Sustainability is not an individual company effort; it is a supply chain issue. Our paper suppliers replant more trees than they harvest. Our ink suppliers and their supply chain of color pigment and coating suppliers are accountable for the sustainability of the products we provide. Our corrugated suppliers document, verify, and validate their inputs, production, and recycling in order to be qualified for our business. Most companies evaluate their “sustainability” in a vacuum, based on their efforts. True sustainability is upstream, and downstream, of an individual company’s outputs.
The LED UV system that we’ve upgraded consumes over 60% less energy than conventional UV systems. In addition, LED UV lamps require specially formulated adhesives and inks, which are free of solvents, so LED UV curing eliminates the release of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), minimizing their environmental impact, along with the lower amounts of materials used and waste produced.
Because LED UVs emit UVA energy, the lamps do not generate ozone, which is a byproduct of many print curing processes that must be exhausted from the work area. LED UV lamps are also free of mercury, a toxic metal that is contained in arc UV lamps, which removes the need to safely handle and dispose of mercury arc bulbs.
In 2022, VP Demand Creation Services recycled 440,000 pounds of paper and cardboard, as well as 16,000 pounds of aluminum litho printing plates!
VP Demand Creation Services continued the commitment in 2022 to sustainability. We made the following investments toward that commitment:
UV Ink & Print Production: Our new UV (ultraviolet light) ink curing system on our workhorse 8-color printing press allows for immediate drying of both sides of the printed sheet. This breakthrough prevents two passes through the press to print eight colors. Further, it reduces the paper required to initiate the second pass through the printing press. We consume less paper and ink, and less energy, for every page of our clients’ print production!
Stitchliner binding: Traditional workflow – for generations – has involved a linear process of precision printing, then folding, then binding. With our 2022 installation of the revolutionary Stitchliner, folding is executed during the binding process. Elimination of offline folding eliminates time and paper waste for every page of binding. This investment completely revolutionizes our production flow and resource requirements!
More investments are to come in 2023 and beyond to enhance our sustainability!