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Shepparton business praised for green work

Willprint Shepparton scored their second gold medal for sustainable green printing at a recent industry awards night.

RIAHN SMITH November 29, 2012 11:22am

Willprint production manager Marshall Henderson, owner-director Ian Almond and administration worker Bree Harding with their medal.

A local printing company has been recognised for it’s commitment to the environment at an industry awards night.

Willprint Shepparton took out the gold medal in the sustainable green print category at the annual Printing Industry Craftsmanship Awards for the second time in two years.

This follows its third year of Level II Sustainable Green Print accreditation earlier this year.

Willprint co-owner Ian Almond said he was proud of the company’s effort and was looking forward to ‘‘a repeat next year’’.

Mr Almond said the company had made ‘‘huge adjustments’’ to their practices, including updating their equipment with green-friendly alternatives.

‘‘A lot of people think recycling and green printing as just using recycled paper, but it’s just so much more than that,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve cut down our power use, water use, (our) chemical use has virtually gone... to almost nil, (which is) about an 80 to 90 per cent reduction.’’

Production manager Marshall Henderson estimates the factory’s annual waste now sits at about one quarter of that created by the average, four-person household.

‘‘We did three cubic metres of landfill for the entire year,’’ Mr Henderson said.

‘‘A normal household with four people does 12, so (for us), a full production factory which basically just generates paper... it’s pretty remarkable.’’

Mr Henderson said there was ‘‘a lot of smoke and mirrors when it comes to being environmentally friendly’’.

‘‘There is a point of difference between saying you’re environmentally responsible (and) actually proving it,’’ he said.

‘‘You can say you’ve got recycled paper... but if you’re tipping chemicals down the drain while you’re printing on recycled paper, then it doesn’t make much sense.

‘‘The big thing for us doing it is actually getting accredited for something were doing.

‘‘Because it’s accredited we’re actually being held accountable for what we’re claiming to be.’’

It has not been an easy process for Willprint — the business must be able to prove the effectiveness of its green measures, including records of water bills and when and how bins are emptied — or a cheap one.

‘‘(The financial outlay) has been very substantial actually, especially for some of the equipment that we’ve bought,’’ Mr Almond said.

‘‘We won’t get our investment back in a hurry, that’s for sure.’’

But Mr Almond is adamant that the benefits, for his business and the environment, make the cost worthwhile.

‘‘Lets face it, we do have to look after it, otherwise it’s going to be a bit of a mess.

‘‘We’re looking to be responsible in that area and do our little bit to try and save it.

‘‘Every little bit helps.’’

This story first appeared in the November 29 edition of SN Weekly.

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