Printing, paper and power, oh my!

Summer is here!  Soon you will see us at an event, handing out information about ZooShare. Did you know the materials we use are sustainably printed and that the recycled paper is made using power from a biogas plant?

If you've seen us at an event, these materials will look familiar. We printed them with Warren's, who received the paper products from Rolland.

If you’ve seen us at an event, these materials will look familiar. We printed them with Warren’s Waterless, who received the paper products from Rolland.

ZooShare is a client of Warren’s Waterless, the most eco-friendly printer in Toronto. “We are a 0-discharge plant, both in air and water emissions, and our inks (exclusive to Waterless) are 100% VOC-free,” says Glenn Laycock, the Vice President Account Director of Warren’s Waterless.  While many printers may advertise themselves as “green”, in reality they are green-washed: The industry standard is to offer the option of recycled paper and to use vegetable-based inks, so most “green” printers are just regular printers with a different marketing strategy.  What you won’t hear is that “[a traditional] 40-inch printing press will discharge 80,000 litres of waste-water sludge down the drain per year,” says Glenn.  He was so frustrated by so-called “green” printers that during a staff meeting he exclaimed, “environmental printing is more than recycled paper!” which consequently became the company’s trademarked slogan.

The company started out as a film shop, but as film started to disappear, they transitioned into a printing company.  “We got into waterless because of the higher quality print,” says Glenn, “but we very quickly shot ourselves in the foot, because if you advertise yourself as a high quality printer, there’s implied cost.” As the company began to recognize the environmental benefits of waterless printing, they built on their environmental identity, receiving numerous environmental certifications and powering their entire plant with Bullfrog Power.  “When we started marketing ourselves as an eco-printer, we very quickly shot ourselves in the other foot, because there’s implied cost.” But there isn’t extra cost: Warren’s Waterless doesn’t buy the chemicals and additives needed by a traditional printer, nor do they pay for water.  Warren’s found a loyal following in the not-for-profit community. “It’s been fantastic for us, we are incredibly busy,” says Glenn.

Glenn Laycock, Vice President Account Director of Warren’s Waterless at their printing house in Toronto.

Glenn Laycock, Vice President Account Director of Warren’s Waterless, at their printing house in Toronto.

In addition to being a waterless, 0-discharge plant using safer inks and supporting renewable energy, Warren’s Waterless uses Rolland paper products: “Paper of virgin fibre is substantially cheaper than recycled paper,” explains Glenn.  “Cascades [now Rolland] was the first one to come along with a recycled sheet that got the price point closer to where clients would go ‘ok, I’ll spend a few dollars more’, now they got the price point in where it’s almost a wash between a virgin sheet and their sheet.”

The landfill site from which Rolland gets its biogas.

The landfill site from which Rolland gets its biogas.

Rolland is the only fine paper manufacturer to use biogas in North America. The Rolland website explains, “energy is a major factor in determining a paper’s environmental impact…As a renewable energy source derived from local landfill methane, biogas drives our carbon footprint to the lowest levels in the industry.”  Their biogas is transported from a nearby landfill via an 8-mile pipeline to fulfill 93% of the paper mill’s needs, reducing their CO2 emissions by 70,000 tons, or 23,400 compact cars, annually.

“Using biogas at our plant has allowed us to stabilize our energy supply and to reduce our costs. Despite the tremendous initial investment, this project is, simply put, profitable,” explains Julie Loyer, Commnication and Sustainable Development Manager at Rolland.  She writes: “The idea to use biogas in this way did not come from paid consultants, or even from Rolland’s own scientists, but rather from a single, curious and passionate employee. It was the director of purchases at that time who had the idea while watching a television program on the reduction of greenhouse gases. He dug a little deeper only to discover that his idea had some potential for Rolland…Eventually, several departments and specialists – both internal and external – had to get involved, and millions of dollars had to be invested to implement this.  The birth of such a massive project, which involved a non-traditional process of inspiration and execution, was made possible by a company’s open leadership that continues to leave room for its employees to generate and develop new ideas.”


So there you have it: Recycled paper is created at Rolland, powered by their biogas plant, where it is then sustainably printed at Warren’s Waterless into ZooShare brochures, that end up in your hands…We look forward to seeing you at our next event!

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