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Case study

MET Fine Printers

Total GHG Inventory

  • 2010: 176 tonnes CO2e
  • 2011: coming soon

GHG Reduction Highlights

  • Waste: refurbishing rubber press blankets
  • UV inks: instant drying reduces floor area necessary

Actual Reductions

  • 3,000 pounds reduced waste
  • Double the throughput of similarly sized operation

MET Fine Printers has long been engaged in sustainable practices, and has been a long-time Climate Smart member, having conducted inventories for 2009 and 2010. Climate Smart assisted MET with a strategy to become carbon neutral by early summer of 2010, and they are now enjoying their second year of carbon-neutral operations. This has had positive impacts on MET, both through cost and waste reductions, and through increased business.

Looking for ways to fine-tune their existing green initiatives, MET chose to tackle their waste. Paper-recycling is already well received and has almost become business-as-usual for printers, so MET began looking at the other materials used in their printing processes. In offset printing, rubber press blankets are used to transfer ink to the printing surface. Implementing a process to refurbish used blankets, MET has now cut the rubber material being sent to landfill by 3,000 pounds annually.

MET also pioneered the use of UV-ink printing locally. UV inks are cured nearly instantaneously using short bursts of ultraviolet light, and do not require the lengthy “drying times” of conventional inks. As a result, no drying racks are needed, and printed material can be stacked “hot off the press” into vertical stacks that take up far less space. Thanks to this, MET estimates they can produce the throughput of a facility twice their size.

An additional environmental benefit is the reduction of chemicals necessary to prepare and cleanup their presses. When working with conventional inks, chemicals are often necessary to prevent them from drying and hardening with exposure to air. MET’s switch to UV inks means they use far less chemistry in their processes as compared to a conventional printer.

With all these improvements comes added business. Real, quantifiable green initiatives and carbon neutrality have given MET the ability to engage and retain clients who prefer to deal with environmentally progressive service providers. MET Fine Printers sees sustainability as an investment in their brand, and the knock-on “halo” effect of working with a sustainable printer keeps their clients coming back.

This video case study brought to you by Vancity Credit Union and Metro Vancouver.

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