In-plants Getting Greener

Here’s a snapshot of what some in-plants are doing to make their operations more sustainable.

THE EMPHASIS on increased sustainability in the business world has motivated many in-plants to reduce waste and become more environmentally friendly. It both improves their image and aligns them with their parent organization’s goals. Yet as the recession lingers, some find their attention diverted by economic considerations.

For example, when IPG asked Jason Seto, reprographics specialist for the Hawaii State Department of Education, what his in-plant in Honolulu was doing to be more “green,” he noted, “Actually, we are not doing as much as we could be doing due to budget cuts, furloughs, reorganizations, etc. We are being hit almost daily with memos urging us to find ways to trim our budget, so going greener has been put on the back burner for now.”

Still, on a recent IPG industry survey, 26 percent of in-plants said they had made numerous changes to their in-plants in the past year to make them more environmentally friendly. Another 2 percent indicated that those changes were major, including becoming FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified.

To let you know what your fellow in-plants have been doing, and perhaps give you a few ideas to pursue in your shop, we have gathered a sampling of comments from in-plants around the country.

Mesa Public Schools

Bill KingSupervisor
Printing & Publishing
Mesa, Ariz.

Mesa Schools Printing & Publishing is “green”…but not with envy. These are some of our “green” initiatives:

• Use of recycled paper, soy-based inks and water-soluble solvents.

• Use of chemicals that emit lower volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

• Collaboration with the City of Mesa’s recycling program.

• Waste from parent sheets are made into pads for distribution district wide.

• Parent sheet cartons’ tops and bottoms are used as pallet covers.

• Deliveries are grouped to save fuel.

Related story: Becoming A Good Steward

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