Sustainability is part of everything we do. We built a print factory on its principles. The design of our building reduces our demand for energy and natural resources making our printing even more efficient.

Sustainable factory, sustainable printing, sustainable future

Working with the environment is top of our list, it’s in everything we do. In fact, we’ve been recognised as one of the UK’s most sustainable printing companies, winning four major environmental awards:

UK “Environmental Company of the Year” at the PrintWeek Awards 2019, the “Best Managed Medium Business” category of the Cornwall Sustainability Awards 2018, “Green Company of the Year” at the 2019 national Print, Design and Marketing Awards and “Environmental Project of the Year” at the Cornwall Manufacturers Group Awards 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.
  • We engage in a number of carbon offsetting schemes through our partners and suppliers. For example, we use Woodland Trust office paper for our copiers and office-use which is produced using zero CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.

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.


Two Sides Booklet

Request a FREE copy of our 2019 Two Sides Myths and Facts Booklet

Find out about some of the environmental facts of print and paper, with the brand new 2019 version of the Two Sides “Myths and Facts” booklet.

Simply fill in your details below, and we’ll happily pop one in the post for you:


Environmental Credentials

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.

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