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Environmental Specialties Inc. Looks Ahead to a Green Future in Canadian Printing Market

Press release from the issuing company

CHICAGO -- Environmental Specialties Inc. is best known for manufacturing earth-friendly coatings used in the U.S. printing industry. This year has seen the company making a strategic move into the Canadian market.
ESI has opened a warehouse and distribution center in Brampton, Ont., a suburb of Toronto, to directly supply its extensive line of water-borne and ultraviolet (UV) coating products to printing and converting companies in Canada.
"Canada has been a leader in recognizing the significant adverse human health effects of ozone, particulate matter and their precursors, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs)," said Mike Miske, president of ESI. "It seemed a natural step to launch a network for selling and distributing our VOC-free coatings in Canada."
Miske pointed to results published in January of a poll conducted by The Globe and Mail and CTV identifying environmental change as the most important issue confronting the nation. 
"This poll shows that Canadians are concerned that toxic chemicals, air pollution and global warming represent the most critical challenges for the future," Miske said. "The coatings industry continues to take action on environmental concerns."
ESI was founded in 1985 to provide high-quality, dependable pressroom products. Initially, ESI specialized in the distribution of pressroom chemistry and coatings manufactured by Terra Lacke and Vegra, the European leaders.
Due to the success ESI experienced selling these products in the United States and the support the independent company received from overseas, ESI in 2002 licensed the technology to begin producing environmentally friendly coatings.
ESI's 24,000-square-foot headquarters in Chicago features top-quality laboratories and production facilities staffed by an expert team of coating and effect varnish formulators. Warehouses located in major metropolitan areas in Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri and Texas allow the company to quickly respond to the needs of printers.
Miske said the Brampton site will provide the exceptional service that customers have come to expect from ESI.
"We are dedicated to unique solutions and individualized attention to customer needs," he said.
The ESI product line is free of VOCs and manufactured using only the highest quality raw materials. All incoming materials must meet established quality control specifications. The production team ensures that every product has been thoroughly tested to pass multiple quality control specifications before it leaves the plant. Each batch is shipped with a certificate of quality analysis.
Ongoing research and development have resulted in many innovative products, including aqueous coatings for inline towers and ink train, UV coatings for inline and offline applications, ink train coatings and overprint varnishes. Within each product category, ESI offers a wide range of choices for diverse applications.
ESI has formulated specialty coatings and coating systems for some of the industry's most respected commercial and carton printers. The company's R&D, manufacturing and sales departments work closely with raw material suppliers to develop resources that accomplish the desired performance goals.
The company also distributes specialty pressroom products from Litho Research and Folex.
In terms of product development, ESI sees continued growth for its water-soluble coatings.
"Aqueous coatings still dominate the market, and our water-based business has been strong," Miske said.
At the same time, technical advances in both the hardware and application side of printing enable printers to differentiate their capabilities. Miske said there is a growing interest in UV because it achieves the highest gloss levels and protection.
"A variety of configurations and materials are available to meet specific end-product requirements," Miske said. "Special printed effects are no longer reserved for luxury products, such as high-end folding cartons. We see a trend toward more creative combinations of printing and coating techniques to deliver interesting and sophisticated surface finishes in commercial, label and packaging printing. From gloss to matte, metallization to pearlescence and even raised texture, UV technology adds significant value to print products."
ESI's recent activities support the company's effort to provide solutions that respond to evolving trends and changing industry needs. Miske said opportunities exist to capitalize on ESI's internal strengths and external resources to give Canadian customers a competitive advantage by making the most innovative pressroom products available to them.
"We feel that our size and our distribution network, which for years has been effectively meeting the needs of U.S. customers, will help us bring value to Canadian printers as well," he said. "The response to our expansion has been very positive."