At the time we made a commitment to keep pushing towards becoming solvent free, and in 2013 we took delivery of our large 72 inch wide printer, and now we have taken delivery of our third HP latex printer which, in conjunction with our AGFA AnaPurna UV printer, means that ALL of our digital printing is now 100% solvent and VOC free. This is something that we are exceedingly proud of, as it sets us apart from most other signage companies, and is increasingly important to our existing and future customers and clients.
Furthermore, not only does this new printer contribute to our ongoing environmental improvements, it also helps increase our productivity, as it considerably speeds up manufacturing compared to our old equipment.
The quality of our finished products is also improved, as the latex print technology increases the durability and scratch resistance of the printed finish.
Waste management is also improved, as now all of our spent ink cases are collected and recycled by the manufacturer, HP. This closed loop waste stream is far more resource efficient than standard recycling methods, as the materials do not require breaking down and remanufacturing prior to re-use.
As a means of underlining our efforts to increase our sustainability, in early October we set out to have our building independently assessed and rated. We are extremely proud to have now been awarded a C rating in our Energy Performance Certificate.
This is no mean feat, considering both the size and age of our building. We occupy approximately 50,000 square foot of large, open plan warehouse and manufacturing space, with a large part of the building dating back to the mid 19th century. Naturally, issues such as building performance, heat loss, sustainability and carbon reduction were not a concern when originally constructed, and over the years we have continued to invest heavily, both in improving the fabric of the building, as well as the technologies we employ to use it.
Since 2007 we have installed 25kW of solar PV to the roof, replaced over 90% of all internal and external lighting for LED, replaced over 200kW of heating with low carbon biomass, insulated wherever possible throughout the factory, replaced over 200 square metres of skylights to maximise natural daylight, installed a 3500 litre rainwater harvesting system, replaced our air-conditioning with low energy evaporative cooling, installed solar hot water systems – the list goes on.
But we haven’t just had this assessment to give ourselves a pat on the back. We will use the recommendations within the report as an inspiration so that we may further improve our wonderful old building.