At IMSM we pride ourselves on being socially responsible, and we were lucky enough to win several awards in 2014, for our efforts.
As a result of this, we like to work with companies, whom also make a conscious effort to be green. We met with our printers CLARENDON PRESS last week to find out more about how they keep their carbon footprint low:
The water source heat pump here at Clarendon Press
The water in our pond comes from a natural spring which maintains a regular average temperature of between 8 and 12 degrees throughout the year. The water source heat pump placed in the bottom of the pond is a series of loosely coiled pipes which contain glycol – an anti-freeze product – which absorbs the latent heat from the water. The more contact there is between the surface of the pipes and the water, the better for the system. This ‘warmed up water’ is then pumped through the system to a storage tank which kick-starts the heating of the premises. For every unit of electricity (kwh) used to run the system, 3-4 units (kwh) of heat are achieved. If you compare this to an electric fan heater which converts 1 unit of electricity to only 1 unit of heat (and this assumes 100% efficiency in the exchange), the savings on heating a property – and thus the general environmental benefits of reduced power consumption and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions – can be clearly demonstrated. Added to this, the low visual impact of the system – the pipes are barely noticeable in the pond and all the pumping equipment is underground – we feel we have achieved a definite ‘win win’ situation.
Our environmental policy in action
At Clarendon we are not just passionate about print but are committed to making our carbon footprint as small as possible and to operate in an environmentally friendly manner.
- An important step was gaining the coveted environmental FSC and PEFC accreditations. The demanding standards of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) mean that all paper we use is traceable back to its source – the ‘golden standard’ of forest husbandry. On request, we can put the appropriate logos on customers’ printing as a ‘badge of honour’ that they care about sustainable forestry.
- Another environmental gain was the purchase of a state-of-the-art platemaking system thereby eliminating the use of powerful and hazardous chemistry
- We buy our electricity from Good Energy – a company whose core business is trading 100% renewable electricity; they now have more than 26,000 customers buying power sourced from a network of over 1,500 independent renewable generators, and they support over 470 renewable heat generators, and recently commissioned a new wind farm which will provide them with 20% of their electricity requirements.
- Our website through MakeHay.co.uk is now hosted on servers powered by 100% wind energy
- We use a heat-pump submerged in our pond to extract ambient heat – thus reducing our energy requirements
- All waste materials are collected for recycling by accredited (and in one case, award winning) contractors who are specialists for the print trade: for example
- Our aluminium printing plates are weighed & bundled onto pallets of two tonnes and are then melted down and can be re-used as a pure raw material. The silver from the plates is melted and refined into ingot form and sold directly to the Commodities market.
- Waste cardboard is collected and either shredded for use as animal bedding or baled and sent for recycling to a paper mill
- Our blanket wash is decanted, stored and treated. The reclaimed petroleum is re-used as third grade fuel by a licensed contractor. The hazardous components are converted to an inert sludge and non-hazardous liquid.
- The plastic drums that the blanket wash comes in are washed and re-used, or damaged drums are shredded and reused into items such as motorway drainage pipe or car dashboards
- Our CDs and cases are collected and then students at a local centre (local to the contractors) for people with both physical and mental disabilities, sort and separate the CDs and DVDs from the cases. These are then despatched to a licensed contractor where they are washed in caustic solution to remove the aluminium foil and inks in preparation for recycling with injection moulding companies.
- We have to be particularly careful when storing waste ink because contaminated inks are more costly to treat. The flammable portion of the waste ink can be used as fuel to start blast furnaces, or as a low grade fuel. Toxic oil based inks are put through a solidification treatment process to produce low-strength cementation.
- Ink toner cartridges are collected and the contaminated nibs removed. The plastic polypropylene cores are shredded, granulated and washed prior to being despatched to outlets for re-manufacture. Unfortunately, there is currently no recycle route for the nibs, however we understand our collection company are continually researching possible outlets for these and other waste items not covered here
- All empty ink tins are checked and stored at the collection company’s premises and then despatched to a licensed metal recycling contractor.
- Our wooden pallets are either made into chip and fibre board, or used for animal bedding, or a local farmer collects them and uses them for his newly installed heating boiler
- Our used rags are washed to remove hazardous elements and either sent for potential re-use or sent to non-hazardous landfill. Our waste collection contractors are currently working with manufacturers to find alternative disposal methods for the rags.