The Top 30 Book Manufacturers
How is your company feeling effects from the “green” movement?
Edwards: We have been recycling for more than 30 years because it makes economic sense. If done right, “green” can lower costs. We have expanded our recycling in our plants, and have a goal [that] no more than 1 percent of the materials that come into our buildings go to the landfill. Today, it is nearly 3 percent.
Our presses don’t care if paper is a free sheet or recycled paper. They just need to run, without additional stops or paper waste. I think the biggest obstacle today is the price of recycled paper vs. the free sheets. When that price gets closer (or even lower), everyone will want it. Printing local, shorter runs and proximity to warehouse are all becoming important, and can lower total cost and reduce the carbon footprint.
Friesen: … Material purchasing is much more complex given the wide number of environmental initiatives within the industry. Tracking the quickly changing paper classifications and ensuring we have stock on our floor means more communication between printing plants and the mills.
Formal management practices are critical in ensuring that environmental initiatives in the production plant continue to be effective after implementation. These initiatives are also expensive, and we have had to focus on lean practices to help offset some of these costs.
Liess: Our customers vary from those making purchase decisions based on our environmental policy, to those who are concerned with environmental issues, but are not willing to pay more to support them, to those who do not express any interest at all. We have, however, chosen to apply for sustainable forestry certifications, moved all chemicals possible to water-based, eco-friendly alternatives, developed more effective waste-reduction initiatives, and made a greater effort to recycle the waste stream that we do generate. In addition, we offer our customers recycled-paper alternatives, an FSC-
certified workflow, and several paper-based packaging alternatives to plastic.