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Seacourt: Zero Waste Waterless Printer

07 Jun 2012 12:13 PM | Deleted user

Over the last 14 years, Seacourt has gone from a standard dirty printer to become the first closed loop, zero wastefirm in our industry” says Gareth Dinnage, Managing Director of Environmental firm, who walks us through his company’s journey.

Seacourt is now known for its radical approach to the environment, they were one of the very first printing firms to achieve EMAS certification in 1999, an accreditation renowned for its high standards and stringent demands.  They have been recognized as “one of the top three leading environmental printers in the world” by a worldwide printing association, and we have gone on to win the coveted Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development.

Since then the drive has been to reduce, reuse and recycle, which has all resulted in zero waste to landfill.  But what does this mean exactly?  At Seacourt there are no waste bins. Throughout the whole of the printing process,  there is not one waste stream which is not being re-used or recycled in some way.  Given the sheer volume of resources used by the company, for example 273 tonnes of annual paper usage, evidence that it’s no mean feat.

Jim Dinnage, Chairman of Seacout says they have worked towards zero-waste for years now, not believing that it was actually achievable.  Each year, they were able to make some kind of progress until about 6 months ago when they seemed to hit a brick wall.

The brick wall Jim refers to consisted of silver foil-backed paper and staff canteen waste.  But when a company was found who would take on the silver foil-backed paper to burn (partly fuelled by the burning of the paper) to produce aluminium powder used in the metal castings industry, the matter of the canteen waste was sorted in the purchase of 4 wormeries, and the deal was done!

A family-owned company, Seacourt has embraced environmental challenges and they are all passionate about what they do.  Although the company will soon be celebrating its 65th birthday, our environmental journey began 14 years ago when Jim heard about new waterless printing technology, together with the facts and figures about the print industry, how it was the fifth largest and the 6th worst polluting worldwide.  This led to a complete turn-around in their strategy and a new waterless lithographic printing press was ordered.

Since then Seacourt has come a long way.  Run on 100% renewable energy and completely carbon neutral to boot.  Jim offers advice for other companies wanting to follow a similar route, “It’s about being passionate and believing in what you do than simply ticking boxes.  Sustainability should be seen as a cornerstone, providing the foundation of all decision-making”

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