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Printer soars to sustainability award

Thursday, 11 June 2015
By Print21

Soar Printing plant, Mt Eden, Auckland

An Auckland printer has won a sustainability award after cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% and saving more than $50,000 in a year.

Soar Printing, a family-owned business founded in 1929, won the “Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions” category at the NZ Ministry of the Environment and the Department of Conservation’s 2015 Green Ribbon Awards.

“As a third generation family business that has been operating for nearly one hundred years, we firmly believe that it is the responsibility of each generation to leave things in better shape for the generation that follows,” said Jenny Carter, Soar Printing Finance Director and the granddaughter of founder Fred Soar.

“Sustainability has been a big focus for our business for a long time and we have achieved significant improvements in other areas as well. Our fuel consumption and waste to landfill have both reduced by over 40%, relative to our turnover and number of staff, since 2009,” said Carter. “In 2009, the company set a target of a 15% reduction in reported carbon emissions by 2015 but instead achieved a reduction of 30%.”

The process of achieving carbon neutrality was not as difficult as one might think and was good for business, saving the company more than $50,000 a year, she said.

Soar achieved the savings through a range of solutions such as switching to fuel efficient vehicles, conducting an energy audit to improve energy efficiency and changing roofing materials to improve natural lighting. The company also ran staff competitions that encouraged recycling and fuel efficient driving.

The digital and offset specialist is also the first printing company in New Zealand to produce carboNZero certified print products and services to the Publically Available Specification (PAS) 2050 standard, which assesses greenhouse gas emissions associated with goods and services.

“It does not necessarily require large capital investments,” said Carter.  “It saves valuable resources and it can in fact reduce overheads and save money, even after paying for carbon credits to offset the emissions which cannot be avoided. Based on our experience, I would encourage other businesses to go down the carbon neutral path.”

(l to r) Vicky Soar, Jenny Carter and Fred Soar.

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