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Greening Print Marketing: Direct Imaging Presses Help You “Go Green”

Presstek, the inventor of chemistry-free platemaking, is offering a free white paper entitled, “Growing Your Business by Going Green.” The paper speaks to both the environmental and economic benefits that can be realized by in-house print shops or third-party print providers who adopt the practice of “green” printing. This is also relevant to marketers who are looking for information to help them select a print provider that will help them meet their green marketing goals.

Despite the broad range of topics covered, the white paper is largely designed to discuss the economic and environmental benefits of Presstek DI digital offset presses. Most of my posts involve the business and marketing models relate to toner-based (digital) printing, but I’ve discussed the green benefits of the DI process in my posts before. This white paper goes into far more detail than I can cover here.

Like toner-based printing, DI printing eliminates many of the chemicals used in the print production process, although it is an offset process—it looks like traditional offset printing. But compared to a traditional offset press (comparisons are made to both 500-run and long-run quantities), it eliminates waste from

  • press developer,
  • press replenisher,
  • press finisher/gum,
  • fountain solution
  • fountain substitute
  • waste water

Presstek also claims that its presses reduce VOCs by 75% versus conventional printing environments. The waterless press design also reduces and eliminates chemically tainted waste water generated by traditional offset presses, thus keeping the waste water out of the water treatment system.

The white paper offers a variety of charts to support the company’s claims.  Although the benefits presented largely in terms of their benefits to printers (so they show the dollar savings achieved), the takeaway point for the marketer is the savings in chemical pounds (provided in kilograms) taken out of the waste stream.

One printer using Presstek equipment is cited as saving 8 gallons of chemicals monthly. Another claims 80% reduction in blanket wash, another hazardous chemical found in traditional offset environments.

What does this mean for you, as a marketer or purchaser of print production services? By using a printer with a DI press (or other printer with an intentional, proactive approach to greening its business), you are helping to support a cleaner environment. With this simple switch in service providers, you are reducing your carbon footprint, reducing your consumption of hazardous chemicals, and reducing your contribution to the waste stream, among others.

All by making a strategic choice of supplier.

Written by Heidi Tolliver-Walker

Heidi Tolliver-Walker has been a commercial and digital printing industry analyst, feature writer, columnist, editor, and author for nearly 20 years. She is known for her meticulous research and no-nonsense perspective. In addition to having written thousands of industry articles for top industry publications, she and Richard Romano have been the face of the well-respected industry research firm The Industry Measure (TrendWatch Graphic Arts) for many years. In her more than 13-year tenure with the firm, she has written countless reports on digital printing, 1:1 (personalized) printing, Web-to-print, personalized URLs, and other hot industry applications. She is also a long-time contributing editor and columnist for Printing News, for which she writes two monthly columns, including "Personal Effects," which features monthly analysis of 1:1 (personalized) printing case studies. She is also the author of three titles for the National Association of Printing Leadership: Designer's Printing Companion, Ink & Color: A Printer's Guide, and Diversifying Via Value-Added Services. As a small, niche publisher (Strong Tower Publishing), she is active in utilizing these technologies in her own business, as well.


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