Pieper and Associates
Designing For The Environment
Getting back to nature, one design at a time.
We know that everyone has become more environmentally conscious, and that we’re all doing our part, at home and at the office, to be more environmentally friendly. Recycling, turning off the lights, installing low flow toilets, taking the bus to work….these are all positive steps and we should all be making them. But with the large amount of production work that we handle for our clients, environmental concerns are an extra special consideration for us. Environmental conscientiousness includes every step in the process of getting a printed piece into the hands of end users and beyond. Read on to learn some of the ways that Pieper and Associates is contributing to the overall well being of our planet.
Many decisions about the environmental impact of your project can be addressed at the very beginning of our process, the design stage.
We can work with you to design your product packaging to be as eco friendly as possible. Did you know that according to the EPA, as much as a third of the developing world’s non-industrial solid waste stream consists of packaging? By making your packaging smaller and in line with your product’s size, you can dramatically reduce the amount of packaging waste. And it increases the perceived value of the product, a very nice side effect indeed!
Maybe making your brochure a bit smaller will help it fit more efficiently on a smaller press sheet, minimizing waste. Or maybe we can print your job with four colors instead of six, minimizing VOCs and using less paper. Selecting the right print process to achieve the desired end result will influence not only the environmental impact of your project, but also the quality of your finished piece.
Paper is a completely renewable resource. And, while paper and printing in general have been perceived negatively by environmentally conscious people in the past, the fact is that the U.S. forest products industry is responsible for more than 4 million trees being planted each day—greater than what is harvested. Over the last several decades, foresters, environmentalists and paper manufacturers have made great strides to protect forestland and wildlife habitat, manage natural resources for sustainability, and maintain air and water quality. At Pieper and Associates, we’re committed to making a difference by choosing manufacturers that subscribe only to these best practices. All of the paper that we spec and print for our clients has recycled content, and a high percentage of that recycled content is post consumer waste. Post consumer waste (sometimes referred to as PCW) is considered the most environmentally friendly paper of all, having already been in circulation in finished form and then recycled by the end user.
Tree Free Paper
We are also capable of Tree Free printing—using paper made entirely from plant fibers vs. wood pulp. The plant fibers are either agricultural residue recovered from crops or fibers harvested from plants grown intentionally for the manufacture of tree-free paper. These papers can be more durable, take fewer chemicals and less energy to process, are naturally acid free, and can be recycled.
FSC Certification (Forest Stewardship Council)
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards represent the world’s strongest system for guiding forest management toward sustainable outcomes. One of the ways that we can ensure that our paper manufacturers and our printing partners maintain Pieper and Associates’s environmental goals is by ensuring that they maintain an FSC Certification. Being FSC certified ensures that the materials used to produce your product or printed piece were sourced responsibly. Every entity that touches the product, from the logger to the printer, must be FSC certified in order to make the FSC claim. That means that when you see the FSC logo printed on the back of a brochure, you know it came from a team of responsible sources, working together to sustain our planet’s resources.
Printing Inks from Vegetable Oil
All inks contain some level of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). In general, the higher the petroleum oil content in the ink, the higher the VOC levels. At Pieper and Associates, we have transitioned to renewable vegetable oil based inks, containing soy, linseed, cottonseed, tung, and china wood oil. While the vegetable content may vary and some petroleum remains, we know that the lower the amount of petroleum in the ink, the better it is for the environment. We can lessen our environmental impact even further by avoiding inks that we know contain heavy metals and high levels of copper, barium, and zinc. We can also design your project using less colors and less ink overall. This can aid in the de-inking process, where inks, adhesives, glues, staples and other non-paper elements are removed from recovered paper. Less ink means less de-inking, which means your piece is saving resources right up until the very end when it’s being recycled!
Helping You Go Green
From renewable energy sources to carbon neutrality, Pieper and Associates continues to look at ways to make a big impact for our clients while making the smallest impact possible on our planet. Contact us today for ideas on how we can help turn your next project green!