Sustainable Bindery

We Are Environmentally Responsible – Our Clean Print Program

Environmental Challenges for a Sustainable Bindery

A bindery has unique challenges. You may be surprised at how much paper, plastic and metal strapping, plastic skid wrapping and containers that once held chemistries and glues flow through a bindery. Because Pacific Bindery is at the end of the printing production chain it often ends up with the printers’ well-used wooden skids. And due to Pacific Bindery’s large size, the scale of its environmental challenge to focus on being a sustainable bindery is also large.

A Sustainable Bindery’s Business Case for Environmental Protection

Pacific Bindery Services Ltd. is committed to reducing the environmental impacts of its business activities. Management of the earth’s resources and a commitment to the health of the planet is everyone’s responsibility, but this responsibility is even more important in business, where the opportunity exists for the greatest environmental impact. Pacific Bindery has adopted environmental policies to help meet its commitments. Environmental protection is important to Pacific Bindery because:

  1. Minimizing waste makes good economic sense by saving money on materials and reducing waste disposal costs.
  2. Pollution prevention can improve Pacific Bindery’s business reputation with its stakeholders because this commitment to prevention demonstrates that it is an environmentally responsible company.
  3. By demonstrating its commitment to environmental stewardship, Pacific Bindery maintains compliance with environmental laws.
  4. Everyone must take an active role in protecting the planet and its resources for future generations.

Recycling Waste Paper

Pacific Bindery employs an elaborate system of vacuum tubes to take away paper trimmings from the perfect binders and stitchers. A sophisticated automated baling system compresses the paper waste into bales which are then loaded into waiting trailers. Trim waste from the cutter and folders are collected in metal containers and picked up by a recycler.

Over the course of a year, 1100 tons of paper are recycled, reducing waste sent to landfills. This has a significant positive environmental impact.

Reducing & Recycling Plastic Containers

Pacific Bindery uses a number of glues: remoistenable glue, traditional hot melt, polyurethane reactive and other types of adhesives that come in containers. Pacific Bindery has coordinated recycling of these containers with its glue suppliers. Pacific Bindery is also currently working with an aggregator to remove plastic containers that once contained chemistries such as solvent.

With the doubling of Pacific Bindery’s production capacity over the past few years, the company has implemented environmental initiatives to assist in improving operational efficiency and financial performance.

Reducing Solvent and Rag Use

You wouldn’t think a bindery would need to use solvent however it is regularly used to clean rollers on the folders and other machines due to the build-up of ink and other chemicals that are offset from the printed sheet. To reduce the amount of solvent and shop towels used, Pacific Bindery has implemented a multi-step approach.

Recycling Strapping & Wrapping

Pacific Bindery also recycles a large volume of plastic and metal strapping, shrink-wrap plastic and wooden skids. This amounts to 1,000 cubic yards of landfill freed up for other garbage.

Every Bit Counts

Pacific Bindery Services uses a significant amount of compressed air to operate its binding machines and vacuum/baling system. This requires compressors, which in turn use filters and lubricating oil. Pacific Bindery not only recycles the filters but also filters the resulting waste oil-water mix condensate. Recovered oil is sent to recyclers and the filtered water is used to water the lawn and for other uses.

Continuous Environmental Improvement

Pacific Bindery Services has established and maintains a program of continuous environmental improvement and a target of zero spills of pollutants. By reducing the volume of its discharge of air, liquid and solid waste, Pacific Bindery not only reduces the pressure on landfills and reduces costs, but also helps to protect the air we breathe and the life in our waterways.

Pacific Bindery’s current environmental initiatives returns approximately $30,000 annually to the bottom line.

The CleanPrint BC Process – PBS as a Sustainable Bindery

Pacific Bindery Services Ltd. has completed the CleanPrint BC Environmental Management Plan (EMP) program and has earned the right to proudly display the CleanPrint BC logo. The process includes an internal audit by company staff. This is a process that begins very much as an awareness and educational journey into the processes and products used in the shop. Documentation is a key component of this step.

As a result of the program, participants complete a comprehensive study of all regulations, WHMIS sheets and emergency contact information. Best Environmental Practices are implemented. The result is a plan that is accessible to all staff. For many companies the EMP process is the catalyst to completing important processes that lead to attainment of Environmental, Operational, Health & Safety and Financial goals.

About CleanPrint BC

CleanPrint BC is a non-profit partnership comprising members of the printing industry, including printers and suppliers, as well as representatives from municipal, provincial, and federal governments. The ultimate goal of CleanPrint BC is to support improved environmental management practices in BC’s flexography, screen and offset printing operations. The result is improved protection of the environment and human health while maintaining economic competitiveness. The CleanPrint BC strategy is to develop and provide printers with the tools they need to prepare and support site-specific environmental management plans. Printers, which complete the Environmental Management Plan (EMP), also follow the Best Management Practices (BMP) developed by CleanPrint BC.

Pacific Bindery Services Ltd. pledges to protect the environment by supporting CleanPrint BC initiatives, following best management practices and promoting the environmental management system as a tool to better control waste and pollution.