Vega and Focus ‘adding value to ink on paper’ as they go carbon neutral

Vega Press commercial manager Rob Nugent told ProPrint that the new certification would help the company tender for government work and make it a more attractive print partner for the 294 main polluters who would have to pay the Federal government’s carbon tax.

“It’s adding value to what otherwise would be ink on paper,” he said.

Focus Press managing director David Fuller also said being carbon neutral offered a commercial benefit in an increasingly environmentally-conscious market.

“We’ve aligned our business with the future requirements of our customers,” he said.

The two companies told ProPrint that becoming verified under the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) had required a painstaking process of assessing their carbon footprints, eliminating as much waste as possible and then buying offsets to make up the difference.

However, they had emerged as much more efficient organisations, they added.

Fuller predicted Focus would cut its carbon footprint by 20% this year as it continued its ongoing search for efficiencies.

“They’re right under your nose. They’re just so easy. Once you engage your people in it it’s just like looking for dripping taps. The most important thing is to engage people,” he said.

Fuller and Nugent said they regularly engaged with customers and suppliers in order to keep their environmental policies aligned.

Mystique and Finsbury Green are believed to be Australia’s only other carbon neutral printers.

Finsbury Green’s national environmental and technical manager, Rod Wade, said the company had been carbon neutral since 2006 “and was the first in Australia to transparently report on this in our sustainability report, which has been published since 2002.”

Mystique environmental manager Mat Eldred told ProPrint that the Melbourne outfit became carbon neutral in 2007 because it was committed to sustainability and wanted to overcome the “misconception that [printers] are heavy polluters”.

He said that despite “a mixed response from customers and suppliers”, being carbon neutral had generally provided a commercial advantage.

“As the industry is such a competitive environment, any way you can differentiate yourself from your competitors and move away from discussions about price is a step in the right direction,” he said.

“A point of difference like NCOS will never give you exclusive rights over a client; it still comes down to service, quality and price… But it’s a great story to tell and great to know that you are making decisions to reduce the impact your business operations have on the environment.”

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