* Scope 1 & 2 of the Green House Protocol (GHG)
Like many businesses, our introduction to responsible and ethical printing practices began with a switch to eco-friendly practices. Out went solvent-based inks and in came water-based ones. And here’s the irony. The quality of the print didn’t drop, what the printing industry was afraid of and the reason it dug its heels in was avoided thanks to huge advancements in ink technology.
The terms net zero and carbon neutral are frequently intertwined, and in general terms there is only a small difference between the two terms. Carbon neutral relates solely to CO2 emissions and creating a situation where operating practices and offsetting create an outcome where there is a zero-sum balance between CO2 released and CO2 captured. Net zero relates to all greenhouse gases, not just CO2. In the printing industry, those other greenhouse gases were primarily released through the use of solvent-based inks.
There is a myth behind net zero targets for many businesses, and that is that it will require considerable operational changes. Here at the Entwistle Group, we tend not to subscribe to that way of thinking, but maybe because we have been committed to ‘best practices’ for many years when it comes to environmental friendliness. To us, the goal of net zero printing is not a giant leap but more a continuation along the same path.
When we began down the eco-friendly route, we didn’t just look at materials, we looked at the way we operated our business. Recycling became the order of the day, and today we recycle 85% of all the packaging and waste at our premises. As witnessed at our main printing facility in Openshaw, Manchester, renewable energy has also become a key focal point. There, we aim to use only renewable energy for all print operations, either generated ourselves, or supplied by an alternative renewable energy source. Combined with motion sensors and LED lighting, plus heat generated through extensive use of glass, and retained through the use of highly effective insulation, we are not just an eco-friendly printer, we are also heading towards being carbon neutral as a consequence, not just an objective.
Sustainability is also a key element of Entwistle Group’s commitment to the planet. Going beyond recycled and recyclable products, the largest sustainable element of the printing industry is the paper that is used or, more to the point, the wood that is used to make the paper. We are proud to say that 100% of the paper and card that we use comes from sustainably managed woodland. In addition, we ensure that the paper is manufactured in mills that are located close to the woodland that is FSC® certified, to once again not just consider sustainability, but the overall carbon footprint of our business.
In today’s environmentally conscious society, it is almost as though ‘eco-friendly’, ‘sustainability’ and ‘carbon zero’ are the Holy Trinity of any business. Here at the Entwistle Group, we are already a net-zero printing company based on Scope 1 and Scope 2 of the GHG Protocol which looks at the amount of CO2 produced by companies based on their consumption of electricity, gas and fuel. We want to go much further and be net zero based on Scope 3 of the GHG Protocol by 2024 which factors in supply chain emmissions, employee commuting, waste disposal and even investments.
Now, there is a ‘shortcut’ to carbon neutrality that many businesses are using, which is called carbon offsetting. In simple terms, you either buy carbon credits, or plant trees as a means of ‘offsetting’ the volume of CO2 your business creates. To us, that is a half-way measure and doesn’t really address the problem of CO2 emissions. At the Entwistle group, our aim is to get as close as is humanly possible to running a carbon-neutral and net-zero printing business and only as a last measure will we turn to offsetting to achieve these goals. In the meantime phasing out our diesel-run vehicles for an electric-powered fleet is another goal for 2024, while currently the majority of our printing machines were manufactured under net-zero conditions.
We will admit that we put considerable effort and energy into being an environmentally conscious printing business, and aside from knowing that we are doing our best for the planet, we won’t deny that it is extremely rewarding when our efforts are recognised.
Today we hold Environmental Management System ISO 14001:2015 accreditation, which is the industry gold standard.
There is a lot of corporate green washing today but we believe Entwistle Group will be the first net zero printing company in the UK. If you would like to know more please call us on 0161 839 0661.