Environmental Policy

Our company has always operated out of a relatively small group of units and our physical size gives us a naturally low ‘carbon footprint’. We were just the second printer in the country to take advantage of a scheme offered by one of our paper suppliers in conjunction with the Woodland Trust to be assessed for and fully offset the CO2 produced by our entire operation. This also includes the production and delivery of our paper.

We take our impact on the environment very seriously, not just during production, but also before (in paper manufacture) and after (what happens to every piece of our waste). As well as our own policies, we also continually monitor the environmental considerations of our suppliers and sub-contractors.

Our policy is not static. We believe a permanent commitment to the environment is essential for a modern business and our processes must be very frequently reviewed. It is not just about recycling and reducing waste, but consideration in every aspect of our operation and a subject we are always willing to discuss at length with our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.

Some Examples of Environmental Considerations Specific to our Operation:

100% Carbon Captured

Gowise Print is very proud to be a member of the Woodland Carbon scheme with the Woodland Trust. Woodland Carbon is an accredited, award-winning carbon removal scheme that is operated under the Government’s 2011 Woodland Carbon Code.

Under the scheme, we reduce our environmental impact and mitigate carbon emissions by funding tree planting with the Woodland Trust, the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity. It is estimated that 25m2 of native British woodland captures and stores at least 1 tonne of CO2.

As well as making a direct contribution on our paper purchases (which offsets the paper manufacture and distribution), Gowise makes a direct monthly contribution to the Trust to mitigate the CO2 output of our entire operation. The Woodland Trust protect and plant trees here in the UK capturing carbon as they grow.

We are able to advertise this scheme on any of your items we print with the use of the Woodland Carbon logo.


As early as the 1990’s we made the decision to completely move away from an intermediate film production stage in platemaking and made significant investment in a direct computer-to-plate (CTP) solution which has since been twice upgraded. Digital printing is in itself a “direct to paper” process but now even our litho printing uses a direct image process which develops an imaged plate on the press as print begins without the need for film or any intermediate development chemicals.

Our CTP process uses no developer and fixer and also takes much less energy to produce our litho printing plates. Although we have always processed waste responsibly, we are very proud that our print company has been completely free of these chemicals for many years and all our plates are now aluminium which are fully recyclable.


Again, for as long as we have been able we have been using only vegetable based ink for our four colour process work and virtually all pantone colours in our litho printing process. This ink is biodegradable and much more environmentally friendly than the previous oil based variety. It is also more easily processed in the “de-inking” stage of paper recycling.

All our digital printing is and has always been on Xerox products. From an environmental perspective, we considered them to be well ahead of their competitors, particularly in the development of their dry toners (which all digital printing presses use). The modern dry toners used in our Xerox digital press are low melting point, which assists the de-inking process in recycling and uses less energy to heat the ink, but more impressively now contain a 30% renewable content using derivatives of biomass (rosin and lignin). Xerox have also innovatively greatly reduced the particle size of their toner meaning less toner needs to be used to produce the same print quality. All consumables from our Xerox machine are collected together and returned for recycling in their ECOBOX scheme.


One of the more obvious elements of a printer’s environmental considerations and as would be expected, something we have long been asked about by our clients. In our opinion, the real important issue regarding paper is knowing where fibre comes from and what processes are involved in making the paper. Simply using a ‘recycled’ paper does not necessarily mean environmentally friendly and we are keen to encourage our clients not to be immediately dismissive of virgin fibre paper without knowing the facts.

For example, whilst it might be desirable that a paper uses recycled fibre, thought should be given to the extra processes involved in the manufacture of that paper. With virgin fibre papers, we believe it is the traceability of that fibre that is vital but, once used, all paper waste must be destined for recycling rather than decomposing in the ground. As trees grown, they absorb a great deal of CO2 which remains in the wood until it decomposes or is burnt. Growing trees is also a fantastic way of offsetting carbon and indeed the basis of our Carbon Offset scheme with the Woodland Trust. The demand for virgin paper fibre of course drives the planting of trees, alongside the construction and furniture industries.

Forests grown for the construction and furniture industries naturally lock away harmful CO2 which hopefully will remain locked away for the life of the product. Paper is a wonderfully sustainable product (contrary to what those little notes on the bottom of emails may proclaim) and to our mind, saving the planet is all about growing trees and much less about not printing an email; particularly as the parts of any tree used for paper are all the “waste” wood (roots, branches etc) rejected for building or furniture!

What is essential is that the tree has been properly farmed and the paper made using environmentally considerate processes. The paper mills of Europe represent some of the lowest carbon emitting and highly regulated industries in the world. All virgin pulp used for our paper is readily traceable back to the very tree it came from with the FSC (and PEFC) schemes to which all our paper suppliers are members of.

By all means insist on recycled paper and we will find the best for you, but do not be afraid of virgin paper – just make sure when finished with, all paper products are recycled in the proper way.

But what about lamination and other finishing processes?

We are now more frequently asked about the recyclability of paper if print has undergone an ‘extra’ finishing process such as laminating. It is true that once bonded with paper, a plastic laminate cannot be separated in an efficient recycling process for each of the plastic and paper to be recycled.

So is laminating bad? Not entirely. There are bio-degradable laminates available which will break down in landfill, but we would suggest that is not the best answer (and it is expensive!). What is key, is the understanding of how paper is actually recycled – most enlightening is the fact that not all paper is recycled back into paper.

Most pulp used for recycled paper comes from clean, white, virgin (ie not recycled previously) paper. The remaining, second grade, paper waste (which can contain laminates, envelope window material, staples, heavy ink coverage, digital toner, foils and all manner of other ‘things’) is used for other recycled paper-based items such as toilet roll centres, egg boxes and the like. So it is still recycled.

What is most important is that all paper waste is collected and processed properly. All ours is shredded and processed by our good friends at Shred Station in Rackheath. They are always very happy to advise on their extremely thorough recycling processes.

Other Waste Disposal

As mentioned above, all our paper offcuts, overs and unused wastepaper are collected in a dedicated container, shredded for security on site and collected for recycling. We are always pleased to offer advice and will be happy to take our customers paper-based waste back for processing if they have no recycling capability of their own or have data concerns.

Our general waste is first sorted here (removing bottles and other recyclables) and what remains is collected by Veolia and further sorted under a zero-landfill scheme ensuring none of our waste contributes to landfill. Any food/vegetable waste is separately collected for composting.

As mentioned, all our digital printing cartridges and consumables are collected and returned to Xerox for recycling. Our ink tins, rags and liquid waste from litho printing is collected and processed by J & G Environmental. This company also takes other items such as used strip lights and larger plastic containers. We keep any plastic pallet straps and waste plastic pallet wrap which are also fully recyclable at J & G. Any metal waste is sent for recycling at a local metal merchant.

We are proud of our full commitment to zero-landfill.


All our appliances are checked for electrical efficiency and safety. In our main machine room, all strip lights have been replaced with energy efficient daylight strip lights which has made a big difference to our annual power use (and our electricity bill!). In 2022 our entire heating system was also upgraded to more energy efficient, controllable radiators (consigning our old storage heaters to scrap metal recycling!)

When possible, we choose an energy supply generated from 100% renewable sources to power our premises.

Conclusion & Communication

As mentioned, this policy is frequently reviewed. We also believe that our considerations to our planet are as much about communication as action and we are always very happy to share what we are doing and listen to both our clients and suppliers on the subject.

The environment is not a “fad” and will always be a factor in any business decision at Gowise Print. It is our belief that by making every effort ourselves and communicating what we do with others this will have a positive effect on attitudes and the environment beyond our own processes.

A wide range of sizes, board types and finishes are available to ensure your menu is functional, professional and durable.

News from Gowise
  • 4 Belmore Road,
    Thorpe St Andrew,
    NR7 0PT
  • +44 (0) 1603 431304

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