The Lowe-Martin Group’s Mississauga plant becomes the first Ontario printing operation to achieve carbon-neutral status, an achievement CEO Ward Griffin celebrated with 125 guests at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
With headquarters based in Ottawa, Ontario, The Lowe-Martin Group spent the past couple of years working with Pembina Institute and Climate Smart to measure the carbon footprint of its Mississauga-based production and sales facility. The plant was officially recognized as a Carbonzero Certified operation upon completion of its 2010 fiscal year.
Founded in 2006, Carbonzero is the carbon-offset provider for Lowe-Martin and has been recognized for its methodology by both The David Suzuki Foundation and Pembina. By all accounts, this makes Lowe-Martin the first carbon-neutral printer in Ontario, and the second in Canada, along with Hemlock Printers of British Columbia.
“The Lowe-Martin Group is continuing to advance a clear strategy to reduce our ecological footprint by implementing meaningful solutions that positively impact our customers, our employees and the community,” said Ward Griffin, President and CEO, The Lowe-Martin Group. “After completing our GHG inventory, conserving where we could and implementing more environmentally friendly alternatives like 100 percent renewable electricity, it made sense for Lowe-Martin to partner with Carbonzero to neutralize the remaining emissions.”
The celebration, held at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Baillie Court in downtown Toronto and attended by more than 125 guests, included two environmentally themed presentations from Toby Lennox, VP, Greater Toronto Airports Authority, who also Chairs the Partners in Project Green initiative; and Hadley Archer, VP, WWF-Canada.
Calgary-based McAra Printing, a subsidiary of the Canadian Bank Note Company, marked Earth Day 2011 by activating its new rooftop installation of 48 solar modules – the largest commercial solar array in the city.
McAra’s south-facing installation of 48 photovoltaic solar modules holds an electrical generating capability of 11,280 watts. The installation sits atop the company’s 45,000-square-foot production facility, which, being in Calgary, enjoys an average of 2,405 hours of direct sunlight each year.
“We wanted to do more than simply pay for green power,” said General Manager Rodger Grant. “Most printers wanting to enhance their green image through alternative energy use choose to pay a premium to their utility provider to do so on their behalf. McAra Printing is taking direct action through micro-generation of electricity with our solar module array.”
McAra Printing contracted local solar-power solutions provider Chinook Eco Energy for the design and installation of the solar array, which includes a unique racking system, manufactured in Canada, designed specifically for McAra.
“Our solar modules will continue to generate electricity when the plant is closed,” said Grant, “further reducing our carbon footprint while contributing renewable green power to the grid.
“Publishers and print consumers concerned about their carbon footprint can now rely on McAra Printing to utilize energy from alternative sources in the manufacture of their product.”
Live power generation statistics can be viewed online at McAra’s Website
FSC Canada released a statement that its board made a unanimous decision to end the employment of President and CEO, Antony Marcil, while also noting the need for a new North American approach to the market.
Under Marcil’s leadership since 2005, FSC Canada can now claim to have established the largest area of FSC-certified forests in the world. Much of this growth was supported and funded by the certification of hundreds of Canadian printing companies.
"A significant share of the wood and fibre purchased by U.S. customers comes from Canadian forests, so we must view forest conservation through a North American lens,” said Corey Brinkema, President of FSC in the United States. “In this context, we see success for FSC in Canada very much in the interest of our stakeholders in the U.S. and we offer the fullest possible support during this transition period.”
While FSC notes that Brinkema is now providing support for FSC Canada, the entity is being run on an interim basis by the Co-Chairs of the Canadian board, Arnold Bercov and Henry Sauvagnat.
The GreenWorks marketing program of Agfa Graphics now has 170 printing company members, including seven new Canadian shops. The program, referred to by Agfa as the GreenWorks Environmental Recognition Awards, was launched in 2008 to recognize environmentally progressive customers using Agfa technology.
The seven new GreenWorks members from Canada include Ontario printers Lyft Visual, Marcom Printers Ltd.; Quebec printers Imprimerie De La Rive Sud and Imprimerie Dumaine; Alberta printers Ion Print Solutions and Unicom Graphics, and Manitoba printer Leech Printing.
To qualify for GreenWorks, companies must use either Agfa Graphics' :Azura TS, :Amigo TS, or :Energy Elite plates. The company must also be active proponents of other environmentally-friendly products or processes, whether focused on recycling, waste reduction programs and alternative energy use in their plants.
Metro Waste Paper Recovery, which manages discarded materials for industrial, commercial, retail and graphics sectors across North American, has changed its name to Cascades Recovery Inc.
The company is owned by the Cascades Specialty Products Group out of Montreal. According to Cascades, a much wider range of materials are now recovered and transformed into paper and packaging.
“To capitalize on this direction, and on our relationship with Cascades, it is time to refresh our image; one that reflects the fact that we care so much about paper and packaging, when its discarded we want it back,” stated Al Metauro, CEO of Cascades Recovery.
Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products composed mainly of recycled fibres. Cascades employs close to 12,500 employees who work in more than 100 production units located in North America and Europe.
The company has 21 recovery centres across North America.
Domtar Corp. is a founding partner of the new Green My Parents initiative designed to have kids show their families how they can save more than $100 a year through efforts like "turning off and unplugging devices that waste electricity, printing responsibly and choosing to walk or bike instead of driving." Referred to as an environmental youth movement by the company, the program helps kids teach their parents about saving energy, water and waste.
Based on a new book called Green My Parents, the goal is to start with 100 kids, each of whom will then recruit 100 more (and so on), ultimately saving more than $100 million by Earth Day 2011. The movement now includes support from high-profile organizations like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR Program and the National Wildlife Federation and the American Library Association.
Domtar will be the exclusive paper and forestry partner for Green My Parents, which fits into the company's new "Paper Because" marketing campaign that is meant to highlight paper's value in everyday life, while also demonstrating how people should print responsibly.
"For the sake of our planet's future, we need today's youth to help seed the green economy, and it's wonderful how Green My Parents is making kids the chief sustainability officers in their homes," said Lewis Fix, Domtar's VP of Brand Management and Sustainable Product Development. "We're excited to work with Green My Parents and help show how powerful and effective kids can be in bringing about change."
The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), which is organized by Printing Industries of America to develop audited environmental standards for North American printers, has formed an alliance with Canopy of Vancouver, British Columbia.
According to SGP, having a policy with Canopy "fulfills the sustainability policy and exceeds the responsible materials sourcing components of SGP's Certification Criteria." Canopy is an non-profit organization that promotes the use of environmentally progressive papers, while helping printers and publishers institute forward-looking supply-chain policy.
"Canopy is pleased to have formed this alliance with SGP because we provide the framework for leading paper purchasing policies that support endangered forest conservation and the development of the most environmentally friendly paper. We are happy to support printers throughout North America in implementing this vision," stated Neva Murtha, 2nd Harvest/Printer/Magazine Campaigner for Canopy.
The SGP and Canopy relationship will be front and centre on September 8 when the two organizations cohost a free Webinar, entitled "Endangered Forests and the Lacey Act, What Printers Can Do to Minimize Risk."
Domtar Corp. has expanded a licensing agreement with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to now cover all of Domtar's EarthChoice products, including office paper. The sale of all papers from EarthChoice, Domtar's family of socially and environmentally responsible paper products, will now support WWF's mission.
Domtar will make an annual contribution of US$350,000 to WWF from the sale of its EarthChoice products. Since its launch, more than a million tons of EarthChoice papers have been sold, all of which have been certified to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and are publicly supported by both WWF-Canada and the Rainforest Alliance.
"Domtar is proud to further support WWF's conservation work through this agreement," said Domtar Vice-President of Brand Management and Sustainable Product Development, Lewis Fix. "Domtar is committed to the responsible sourcing of fiber and to the credible forest certification of its suppliers. We can meet our customers' needs for quality, performance, versatility and value without sacrificing the needs of the environment."
On top of the EarthChoice licensing agreement, Domtar participates in WWF's Global Forest & Trade Network, an initiative to eliminate illegal logging and improve the management of valuable and threatened forests. Domtar's work with WWF has included efforts to help increase FSC forest certification and protect areas throughout Canada and to increase access to forest certification for small, private landowners in the United States.
"Domtar has been recognized as a leader in sustainable growth in the pulp and paper industry," said Terry Macko, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at WWF. "The funds generated by this agreement will build upon Domtar's long-standing commitment to supporting WWF's sustainability efforts around the globe. We hope their commitment to source fiber responsibly and promote credible forest certification sets an example for other companies to follow."
The Government of Canada has launched a $100 million program to help redevelop the Canadian forestry sector through what it calls "innovative projects and technologies."
"This Government continues to invest in the transformation of Canada's forest industry," said Minister Stockwell Day, speaking on behalf of Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis. "This program will encourage and support the next generation of forest products, and I am confident that this will have a very positive impact in communities across Canada, including here in British Columbia."
The Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program will provide funding to those who submit proposals involving innovative forestry technologies and processes. The new IFIT program will run alongside existing programs such as Sustainable Development Technology Canada's Clean Technology Fund as well as the $1 billion Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program.
According to the government, the IFIT program will abide by international trade obligations, for softwood products destined for export will not be eligible for funding.
Burnaby-based Hemlock Printers is the first customer of Novex Couriers’ electric-powered fleet for daily freight and courier deliveries primarily in Burnaby, Vancouver and Richmond.
The 100-percent electric delivery service provided by Novex is based on trucks manufactured by Smith Electric Vehicles U.S., which licenses the technology from a U.K.-based parent company self-described as the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial electric vehicles. In March 2010, Smith Electric was selected to receive $32 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to produce its vehicles.
"We are excited to participate in this initiative with our clients being among the first in Canada to receive emission-free deliveries.," stated Richard Kouwenhoven, Hemlock VP of Client Services. "It's another significant step for us as we look to green all aspects of our operation."
The delivery initiative fits with Hemlock's recently introduced carbon-neutral printing program, called Zero, which aims to reduce operational greenhouse gas emissions 33 percent by 2020. According to Hemlock, each electric truck will save approximately 29 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions yearly, which is equivalent to taking six cars off the road.
"It is important to have partners like Hemlock who are willing to show leadership in using zero emission vehicles to deliver their product,” stated Ken Johnston, Novex President. "Novex has made a commitment to do the right thing for our environment, and the shift to zero emission vehicles is the
future of the delivery business."
The Lowe-Martin Group continues to develop its environmental strategy, after recently receiving a $25,000 rebate cheque from Hydro Ottawa for its participation in the Electricity Retrofit Incentive Program.
The cheque presentation by The Honourable Brad Duguid, Ontario’s Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, and Rosemarie Leclair, President and CEO of Hydro Ottawa, was made on June 10 at Lowe-Martin's Ottawa printing facility.
“At The Lowe-Martin Group we believe in reducing the impact we have on the environment and our success at reducing our energy consumption has contributed significantly to achieving that goal,” stated Ward Griffin, President and CEO of Lowe-Martin.
The Electricity Retrofit Incentive Program (ERIP), headed by Hydro Ottawa in cooperation with the Ontario Power Authority, is a provincial rebate program that provides financial incentives to influence its customers to undertake projects to improve both the energy efficiency of their facilities and their bottom line.
Among several energy-use programs instituted at Lowe-Martin, the company highlights its T5 lighting retrofit, which has a 66 percent longer lamp life than the previously installed system, as a significant step forward in energy conservation. According to the company, its T5 retrofit provides energy savings of over 370,000 kilo-watt hours per year.
In January 2009, Lowe Martin also received the Hydro Ottawa Companies for Conservation Award. The company has also received an award for Most Environmentally Progressive Printer in Canada for the past four years in PrintAction's Environmental Printing Awards program.
Last week, 21 member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), and nine environmental organizations, unveiled what the groups involved refer to as an unprecedented agreement. The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement applies to 72-million hectares of public forests licensed to FPAC members, an area described to be twice the size of Germany.
When fully implemented, Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement is designed to conserve significant areas of Canada’s Boreal Forest and protect woodland caribou, while still allowing the forestry companies to maintain a competitive market edge. The FPAC members are said to manage two-thirds of all certified forestland in Canada.
The Agreement calls for the suspension of new logging on nearly 29-million hectares of Boreal Forest to develop conservation plans for endangered caribou, while maintaining essential fiber supplies for uninterrupted mill operations. “Do Not Buy” campaigns by Canopy, ForestEthics and Greenpeace will be suspended while the Agreement is being implemented.
“The importance of this Agreement cannot be overstated,” said Avrim Lazar, President and CEO of FPAC. “FPAC member companies and their ENGO counterparts have turned the old paradigm on its head. Together, we have identified a more intelligent, productive way to manage economic and environmental challenges in the Boreal that will reassure global buyers of our products’ sustainability.
“It’s gratifying to see nearly a decade of industry transformation and hard work greening our operations, is culminating in a process that will set a forestry standard that will be the envy of the world.”
Participating forestry companies:
AbitibiBowater, Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, AV Group, Canfor, Cariboo Pulp & Paper, Cascades, DMI, F.F. Soucy, Howe Sound Pulp and Paper, Kruger, LP Canada, Mercer International, Mill & Timber Products, NewPage Port Hawkesbury, Papier Masson, SFK Pulp, Tembec, Tolko Industries, West Fraser Timber, and Weyerhauser.
Participating environmental organizations:
Canadian Boreal Initiative, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Canopy (formerly Markets Initiative), the David Suzuki Foundation, ForestEthics, Greenpeace, Ivey Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and Pew Environment Group.
Vancouver's Metropolitan Fine Printers has partnered with Pacific Carbon Trust, a B.C. Crown Agency, to become fully carbon neutral for all of its printed goods.
The company, led by George Kallas, has a long history of environmental awareness, and is the recipient of several Environmental Printing Awards from PrintAction.
"It was only natural that we move to Carbon Neutrality. From now on, everything printed here at Metropolitan will be 100 percent carbon neutral and clients will have the option to buy carbon credits to offset their paper consumption on a per project basis. We are very excited and happy with this accomplishment," said Kallas in a statement.
The Pacific Carbon Trust has so far partnered with six B.C. companies to provide carbon offsets, including Westcoast Air, the Vancouver Aquarium and BC Hydro's Power Smart program. The agency's aim is to build and promote B.C.'s "low carbon economy." The agency started dealing in offsets last summer.
"Metropolitan is not only setting the bar for the printing industry, but has a unique opportunity to send a message of sustainability to its many clients. We are pleased to be a part of that important message - congratulation Metropolitan on achieving carbon neutrality," said Scott MacDonald, CEO of Pacific Carbon Trust.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Inc., after an 18-month review, has released a new standard for its forest management certification program. The new SFI 2010-2014 standard focuses on the North American market, while, according to SFI, also providing a greater ability to avoid unwanted offshore sources.
The new standard also places more emphasis on social issues surrounding forest management. SFI, for more than a decade, has focused on programs to engage the logging community, for example. Since 1995, more than 117,000 loggers have received training through SFI-supported programs. The SFI program also collaborates with the American Tree Farm System to increase forest certification on family forest lands.
“The new standard's fiber sourcing requirements continue to support family forest owners in protecting threatened and endangered species, promoting reforestation and strengthening best management practices to protect water quality," said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. "In fact, it now explicitly requires this valuable assistance, along with programs to address Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value when working directly with family forest landowners."
More than 180-million acres (73 million hectares) are currently certified to the SFI forest management standard in North America, which, according to the organization, makes it the largest single standard in the world for forest certification.
SFI lists the following objectives as a direct result of its revisions:
• Improve conservation of biodiversity in North America and offshore, and address emerging issues such as such as climate change and bioenergy;
• Strengthen unique SFI fiber sourcing requirements, which broaden the practice of sustainable forestry in North America and avoid unwanted offshore sources;
• Complement SFI activities aimed at avoiding controversial or illegal offshore fibre sources, and embrace Lacey Act amendments to prevent illegal logging;
• Expand requirements for logger training and support for trained loggers and certified logger programs.
Cascades East Angus, a division of Cascades Canada Inc., received certifications from the Forest Stewardship Council for what the company describes as the majority of its unbleached Kraft paper products.
The company achieved both FSC Recycled and FSC Mixed Sources certifications on its different Kraft grades. Cascades East Angus sells products with various levels of post-consumer content, up to 100 percent, while some of the products also carry EcoLogo certification.
Employing over 250 people, the Cascades East Angus mill manufactures more than 60 grades of Kraft paper products, including lawn and leaf bags, envelopes, foodservice bags and paper for the construction industry.
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