Sustainable Factory, Sustainable Printing, Sustainable Future
Working with the environment is top of our list, it’s in everything we do. You can rest assured that your printed materials are being produced in the most-sustainable way possible, by the UK’s most environmentally-friendly printing company.
St Austell Printing Company is recognised as one of only a handful of printers in the UK to fully offset our operational carbon footprint, and be certified as a Carbon Balanced Printer.
We are now recognised as the UK’s most sustainable printing company, and have won four major environmental awards:
Environmental Company of the Year at the Print Week Awards 2019
Best Managed Medium Business at the Cornwall Sustainability Awards 2018
Green Company of the Year at the Print, Design and Marketing Awards in 2019
and Environmental Project of the Year by Cornwall Manufacturers Group in 2019
We built our print factory to be efficient using sustainable materials and were awarded an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating – the world’s leading sustainability assessment for buildings.
- We have one of Cornwall’s largest roof-based solar panel arrays powering our factory and offices, producing a carbon-saving of at least 45 tonnes per year.
- We have brought all specialist finishing in-house. This means that where we used to outsource our foiling, spot uv, embossing/debossing and die-cutting, we now produce this all ourselves. This guarantees quality, exceptional value and unrivalled turnaround times. Plus, as print isn’t being transported around the country it saves approximately 8.4 tonnes of carbon per year.
- Our factory is one of the most environmentally-friendly in the UK.
- We harvest rainwater for flushing toilets and have grass-topped roofs.
- We maximise natural ventilation and daylight, and limit heat loss through insulation.
- Our building features passive and natural ventilation. Air conditioning units are limited to 3 small areas of the business where machinery requires cool temperatures. These rooms also have heat air circulation/ ventilation systems in place.
- We measure and manage our waste and use of water and energy.
- We use movement sensors across the building to automatically switch lights on and off, as well as light sensors to automatically switch lights on and off at dusk/dawn.
- We have introduced a delivery planning and tracking system for our fleet of vans, which calculates the most fuel-efficient routes for conducting each day’s deliveries. We also ensure our production schedules accommodate multiple-drop runs, with the aim of minimising emissions. This saves around 2 tonnes of carbon per year.
When it comes to printing, we’re constantly working to increase our efficiency and capacity to deliver the highest sustainability standards, shrinking our carbon footprint, cutting energy consumption and reducing waste.
- In 2018 we made a major investment in a brand new lithographic printing press and associated plate maker – energy efficiency and sustainability were two of the key factors behind our decision. The Ryobi Mitsubishi 9 Series Press uses LED-UV drying technology instead of traditional bulbs. This not only means that the ink is instantly dry, but uses substantially less energy than the press it replaced. In fact, it’s one of the most energy-efficient presses currently available.
- All the paper we use is recycled or produced from sustainably managed forests. We are FSC® certified (Licence code: FSC-C140438), and hold an ISO 14001:2015 certificate for our environmental management system.
- We use effective recycling schemes which are reducing, and attempting to eliminate, print and paper waste in landfill.
- We recycle 100% of our paper waste and 95% of our total waste (we’re working on the rest).
- We make any damaged paper into pads and use scrap paper for printing internal emails and documents.
- We use vegetable based inks, and any waste ink is taken away and used as fuel in furnaces in place of coal, gas or oil or used as a hardening in making concrete.
- Our Suprasetter Platemakers can process chemical-free or processless thermal printing plates. All our plates are recycled.
This isn’t an exhaustive list – we could go on (and would be rubbish dinner party guests). We’re doing everything we can to be sustainable, focusing on continually improving our environmental performance. This is an ongoing process for us.
We’re committed to working with the environment to show that when done responsibly, printing is a clean, green industry which is inherently sustainable.
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Find out about some of the environmental facts of print and paper, with the updated version of the Two Sides “Myths and Facts” booklet.
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St Austell Printing Company has made a significant investment in meeting its sustainability goals, by unveiling one of the largest roof-based solar panel arrays in Cornwall.