The Toronto Region Sustainability Program presents an opportunity for small-to-medium sized manufacturers in the Greater Toronto Area to conduct a pollution prevention assessment and to develop a pollution prevention action plan.
Colour Innovations is committed to conducting its business in an environmentally friendly manner by instituting policies and programs that ensure that it’s prepress and printing processes have virtually no negative impact on the environment.
Colour Innovations is a commercial lithographic printing company located in Toronto, Ontario. With a 2,800 square metre fully integrated print facility and 66 full-time employees, Colour Innovations provides design, prepress, printing, binding and finishing services for a variety of prestigious clients including Canada Post. Colour Innovations demonstrates technological leadership in the commercial printing sector and is continually striving to improve its management programs including quality, health & safety and environment. This is exemplified by its long term EcoLogo certification under the Environmental Choice program as well as its Smart-Wood certification under the Forest Stewardship Council. Participation in the Toronto Region Sustainability Program (TRSP) is another step in reaching the company’s environmental and social responsibility objectives.
P2 Assessment Process
Through the TRSP, Colour Innovations commissioned a Pollution Prevention (P2) Assessment with EcoSafe environmental, health & safety management to identify waste streams, isolate pollutants and recommend solutions to reduce pollutants and waste at the source. The assessment also covered Colour Innovation’s compliance status and assisted with meeting the requirements of applicable municipal, provincial and federal regulations and their EcoLogo certification. This includes the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), the municipal sewer use bylaw, hazardous waste and Provincial Air Emissions reporting. It also oered opportunities to reduce liability, improve environmental and operational performance, save costs and demonstrate due diligence. An ISO 9000 / 14001 gap analysis was also conducted as part of the assessment criteria options.
Summary of Findings
A number of positive elements and environmental initiatives were already in place, however there were some processes at the Colour Innovations facility that were identified for improvement to further reduce or eliminate pollution and waste. Computer-to-plate (CTP) developer contains elevated levels of biological oxygen demand (BOD), phosphorous, total suspended solids (TSS) and nitrogen, all of which are parameters regulated under the Toronto sewer use bylaw. In the prepress area, this CTP developer use could be significantly reduced by installing a developer recirculation system, which would have two benefits. First, it would reduce the amount of raw material being purchased by the company; and second, it would reduce the amount of hazardous waste and associated disposal costs.
In the pressroom, waste fountain solution was being mixed with the spent blanket wash in the solvent distillation holding tank, greatly reducing the efficiency of the solvent recycling system. An estimated 50% or approximately 15,000 litres of waste solvent and water were shipped offsite at high cost to Colour Innovations. Reconfiguring the spent press wash and solvent recycling system would help to address this issue and ensure that any excess wastewater is solvent-free. Blanket wash is a major source of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, which cause smog and are hazardous to human health, therefore any reduction in their use is beneficial.
During the course of the assessment, a Standard Operating Procedure for hazardous waste management was developed and implemented, including hazardous waste manifests, handling and shipping.