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 is annually assessed for the CO2 output of the entire operation and makes a sufficient contribution to the Woodland Trust who plant trees on our behalf here in the UK capturing an equivalent amount of carbon.
We are able to advertise this scheme on any of our printed materials with use of the Woodland Carbon logo.

Platemaking

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 intermdiate 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.

Ink

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.

Paper

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.

Waste Disposal

All our paper offcuts, overs and unused waste paper is collected in a dedicated container, shredded for security on site and all sent to be recycled. We also strongly encourage our customers to allow us to take their redundant printed items from them to be included in this process if they have no recycling capability of their own or have data concerns. We are happy to accommodate them free of charge.

Our general waste is first sorted for recycling (removing bottles and of course all paper/card products) and what remains is collected by Veolia and further sorted under a zero-landfill scheme ensuring none of our waste contributes to landfill. This company also process any food/vegetable waste for composting which is also separated here.

As mentioned, all our digital printing cartidges 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. Any metal is separated and sent for recycling at a local metal merchant.

We are proud of our zero-landfill achievement.

Electrical

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!). We are in the process of also doing the same with our heating replacing our older overnight storage heaters with modern efficient counterparts.

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 also listen to 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 a considerable effort ourselves and making others aware of our efforts this will have a positive ‘snowball’ effect on the environment and climate change.

News from Gowise
WHERE TO FIND US
  • 4 Belmore Road,
    Thorpe St Andrew,
    Norwich,
    Norfolk
    NR7 0PT
  • +44 (0) 1603 431304
  • print@gowise.co.uk
OPENING HOURS

Monday 08.30 - 17.00
Tuesday 08.30 - 17.00
Wednesday 08.30 - 17.00
Thursday 08.30 - 17.00
Friday 08.30 - 17.00
Saturday CLOSED
Sunday CLOSED
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