WhatTheyThink and WhatTheyThink’s Going Green wish everyone a 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. That is, 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 Heidelberg USA, Neenah Paper and NewPage Corporation.
We had a strong response 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: PrintingForLess, Livingston, MT—Not only does PrintingForLess generate 100% of its power from a nearby wind farm, but their facility has been custom-designed to reduce energy and water consumption, as well as ensure the health and safety of its workers. They have dramatically reduced waste, and reinvested the cost savings from waste disposal to higher-cost wind power and other plant improvements. Their property also includes a preserved 25-acre wetland.
- Environmental Sustainability and Your Processes: Standard Register, Dayton, OH— Following its participation in the Carbon Disclosure Project—in which they received a score of 91 out of 100 (almost twice the average)—Standard Register has used the results of this carbon footprint analysis as a blueprint to enhance their environmental programs. Their initiatives focus on generating zero hazardous waste (they’ve seen a 98% reduction in liquid hazardous waste since 2007), minimizing waste in general, taking advantage of waste-to-energy options, reducing energy use, and increasing community involvement. Standard Register is also working with suppliers and their supply chains to reduce carbon emissions and their carbon footprint.
- Environmental Sustainability and Your Community: Patient News Publishing, Haliburton, Ontario, Canada—Patient News is no stranger to these awards, and if they consistently win the Sustainability and Your Community Award, it’s because they are consistently moving forward and innovating. Patient News has been cited before for its environmental team, SCRAP (Strategic Consumable and Recycle Assessment Program), which continues to develop and implement programs to assist both company employees and community members and businesses with environmental sustainability. In 2011, they are working with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ontario Stewardship to renew an initiative that planted more than 4,000 trees in 2010, which they had also pledged to the United Nations’ 2010 Billion Tree Campaign.
- Beyond Environmental Sustainability: EarthColor, Inc., Parsippany, NJ—Another old friend is Parsippany, NJ’s EarthColor, which was selected as last year’s Thought Leader. This year, they remained far ahead of the curve in thinking about unique ways of implementing comprehensive sustainability policies and programs that extend far beyond the company’s walls. EarthColor is investing in cutting-edge technologies to reduce emissions, print on recyclable PET plastic, create patent-pending calculators to determine environmental savings and impact of their print supply chain, test print runs on wheat-based and other “tree-free” papers, and, through carbon trading, help to further reduce their carbon footprint while providing income to private landowners and/or rural communities.
- Environmental “Thought Leader”: Monroe Litho, Rochester, NY—This year’s Thought Leader is Monroe Litho. The company’s Rochester, NY, plant is 100% wind-powered, they are an EPA Green Power Partner, an “Environmental Leader” designated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and they are a Sustainable Green Printing (SGP) Partnership-certified company. Monroe Litho monitors, manages, and explores 56 different initiatives relating to recycling, reuse, remanufacture, and re-thinking their environmental impact in all of their operations, which has worked to, in 2010, reduce VOC emissions by 31% from 2009; recycle or recover 1,250,000 pounds of paper, 2,155 pounds of cardboard, and 9,435 pounds of plastic strapping/wrapping materials; recycle 11,973 pounds of aluminum printing plates; recycle 2,825 pounds of used IT equipment; reduce water usage by 11.5%; and reduce diesel fuel for trucking by 30.7%.
The winners 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!