Category Archives: Sustainability
It’s Earth Day! Hope You Do Something Green to Celebrate- I am going for a walk in the forest.
- Forests cover one third of the earth’s land and absorb massive amounts of carbon dioxide making them a major instrument in mitigating climate change.
- They absorb airborne impurities and give off oxygen allowing us to breathe clean air.
- Forests protect our watersheds and provide us with clean water.
- They are home to the majority of the world’s terrestrial species, and many people around the world—1.6 billion according to the World Wildlife Fund—depend on forests for their livelihoods.
The wise use of the world’s forests is critical to our survival and a healthy environment. Forests are vital in maintaining life as we know it.
As can be seen on the above Two Sides infographic:
- Wood from well-managed forests is a sustainable resource that is renewable, recyclable and can be planted, grown, harvested and replanted.
- Most paper is made using wood by-products (chips) from the lumber industry and recycled paper rather than whole trees which are typically used for lumber production.
- Forests in the U.S and Canada grow significantly more wood than is harvested each year.
After my I walk in the forest, I am going to plant my American Plum tree that I got at a community Earth Day celebration last weekend. I hope you do something green to celebrate Earth Day too!
2015 is the United Nations International Year of Soils
The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS 2015). In honor of this, here are two soil maps from the Williams & Heintz Map Vault.
Why International Year of Soils?
Soils are a finite natural resource and are nonrenewable on a human time scale. Soils are the foundation for food, animal feed, fuel and natural fiber production, the supply of clean water, nutrient cycling and a range of ecosystem functions. The area of fertile soils covering the world’s surface is limited and increasingly subject to degradation, poor management and loss to urbanization. Increased awareness of the life-supporting functions of soil is called for if this trend is to be reversed and so enable the levels of food production necessary to meet the demands of population levels predicted for 2050. Soil Science Society of America
The FAO/UNESCO Soil Map of the World has published soil maps of continents and large regions at 1:5 000 000 scale. They would look great as print maps! 😉
What if you had never seen a printed map? What if all you only knew about was electronic devices? This tongue in cheek video is an introduction to “a new bio-optical knowledge recording and dissemination system, responding to the trade name: Map.”
Watch the video which helps you to understand “the use of maps.” It is full of great information about map features like:
“Here’s how it works: Map consists of a large window, integrated in a flexible cellulose pad, and compressed hundreds of times, thanks to the FUF technology: folding/unfolding.
“Map” is able of storing millions of information bits, which are then optically scanned, and thus directly transmitted to the brain.
Thanks to a particularly ergonomic navigation interface, based on an intuitive forearm supination and pronation mechanism, pans, zooms and rotations are performed without image degradation, smoothly, with a refresh rate of a few picoseconds.
It has a 100% toutchpad allowing simultaneous use of 10 fingers.
Color stability is perfect, whatever the light conditions.”
In Today’s world of security worries, the Map video playfully reminds us, without a direct comparison to our digital devices, that that people are not likely to steal your map on the subway and:
“Map” respects users’ privacy: impossible to hack, and without any antivirus or firewall, annotations are locally stored and never sent to any server.
And “Map” is unbreakable!
Finally, the video reminds us that a print map is great for decorating, and is a recyclable, sustainable, product.Happy watching! (Link here)
Phil Riebel’s Earth Day Request: Cut the Anti-paper Greenwashing!
Because “save a tree” requests are misleading. All products and services have pros and cons. Paper and electronics can co-exist, and in some cases, like the the mapping industry, when used together, increase function and value.
I am ticked off at my bank, utilities and telecom providers for saying “go green – go paperless.”
I’ve had it with my bank and all the other companies that are bashing paper products to promote electronic billing, statements and other e-services. Yes…I’ve finally lost it.
To my bank and other providers out there who are doing this:
You are damaging my livelihood and you are misleading people with greenwashing so that you can cut costs. Please be honest.
I am your customer and I have spent the last 25 years of my life working in the forest and paper industry. This industry has allowed me to lead a good life, raise a great family together with my wife, and provide a good education for my children.
I buy your products and services: banking…
View original post 575 more words
Williams & Heintz Map Corporation Joins Two Sides to Help Promote the Sustainability of Print and Paper
Williams & Heintz Map Corp. is now a member of Two Sides U.S., a 501(c)6 non-profit organization that promotes the responsible production, use and unique sustainable features of print and paper.
People depend on paper maps for many purposes, not the least of which is to get them where they need to go. We want everyone to understand the renewable, recyclable nature of print on paper and have the confidence that a printed map is not only very useful, but also highly sustainable. Williams and Heintz is pleased to join Two Sides in getting that message out and in promoting the medium’s responsible production and use.
We know the importance of building and maintaining a cleaner environment and aim to contribute in as many ways as possible throughout our map production, map printing, and map folding.
Two sides U. S. has an excellent blog, where Phil Riebel, President and COO, Two Sides U.S., Inc. does a great job examining the issues and providing factual, accurate, and science-based information on the sustainability of print and paper.
Following a discussion with Holly about Google’s “Go Paperless in 2013”campaign, I decided to determine our own office paper costs, to see what the potential benefit would be, for a small business such as ourselves, to attempt such a feat. It would also help me see if we would be saving the environment to do so. Mind you, almost all of what used to be paper only is already digital, but rather than an either/or scenario, it has evolved in our plant to frequently be both, as both have attributes that make them more desirable for given situations.
Copy paper usage for 2012:
- 3 hole punched (used for reports) 13,400 sheets @ $7.80 per thousand – $104.52
- Plain (used for copies, job instructions, invoices, shipping receipts, etc.,) 28,000 sheets @ $6.60 per thousand – $184.80
Total yearly paper cost of $289.32. Along with this would be toner cost, but it still represents a fraction of the cost to implement and maintain over time a system of devices, software and training for personnel to create a paperless workplace.
E-waste and Errors
The idea of providing terminals and software for every work station, that normally would have a written job instruction to follow or a written distribution list, is just absurd. What an incredibly expensive and inefficient way to work, not to mention the endless scope for error as suddenly everyone in the plant is responsible for keying in important information. At least with paper everything we use gets recycled. I cringe at the amount of e-waste we generate as it is. The idea of doubling the size of that useless pile of devices is not a cheerful thought.
Further, for us to go paperless our customers and suppliers would have go paperless as well. Some of our largest customers pay electronically but must be invoiced with hard copy including shipping receipts from complex distributions.
Printed Paper is a Renewable Resource
Most importantly, I see that most of the wood pulp used in making paper in North America is grown on small family owned parcels of land. If the owners of those parcels can no longer occasionally and selectively log their woods, with responsible forestry practices, they will have no income to offset their property taxes. In the long run that means fewer forests and more strip malls. If we want to increase the size of the forests, then we need to increase the value of and demand for wood products. Unlike electronic devices, trees are a renewable resource. Last I heard that was a desirable trait.
So is the Google campaign just blatant “greenwashing”? Given that there is no financial benefit and the alleged environmental benefits are dubious at best, I would have to say yes. I’m reminded of the Frank Zappa album: “We’re Only In It For The Money”. With nothing more tangible, all they have to sell is smoke and mirrors.
Without a doubt the Google consortium have their heads in the proverbial/digital cloud and I think I have a pretty good idea of what kind of smoke that cloud is comprised of. I only hope they’re not using the mirrors as well.
I have taken the time out to do something creative, a release from the stress of the season and political climate: to make something beautiful in response to the sorrowful news in Connecticut.
My wish is to share some joy with you.
Williams & Heintz Map Corp. is decorated for the season with giant paper snowflakes made of maps. I have made a “how to” video, so you and your family can fold six sided snowflakes too. Don’t forget to recycle your paper scraps.
Below is the invitation from the Connecticut PTSA, and the PTA and community leaders in Newtown and Sandy Hook Elementary. to make snowflakes, to create a winter wonderland for when the Sandy Hook children return to school in January.
Snowflakes for Sandy Hook: Please help the students of Sandy Hook have a winter wonderland at their new school! Get Creative!! No two snowflakes are alike. Make and send snowflakes to Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT 06514, by January 12, 2013.From the Connecticut PTSA.
Update: They have enough snowflakes and cannot accept any more.
Thank you to everyone who has donated snowflakes on behalf of the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and the community of Newtown. We know that each snowflake represents the emotional outreach of the person making it. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity from around not just the country but the world. At this time, we have enough beautiful snowflakes to blanket the community of Newtown. Therefore, with regret we must close the snowflake project to further donations. Please take this idea and your snowflakes and create a winter wonderland of your own in your community as a show of solidarity for our Newtown families. Please share your winter wonderlands with us. We would love to share your pictures with the families of Sandy Hook and all the other participating communities. Also please read the message below from the PTA of the Sandy Hook Elementary School for another wonderful way to help. Thank you for your heartfelt and amazing creations and for all of your magnificent notes and kind wishes for the Newtown community.
Williams & Heintz Map Corporation featured in Printing & Graphics Association MidAtlantic (PGAMA), Sustainability Spotlight
Mark and I are pleased to announce that Williams & Heintz Map Corporation has been featured in Printing & Graphics Association MidAtlantic (PGAMA), Sustainability Spotlight. PGAMA is the leading trade association serving the visual communications industry in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Southern Pennsylvania. PGAMA represents over 1200 firms across the region. The spotlights focus on projects implemented by a member company reducing the environmental impact of their processes, or supporting the sustainability of their company. The spotlights are structured in the form of case studies so that the membership at large could adopt a similar project at their company.
Here is the Story from the Spring/Summer 2012 Print Matters:
Sustainability Spotlight: Williams & Heintz Map Corporation
PGAMA’s Sustainability Spotlight focuses on members’ environmental efforts. In the spotlight this issue is member firm Williams & Heintz. Located in Capitol Heights, MD, the company was established in 1921, and creates custom maps, provides map printing and folding services, offers GIs cartography, and more. President and chief stockholder Holly Heintz Budd is an environmental ecologist with a B.S. in environmental studies from Rutgers University and an MBA from trinity D.C. University. As a result of her leadership in this area, the firm has employed materials and practices that are as kind to the environment as possible. Holly says, “Williams & Heintz Map Corporation is a sustainable printer whose ‘green’ initiatives are not just a marketing tool. At Williams & Heintz, we strive to minimize the impact of the environmentally and energy intensive process that is printing; as well as to maintain a good, healthy workplace.” Following is the William & Heintz sustainability story.
Part 1: Getting started
Mark Budd, the company’s secretary/treasurer, says Williams & Heintz (W&H) has always implemented environmental activities, and got started for the same reason many businesses do: to reduce expenses. It began with simple measures, such as recycling aluminum plates and paper. Now, however, W&H incorporates many more sustainable practices as part of their business operations, and sees it as one of the company’s core values.
W&H made it a goal to stay on par with the environmental standards for California (the state with the strictest requirements in the nation), in order to do business with customers there. By doing so, the business has always kept one (or two, or three!) steps ahead of local requirements.
W&H became one of the first printing firms to completely eliminate alcohol in both pressroom and finishing operations in the 1990’s. The dampening systems on their presses are alcohol free. Alcohol-based fountain solution was eliminated and replaced by substitutes. In addition, their press washes are non-petroleum and water miscible.
W&H also switched to vegetable based inks rather than soy inks. Soy inks are made from cheaper, non-edible grade soy oil imported from South America, and choosing vegetable based inks as their standard ink is a deliberate effort by the company to not add to demand for soy oil from areas currently occupied by rainforests. In addition to being beneficial on the harvest end of production, vegetable based inks dry by oxidation, unlike heat- set inks used on web presses, which require the use of propane, natural gas, or some type of electric-powered oven. These drying methods discharge large amounts of particulate matter into the atmosphere (unless scrubbers are used.)
Part 2: the Impact
W&H has noticed a positive impact from their sustainable practices across the board, from boosting the company’s bottom line, improving staff involvement and morale, and aiding with recruiting; to establishing loyalty among customers and receiving a welcome from within the community.
Holly says that customers have always appreciated their sustainable efforts, and has found that it continues to give W&H a competitive edge. Mark adds that today’s customers are more educated about environmental practices, and not only appreciate them, but expect them.
As far as impact on the staff, Holly says W&H sustainable practices are a source of pride for employees. Mark notes that as the company implemented new practices, employees HAD to get involved. But once committed, they contributed innovative ideas and energy to various programs. He also noticed that employee morale improved as they became more engaged and attributes that to the fact that, “…doing things better makes everybody feel better.” those efforts further instilled company pride and loyalty. The average W&H employee has been with the firm for 20 years.
When it comes to benefits for the community, Holly says that W&H is a welcomed member since they are not adding things to local landfills. What’s more, since their sustainable efforts have helped to increase profits, the company has been able keep hiring workers…and retaining them. That is an obvious perk in any area.
Part 3: Certifications
W&H has three certifications already:
- ISO 14001:2004 certification
- ISO 9001:2008 certification
- RACG Group Certification with FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council)
The company is currently working on G7 certification, and an effective color management plan to reduce waste of ink, paper, and time.
Mark Budd says that the game plan for W&H certifications is to create sustainable green print. They have followed a series of steppingstones as they continue to work towards that goal.
Holly says the first certification was ISO 9001:2008, a quality certification. They saw immediate benefits, but as they got into the practice of documenting how they did things, it brought to light other areas that needed to be changed. That led to the ISO 14001:2004 certification, an environmental management system, and subsequent certifications.
Mark says the upfront costs of certification are initially just labor, and audit fees are not that extreme. But, the investment for W&H was well worth it since they began printing on plastic. He notes that the process they had been using previously, for printing on paper, simply needed to be changed in order for the company to maintain the same level of quality for which they are known.
Holly says environmental stewardship “…is a passion” for her, and feels that PGAMA has given her a forum to bring her passion to her work. “Being part of PGAMA has been a wonderful resource for W&H environmental efforts because it gives industry executives the chance to share with and learn from each other about what sustainable practices they are each undertaking. She points to the Association’s partnership with EnerNOC as an example. “PGAMA’s collaboration with EnerNOC has been so beneficial for W&H, and we learned about it as a direct result of our membership. The program monitors energy usage, and has been an awesome tool to help us save money as well as energy!
Read more our ISO certified printing here.
Read more about Williams & Heintz’ Environmental Practices here.
Read my Environmental Policy Letter, (pdf) here.
Last winter, Williams & Heintz participated for the first time, in Calvert Hospice Festival of Trees We got to decorate one of over 60 trees, which were displayed over Thanksgiving weekend, and then went to homes and businesses. This year there will be a new Gingerbread House Competition, in addition to Breakfast with Santa. The vendors at the festival provide a great start to the holiday shopping season too. All proceeds from the Festival of Trees go to support the Burnett-Calvert Calvert Hospice House. The House is available to anyone in Calvert County living their final days for whom care at home is not an option.
Our decorations were made of re-purposed nautical charts. It makes me happy to get creative and make pretty things out of old stuff, so I derive great satisfaction making decorations out of reused maps. We made paper snowflakes, angels, paper map beads, and origami boats.
We publish updated Maryland and Virginia Cruising Guides every two years because of the hundreds of changes to information on buoys, water depth, tidal currents, marinas, ramps and channels. Whenever we have leftover books from a prior printing, they get recycled. As nice as recycling is, making the old charts into something new and beautiful, for a good cause, is far more fun.
UPDATE: See pictures and read about the 2012 hospice tree here.
Save the trees, don’t print. I hate seeing this message at the bottom of documents on my computer. It is an easy thing for marketers to say, to make them, and you, feel good about saving time and money with electronic communication. This falsehood carries over in to all forms of print, not just those emails, making everyone believe that paper is bad. Printing is bad. But is it really? Would you say, “Save the tomatoes, don’t eat pizza”? It is a fallacy that electronic media is more environmentally friendly than print.
Paper is a sustainable way to communicate. Print Grows Trees provides some facts about the environmental benefits of printed paper:
Printed paper is made from a renewable resource. Trees can be replanted in places where they were harvested and also in places where they don’t currently grow. As much as we love our electronic devices, they don’t grow on trees or anywhere else.
54.7 percent of all paper in the U.S. is currently recycled.
Printed paper can be recycled, recovered and reused. The systems that are in place for these processes are widely available and have become more efficient and sophisticated over the many years they have existed. In contrast, electronic devices are much more complex and expensive to recycle, recover and reuse due to the toxic nature of many of their components, and current systems are still in the early stages.
The average data center serving our electronic devices consumes the same amount of energy as 25,000 households.
The paper we use to print in the U.S. is made from more than 60 percent biofuels. Paper mills use what’s left over from the manufacturing process to generate bioenergy on site. This serves to:
- Divert waste from landfills
- Decrease the overall carbon footprint of paper products
- Decrease dependency on coal and other fossil fuels
- Help meet green energy goals in America
By contrast, server farms that power computers have become the fastest growing users of fossil fuel in the world, and the amount of energy they use is doubling every year.
I, along with printers all around the world, was very surprised to find that Toshiba America Business Solutions has announced that Oct. 23, 2012, will be “National No-Print Day.” Toshiba wants to “raise awareness of the impact printing has on our planet” and of “the role of paper in the workplace. The European organization, Two Sides, has challenged Toshiba’s ‘No Print Day’ as Greenwash .
“Printing is the only medium with a one-time carbon footprint—all other media require energy every time they are viewed. Electronic devices, which Toshiba produces, for example, require the mining and refining of dozens of minerals and metals, as well as the use of plastics, hydrocarbon solvents, and other non-renewable resources. Moreover 50–80 percent of electronic waste collected for recycling is shipped overseas and is often unsafely dismantled. For Toshiba to call for such a ban on printing is hypocritical to say the least.”
I have a previous Blog post about my experience with printed maps versus electronics. Surprise: Print and electronics work together to provide more value. Why would Toshiba, who makes printers, and fax machines completely loose sight of this?