Questions to Ask Your Printer

Not all printers have the same commitment to the environment. The next time you’re ready to have a job printed you should consider asking a few of these questions.

Conformance to high levels of environmental compatibility is not only vital to protect our environment, it makes good business sense. It helps ensure a company’s future sustainability. It also speaks to the integrity of company management. Through our environmental due diligence we offer something intangible yet important to our clients – peace of mind.

Important questions to ask your print suppliers

1. Are they EcoLogo or FSC certified?

Do they support your client’s environmental initiatives and make them look good by offering environmental labeling and certification logos on their printed work? Do their paper purchasing practices support the protection of sustainable, well managed forests?

2. Are their processes managed to minimize their environmental footprint?

Are they running their presses alcohol-free to reduce VOC emissions and smog? Do they conduct an annual laboratory analysis of their effluent to maintain sewer bylaw compliance?

Colour Innovations meets the strict criteria for EcoLogo certification, eliminating or reducing sources of VOC emissions, pollutants and hazardous waste. We continually test for the 54 parameters and 38 subject pollutants listed in the municipal sewer code and ensure we have eliminated or are well below threshold levels for contaminants. We have been an isopropyl alcohol-free printer for many years.

3. Have they gained any industry-specific environmental awards?

Are they acknowledged by their peers and clients as being an environmentally pro-active printer and an environmental innovator?

Colour Innovations has twice been named by the EPA as the Most Environmentally Progressive Printer in Canada in its size category.

4. Have they conducted a comprehensive Pollution Prevention (P2) Assessment?

Can they provide a case study or report to verify their P2 activity? Is their organization a certified P2 practitioner?

Colour Innovations is certified as an active participant in the Toronto Region Sustainability Program. As such we conducted a comprehensive pollution prevention (P2) assessment by an independent P2 specialist and acted upon recommendations in the report. We take our environmental responsibility very seriously; it is not a peripheral element of our business but a core element of our profit centre.

5. Where does their energy come from?

Do they use a green power supplier for their hydro requirements? Colour Innovations has chosen Bullfrog Power as one of our suppliers of electricity. Bullfrog Power comes from clean, emissions-free sources like wind power and low-impact water power instead of carbon-intensive sources like coal and oil.

6. Do they have an active Health & Safety Committee and Policy?

As part of Colour Innovations’ sustainable business model we are committed to offering a safe working environment for our employees. Our JHSC and safety consultant provide and maintain emergency response procedures, monthly site inspections, staff training, and all procedural requirements in compliance with the Occupational Health & Safety Act and regulations.

7. Of the three Rs, do they practice the first and middle “Rs”?

Do they reduce and reuse rather than just recycle off-site; for example, do they capture, treat on-site, and re-use solvents reducing VOC emissions from previous years? Colour Innovations installed a made-in-Canada solvent recycler that has reduced our VOC emissions by 50% and our hazardous waste by 85%.

8. How many trees did they save last year?

How much landfill from diverted waste? Or water from conservation or recycling practices?

9. Are they offering a digital printing option?

We utilize HP Indigo digital technology for short runs of high quality printing that is virtually chemical-free and waterless.

10. Are they committed to environmental education?

Do they make a serious effort to educate their customers about ways to reduce their environmental footprint while still achieving their print objectives?