In fluctuating economic times, aligning business and trading with partners of integrity is of utmost importance. This sentiment is visible at the Paarl Media Group in the company’s efforts to continuously deliver as the leaders in printing responsibly.
The Paarl Media Group is one of most technologically advanced professional printing groups with 12 specialised printing operations nationwide. The Group services the country through its printing of all medium to long run requirements of magazines, retail inserts, catalogues, books, newspapers, commercial work, labels and educational materials.
“Numerous green initiatives and technologies have been put in place to reduce the impact of print production processes on natural resources. All Paarl Media clients across the Group are assured that work is delivered with the least impact on the natural environment without any compromise on the quality of printing,” said Peter Metcalfe, Executive Director: Sales at Paarl Media Group.
Paper is one of the major feedstock in the printing process. As the first African printing organisation to receive *Forestry Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) Chain of Custody (CoC) certification, the Group is proud to be championing cleaner technologies. This is an independent international verification that the products printed can be traced back from their point of origin to responsible, well managed forestry, controlled and recycled sources.
“Recently Paarl Media Cape and Paarl Media Paarl have both successfully been awarded the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, Chain of Custody certification (PEFC CoC). The PEFC is an international non-profit, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management,” said Metcalfe.
PEFC is the world’s largest forest certification system which seeks to set standards and transform forest management around the world. This will ensure that all communities will be able to enjoy the environmental, social and economic benefits of forests for a long time to come.
A key energy generation project is the biomass boiler installed at the Group’s flagship plant, Paarl Media Cape. The biomass boiler is powered by sustainable biomass which burns at intense temperatures to generate the steam required to power Paarl Media Cape’s gravure printing presses. The boiler creates steam energy by burning wood chips produced from alien vegetation, such as Port Jackson and Black Wattle. The biomass boiler not only works towards creating a carbon neutral footprint for the company, it also reduces the plant’s electricity consumption.
Recycling has become the bare minimum contribution an individual can make to a sustainable waste management system.
“Industry is no different, process waste paper from Paarl Media Group’s printing processes is recycled, some using sophisticated baling facilities at the plant and all general waste retrieved from paper recycling is reprocessed to create value added products,” said Metcalfe.
The expansion on using waste paper for value added products was realised with the Group’s acquisition of Correll Tissue, a tissue plant in KwaZulu-Natal. This allows the Group to diversify its manufacturing operations in the paper industry by harnessing the potential of waste paper – currently produced by the extensive printing operations of the Group – in the production of tissue paper. This vertical integration will result in significant value-add to the manufacturing processes by effective utilisation of waste paper generated by the printing operations. As a business that holds sustainable printing practices in high regard, this acquisition will therefore lead to synergies being unlocked between printing operations and Correll Tissue.
Other by-products of the printing process are recycled to ensure maximum waste recovery efficiency for example; gravure copper skins from engraved cylinders are recycled and copper is also recovered from the excess copper sulphate solution used in the printing process.
In the past isopropyl alcohol was used as an additive in the printing process. Its fumes are highly toxic and it has a low flash point, making it a fire and safety hazard. Paarl Media Group has implemented an alcohol free, volatile organic compound free, vegetable-based ink printing process on all its web offset presses. These green inks are also used on the sheetfed presses providing excellent stability and performance, even at the highest speeds.
The perfect example of how substitution can mitigate both business and environmental risks.
As a whole the Paarl Media Group ensures the company’s carbon footprint is reduced by making use of a digital workflow and proofing system. Operationally, a full in-house service from pre-press to finishing minimises the need for transport. In terms of distribution, a national network is available to facilitate delivery. To further reduce transport requirements, bulk ink deliveries are done which also decreases impact on landfills.
Metcalfe added: “Our aim is to help inform and inspire peer companies, suppliers and customers as we continue to collaborate in advancing environmental transformation and in improving sustainability within the industry.”
*Not available at Paarl Labels, Paarl Media KwaZulu-Natal and Correll Tissue