Green does not equal green – and this not only in terms of colour. How can all industry players – suppliers, print service providers and print customers – achieve a greener environment? Companies like HP help in achieving the goals that lead to less impact on the surrounds.
By Sabine A Slaughter
By now the decision has been taken to decrease the environmental impact. But how should it be done? What measures need to be taken and implemented? Quite a lot of questions arise that not be able to be answered straight away. A multitude of factors have to be taken into account and what is more – which and what measures will offer print industry participants solutions that are affordable yet fit to the individual budgets and jobs. Careful analysis is required to achieve the targets.
It speaks for itself that when purchasing and investing in equipment and consumables environmentally friendly materials should be taken into account whereby not only biodegradability, recycling possibilities but also the whole production process of those should be taken into account in order to achieve highest possible qualifications and impact on the environment. Those factors again are not only good for the planet but also offer additional marketing and sales arguments that clients and consumers are honouring. Especially corporate clients are going more and more for green solutions as they help them and their clients to achieve sustainability and environmentally conform targets. By "going green" businesses can enhance their communication efforts and even gather new prospects and enter further business areas that before haven't been accessible to them.
Some suppliers such as HP have already established training courses in order to educate and assist print solution providers in their quest for knowledge. Within the efforts in wide format graphics HP offers their "Free HP Ecosolutions Trained Printing Company program" für HP Latex Printing Technology users thus assisting customers to achieve reduced environmental impact. Apart from training sessions at shows etc., there are downloadable training materials that conveniently can be studied whenever the print service provider has the time. Nine modules that cover sustainability topics, among them technological topics involving HP Latex Printing Technology can thus be explored. The company explains for example environmental profiles of wide format graphics inks and the impact that the selection of the substrate has. Insight on recycling and disposal options is another module that helps print service providers. Another topic for example are the benefits that companies employing environmentally responsible policies can enjoy. However, HP's training course does not end there – it takes the printer by the hand and explains how to establish and maintain sustainability at their shops. Marketing help as to how to communicate the environmentally friendly and sustainable measures a print service provider has established to its clients is also included as well as how to turn the new knowledge into business opportunities. HP Latex print service providers can thus receive a certificate that qualifies their company as "HP Ecosolutions Trained Printing Company" – a highly sought after seal that enables them to promote the environment and their role therein.
The Latex technology that is employed in HP's Latex printers brings a multitude of benefits to print service providers and their clients – including environmental and sustainable credits. Large format media, supplies and prints produced with HP Latex inks and HP PVC-free wall paper for example are recognized by LEED and can provide credits for users as well as their clients. In addition to odourless environment, enhancing workplace security and health of employees, Latex inks are also qualified for indoor usage. In addition the extensive system of recyclable HP printing materials, programs and certifications – that up to now are available in several regional markets – support any print service providers efforts in this respect.
Other products from HP also have already several environmental and sustainability qualifications: The new Indigo/Scitex ink plant in Kiryat Gat for example is the first building in Israel that has achieved LEED status. Indigo Intertek has received the Greenleaf certificates and Scitex ink the Greenguard Gold according to AgBB, a certificate that refers to emissions. HP Latex inks are coming with the UL Ecologo, Greenguard Gold, AgBB and many more eco-labels.
Another example is the SGP certificate for printers and print service providers: Here an audit process is being employed that not only takes into account that all certified facilities are in compliance with applicable environmental, safety, health and employment regulations. Another requirement is that the applicant adopts and implements a Sustainability Management System including the development of a publicly available sustainability policy, a sustainability committee and adopts an annual continuous improvement project, implements and documents a set of mandatory best management practices among others. The SGP certificate is valid for two years. All applications can be downloaded from the website and further information can be found at www.sgppartnership.org