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Home > Green News > SOLUTIONS MAGAZINE

Update of Greener Printing & Marcom

V3 embraces new marcom technologies to continue delivering innovative communication products and industry-leading marketing results for more sustainable business... and communities.

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FSC certification is the baseline for "greener" printing. Printing has long depended on not only wood-based paper from forests, but in recent years, the use of soy and vegetable inks and solvents/cleansers. Now, with additional digital design and distribution, greener marketing communications is maturing.

V3 is a "greener" marketing communications company in Southern California -- Oxnard, CA -- offering a variety of greener printing and distribution practices.

V3 has been recognized for its commitment to environmental responsibility and well-managed forests with a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) chain of custody (COC) certification. FSC is an international standards-establishing network whose certification program aims to slow global forest damage and foster sustainable manufacturing processes. COC certification allows V3 clients to include the FSC logo on materials using FSC-certified papers.

In recognition of V3's ability to integrate sustainable environmental practices into daily operations, Assemblywoman Fran Pavley has awarded V3 the Sustainable 41 Award.

NOTE: The Obama Administration has announced that California’s car emissions standards, based on Pavley’s AB 1493, are now the national standard.

Vegetable-Based Inks for Greener Printing

V3 uses vegetable oil content-based inks. They are a mix of soybean and linseed oils that typically range between 21-23% soybean oil and 5-12% linseed oil under normal conditions. Metallic inks are an exception when requested. (PS: So don't request them!)

Waterless Printing

Waterless printing reduces the amount of waste paper, conserves water and reduces volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions produced in conventional printing, which uses a chemical fountain solution to resist ink.

And in conventional offset printing, research shows that it's the "solvents" that are the most pollution-producing function of printing. So reducing chemical fountain solution and cleanup with toxic chemicals is important to investigate when you look for green printing solutions.

Silicone-treated plates used by V3 eliminate VOC-emitting fountain solution and shorten set-up time, reducing the amount of paper and energy expended during printing. Unless you have spend hours in a printing plant and seen how much effort (and paper waste) is invested in getting correct registration and appealing color balance, you have no idea how much paper is wasted in the press-phase of printing.

Paper Recycling

V3 typically recycles 70,000 to 110,000 pounds of paper per month. This paper is a combination of trimmed scraps and press sheets from our manufacturing processes and waste recovered from our front-office recycling program.

Emphasis is usually put on "post-consumer" paper waste, but there's a story within a story about recycled paper content.

Did you know that the number ONE or TWO export out of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is usually "waste paper"? Why? Because almost ALL waste paper is shipped to China or Japan for de-inking. California does not allow post-consumer de-inking of paper in the state because of the high air pollution it can cause!

So, the supply chain works like this:

  • Ship post-consumer paper from communities across the US to the ports (via truck and train).
  • Ship the post-consumer paper on ships (the dirtiest oil-polluting vehicle of all transportation choices) across the world to China or Japan.
  • De-ink this paper in these countries suffering some of the worst pollution in industry
  • Ship the de-inked paper BACK to the US on those same dirty ships
  • Truck or rail transport that pulp back to the US paper mills -- mostly located in the Great Lakes region.
  • Add 30-50% of this content to virgin paper content that can be grown in FSC certified forests, so it can be considered "recycled content paper"
  • Ship this recycled paper thru the supply chain to stores around the country. Have the paper picked up or delivered to the end user (offices).
  • And repeat the cycle.
In my considered opinion, pre-consumer waste recycling can provide as much or better environmental value than post-consumer waste. It has volume, less re-processing, shorter shipping distances, and greater scalability. I've found no research comparing the lifetime costs of pre- and post-consumer waste environmental impact that takes this long-distance real world process into consideration.

Digital delivery of information is sounding much more sustainable at this point!

But if you need to use print, consider these tips for greener communications:

  • Clean your mailing list diligently and often.
  • Reduce the SIZE of your print run to best prospects.
  • Reduce the SIZE of your document and the WEIGHT of the paper.
  • Send the message out less frequently, and supplement with digital communications.
  • Consider the message -- is the product you are advertising really "needed". Consider the impact on the earth as well as your bottom line.

Making smart choices for high productivity is the heart of green and sustainable productivity. Every business has a different recipe for best practices -- but it takes personal commitment and implementation to create organization-specific marcom best practices.

Digital Magazines and Catalogs

V3 has extended its prepress digital production capabilities into the new age of digital "ebrochures". They produce digital documents that can be delivered on a website. Unlike static PDFs, eBrochures are digital publications that look and read like their printed counterparts with the enhanced functionality and experience of interactive media. Effective, economical and easy to use, eBrochures are a smart addition to your multichannel marketing efforts.

With the digital communications era escalating in innovative solutions, established companies like V3 Corporation can leverage their experience in design, campaign planning, list management, prepress, production and distribution to help you put together a greener, more sustainable, and productive marketing communications program.



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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