By Lou Dzierzak
The Oscar-winning documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” has brought environmental issues into the forefront of international debate. Behind the scenes, company by company, and project by project, the printing industry is addressing its impact on Mother Nature.
Juan Hernandez, sales manager for Dickson Coatings USA, offers, “In the last few years the world has seen some drastic changes in weather. We’ve decided to do something about that. We have a very proactive approach and commitment to respecting the environment and the people’s safety.”
Thomas Poetz, chairman of 3P InkJet Textiles points out, “The consequences of climate change are noticeable, and the people get more and more sensitive to environmental problems. Big companies have implemented principles of environmental friendliness in their corporate philosophy—they promise to take care about the environment and reduce their environmental footprint.”
Far from marketing copy spin, environmental stewardship is influencing corporate business philosophies. Poetz says, “We choose green for the company logo to show that our ambition is to act in accordance with our environment; the color does reflect what we do: 3P InkJet Textiles Corp.—a green company offering green products.”
Dawson Winch, global brand manager for DuPont Sorona says, “People everywhere are having a greater appreciation of environmental products. From a fabric perspective we are seeing interest from well-known brands to niche players. It’s been across the board and overwhelming.”
Hernandez agrees. “Five years ago, no one wanted to hear anything about environmentally friendly [products]. Now we have seen a lot of changes. Many retailers have environmentally friendly policies, and print shop owners are starting to request information about environmentally friendly products.”
Dickson’s Evergreen fabrics are manufactured from PVC-free resins, and contain no heavy metals, fungicides, or phthalates. “Getting rid of the heavy metals and chemicals and replacing them with products that are environmentally friendly was a major challenge,” Hernandez explains.
As a result of DuPont’s research and development efforts, the Sorona product line is 37 percent renewably sourced by weight. Concern for the environment must be weighed against meeting customer’s needs. “If you offer a product that doesn’t perform but is environmentally friendly it may not be adopted,” Winch says. “ When you can offer the same or better than performance in addition to the environmentally smart product I think you have a winner.”