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Going ‘Green’ is Good for Business, Exec Says

Tips for Companies Trying to Clean Up Their Act
Despite pressing economic worries, the environment remains a top concern for consumers the world over. And that means environmentally-friendly business practices are as necessary for the bottom line as they are for the planet, says Joe Veilleux, president of Euromed USA (euromedusa.com).
“Being a producer of natural ingredients for pharmaceuticals and health supplements, we’ve always held environmentalism as a major company value,” says Veilleux, a registered pharmacist.“We’re glad to see that, even when people face unemployment and other economic hardships, they’re still committed to green practices.”
Recent polls, including BCG’s annual International Global Green Consumer Surveys taken throughout the recession, reveal an unwavering commitment to environmentalism, he says.
“Even at the height of the recession in 2008 and 2009, more than a third of consumers said they were willing to pay a little more for products that are better for the environment,” Veilleux says. “A majority said they consider a company’s environmental credentials when making purchasing decisions.”
Euromed recently earned “green” ISO 14001 certification for its Barcelona factory by meeting stringent criteria established by the world International Standardization Organization, which sets standards for sustainable and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes.
“In the five-year process of re-engineering our factory to meet the ISO 14001 criteria, we learned a lot that can benefit other companies,” Veilleux says. “Some of the steps we took cost little to nothing; others were, frankly, expensive. But all companies today need to be aware that consumers are looking at what they’re doing to – and for – the planet, and they’re making buying decisions based on that.”
These are some of the initiatives undertaken at Euromed Barcelona, which manufactures herbal extracts and natural active substances for customers in the United States and Europe.
Recycling biomass – the company’s manufacturing waste product. We’ve found different ways to recycle the post-extraction biomass, depending on the product involved, Veilleux says. “Much of the residue is sent to companies that specialize in creating bio-gas – specifically, methane, which is used to generate power,” he says. “However, the residue left from milk thistle has such a high nutritional value, it’s actually used to feed farm animals. We ship the waste product to a company that dries it out and cleans it before it’s added to feed for pigs, chickens, cows, and the like. The biomass is given away for free, he adds.
• Wood pallets become compost. At Euromed, wooden pallets are reused until they can’t be used any longer. “At that point, they’re sent to recycling facilities, which use them in composting products,” Veilleux says. This step was easily accomplished by working through waste management companies.
• Printer toners get refilled. Empty toner cartridges are shipped to the company’s supplier, where they’re recharged and returned for use. If not for recycling, the toner cartridges would be deposited in landfills.
• Cleaner air and water. The company purchased new equipment to accomplish these goals, including on-site wastewater treatment and water purification plants, and equipment to decrease atmospheric emissions.
All totaled, Euromed spent $1 million to $2 million to upgrade its factory. It was money well spent, Veilleux says.
“We’re excited about the certification because it verifies that we’re one of the world’s leaders in environmentally friendly production,” he says. “That’s very important to us — we rely on plants, the Earth’s natural, renewable resources,not only for our business but for our personal health.
“We have a special interest in making everyone aware of how vital it is that we all take steps to prevent environmental damage.
About Euromed USA
Euromed USA supplies standardized botanical and herbal extracts and natural active substances for use in the pharmaceutical, health food and cosmetics industries. By extracting the necessary chemicals, the company can guarantee its products meet the precise chemical specifications necessary. Euromed was founded 40 years ago. Its parent company is the 100-year-old Rottapharm-Madaus corporation based in Italy.

 

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Tips for Green Printing

Most companies today are realizing the benefits of including more green practices in their offices and business practices. Whether they make these decisions to help the environment, save money on energy bills or to be more attractive to clientele, these companies are utilizing out with the old, in with the new practices.

One of the biggest changes that companies are making revolves around their printing practices. Some companies print too much, use the wrong type of paper and use very harsh inks, which not only uses too much energy, but it also destroys plants and places harmful chemicals into the air.

If your company is interested in being more eco-friendly in your printing processes, the following are some tips to help you.

1. Don’t print so much.

Cutting back on overusing the printer unnecessisarily is the first thing you can do to invoke green printing policies.  If you don’t have to print it, don’t. Save certain documents, notes and emails to an external hard drive if you want a back up.

Rather than waste tons of ink and paper on billing or sharing information with clients, start sending files and invoices electronically. These items can easily be emailed to your clients instead of sent via USPS. Not only does the sharing of files electronically save you from using the printer, but it also provides your clients with this information instantaneously.

2. Recycle paper.

If you must print, make sure that you print front and back to save paper. If you have pieces of paper that are only printed on one side, place them in a bin next to the printer and allow employees to use the other side of the paper if they need to print internal documents. This way, you are getting the maximum use out of your paper.

3. Print in black and white.

Sticking to black and white ink is safer for the environment. Most color inks contain harmful chemicals that can have negative side effects on one’s health. Plus, choosing to print in black and white save energy. Save the color prints for those items that truly require color.

4. Use recycled paper.

There are many new paper options available today, allowing you to purchase recycled paper at a comparable price to non-recycled paper. Make sure to purchase paper that is 100% post-consumer recycled. You can also choose paper that is chlorinefree (PCF), certified by ForestStewardshipCouncil (FSC), uncoated and/or made by renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar power.

You can also purchase paper that isn’t made from trees, and instead made from hemp or other organic and biodegradable product.

5. Use soy or vegetable inks.

Soy or vegetable based inks are much safer for the environment. They are low in VOCs, and choosing paper under 2 is the best option for green printing. If you must use pantone colors, choose those that don’t contain copper, zinc or barium, which have nasty health benefits.

6. Choose eco-friendly printers.

If you outsource your printing, make sure you choose an eco-friendly printer. Choose companies that use alternative energy to power their plants and produce low emissions. You should also make sure that these companies use soy or vegetable inks and print on recycled or treeless paper. Even the use of waterless or digital printing are much safer than traditional methods.

If you want to start making a difference in the future of the environment, opting to implement green printing practices is a great way to start. Not only will you be taking a step in the right direction for the planet, but you may even be able to save some money while doing so.

Jaimie Lee writes for Appi Miami Printing Services.

 

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