Big Picture - April 2018 - 28
Three print providers go
'all in' on sustainability.
by Anya Rao
he concept of making your business
"green" was mostly a novelty 15 to
For Sandy Alexander (sandyinc.com) - a full-service print and
marketing communications company that offers digital, offset,
finishing, and wide-format printing - the commitment to
"sustainable intelligence" (which the company cites as a key
business tenet) was born out of corporate social responsibility.
Each Sandy Alexander facility runs on 100-percent wind
power energy, is ISO 14001- and SGP-certified, as well as
tri-certified for chain-of-custody sustainable paper through
the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forest
Initiative (SFI), and Program for the Endorsement of Forest
Certification. Chain of custody means the paper product must
be tracked from the sustainable forest where it originated
through its ultimate use.
There is expense involved with the SGP process, but after
obtaining other certifications, it made sense for the company
"Wide format creates a lot of waste. A lot of the substrates
aren't recyclable, so we could apply SGP to an area that was
really creating a lot of waste," says Ashlyn Van Dokkenburg,
compliance and facility manager at Sandy Alexander.
Some of Sandy Alexander's customers are concerned with
sustainability and ask what certifications they have, while
others focus solely on price point or longevity of the products,
with little interest in whether or not the product is created
sustainably. Whenever possible, each customer hears about
the company's eco-friendly efforts and product options,
whether they choose those products or not.
"Some clients you are educating and helping with their
decision-making. A limited group - like the smaller retail
chains - they request it," says Jacky Andrews, Sandy Alexander's senior VP of new business development.
The group of customers - which has grown over the years
- that are interested in the environmental impact of their
prints often depends on the demographic. "I think the next
generation of buyers in this space are more acutely aware [of
sustainability] and they aren't in senior positions yet,"
Green products have improved significantly from the early
iterations, but there are still some areas where the products
don't match up to the less environmentally friendly versions.
Sandy Alexander works directly with some of their vendors to
encourage the creation of better green products.
20 years ago. Today, some customers are demanding more eco-
conscious prints - and others are even asking
for proof that you focus on sustainability.
With each passing year, digital inkjet
printers become more efficient, many inks
are more environmentally friendly (compared to the VOC-laden inks of the past), and
more recyclable substrates are coming to the
market. It's easier than ever to do something
to reduce your business's carbon footprint,
even if that's simply encouraging your
employees to recycle their paper instead
of tossing it in the trash.
The three high-volume print service providers featured here are doing almost everything possible to make their businesses
green. They were early adopters of the
eco-friendly concept, have invested heavily in
sustainable practices, and are all SGP (Sustainable Green Printing Partnership) certified.
(See the sidebar on the next page for more
information on the organization.) But you
don't have to be a large company to make an
impact. Even if you aren't ready to invest in
certification like SGP, there are ideas here for
every size PSP to move your business toward
more sustainable practices. Baby steps are
better than just accepting the status quo.