St Austell becomes carbon balanced printer

Richard Stuart-Turner
Thursday, November 5, 2020

St Austell Printing Company (SAPC) has become an official Carbon Balanced Printer.

SAPC's premises feature one of Cornwall’s largest roof-based solar panel arrays​
SAPC's premises feature one of Cornwall’s largest roof-based solar panel arrays​

Part of a scheme operated by the World Land Trust, the certification is attained by offsetting the company’s entire operational carbon footprint, through the purchase of endangered tropical habitat.

Cornwall-based SAPC said the investment in securing the certification, which it officially attained on 1 November, will enable it to broaden its commitment to sustainability.

SAPC marketing and communications manager Matt Bunt told Printweek: “We basically needed to have a look at our entire carbon footprint and submit it to them. They then had it third-party verified and that looked at all of our energy usage, transportation and everything like that.

“They then came up with the carbon footprint of our business and by using figures from the World Land Trust equated that to how much acres of endangered forest would account for that amount of carbon. They then came up with a cost per acre for us to purchase it.

“They measured it over a 12-month period, from September 2019 to September 2020, and during that period we supplied updated energy figures on a regular basis.”

SAPC said that in the first year it has committed to protecting and restoring 26 acres of tropical forest in Khe Nuoc Trong, one of the best remaining examples of lowland forest in the Annamite Mountains of Central Vietnam. This equates to the equivalent of around 15 football pitches.

In 2013 SAPC moved into a purpose-built sustainable factory which features rainwater harvesting and natural ventilation.

The company's other sustainability investments have included new energy efficient presses and installing one of Cornwall’s largest roof-based solar panel arrays while last year it was crowned Environmental Company of the Year at the Printweek Awards.

Bunt said sustainability has been more important than ever for its clients this year.

“We've found that lockdown has maybe allowed clients to refocus what is important to them in their personal and professional lives, and also to get a new appreciation for how important the environment around us is.

“It's maybe also given a few clients a bit of breathing space to step back and think about how they can change what they're doing and improve things. We have a lot of clients who already come to us because of our environmental credentials and I would say that has become stronger and that we are having far more positive conversations about the environment at the moment than we ever have before.”

He added: “We're always reinvesting, [having this certification is] about sustaining our position as the go-to printing company for sustainable printing, here in the South West in particular.

“Already in the space of four or five days we've had some really good conversations with new clients based on the carbon balancing initiative. They like the idea of being able to piggyback on our environmental credentials by showing their own corporate social responsibility and responsibility for the environment by using us and being able to put the Carbon Balanced Printer logo on their print as well.”

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