark of DST Output’s sustainability program is the installation of 5,148 solar panels occupying a footprint of 3.15 acres above their production facility which produces approximately 1.4 million kilowatt-hours per year. The company continuously tracks its carbon footprint reduction, and has committed the company to reducing waste and recycling to the tune of 3,567.1 tons of combined paper and cardboard recycled in 2011.
- Environmental Sustainability and Your Community: EarthColor, Inc., Parsippany, NJ—EarthColor is no stranger to these awards (they were last year’s winner in the Beyond Sustainability category), and this year they took top honors in the “Community” category for their participation in MACED’s Appalachian Carbon Partnership that supports responsible forest management in Central Appalachia; their partnership with Canopy which serves to actively promote and assist in responsible resource procurement in the paper and print industry; their educational outreach efforts on the sustainability of print and paper; and their and their supply chain partners’ support of local community youth programs.
- Beyond Environmental Sustainability: Premier Press, Portland, OR—Premier Press operates a 100% wind-powered facility and purchases carbon offsets to thus generate a “carbonless” footprint. Its sustainability committee—which includes its CEO, President, and COO—regularly reviews its progress and programs, and seeks out room for improvement. They have implemented LEAN manufacturing processes and make environmental impact a part of our decision making criteria for purchases. The are also an SGP-certified printer.
- Environmental “Thought Leader”: TC Transcontinental, St. Laurent, Québec—The judges didn’t have an easy job of it, but this year’s overall Thought Leader is TC Transcontinental. TC Transcontinental has implemented such in-house programs as a Paper Purchasing Policy that provides customers with clear choices in responsible paper procurement, the reduction of VOCs and other pollutants, improved waste management, and more, but they have also committed themselves to community outreach and education in all the 29 North American communities in which the company has facilities. TC Transcontinental’s sustainability outreach also extends to stakeholder groups that include employees, investors, customers, suppliers, industry associations, and non-governmental environmental organizations.
Representatives from the five winning will be flown to Atlanta, GA, next month, where they will be presented their awards by executives from WhatTheyThink and Unisource. We will be spotlighting the winners on all of WhatTheyThink’s sites, and over the course of the next month we will be producing one-on-one videos in which they will be sharing their stories and their successes.
WhatTheyThink and Unisource congratulate these five outstanding companies, and thank everyone who submitted an application and has thus committed themselves and their companies to environmental sustainability and responsibility.
Happy Earth Day!