Growing a Greener Business
We belong to a fortunate generation; one which has acquired extensive knowledge of what makes us who we are and what forms the planet we live on. Industrialisation has led to strong global economies, thriving urban environments, and new heights of technological advancement. A heavy environmental price has sadly been paid, however, for the improvements we see today.
Thankfully we are witnessing a far more concerted effort than ever before from businesses and individuals alike to reduce the carbon footprint that we continue to create. Many companies are now investing in ‘greentech’ and adopting a corporate social responsibility business model.
Green is the New Black - Rethink Your Ink
The UK alone consumes around 65 million ink cartridges every year and the majority of non-domestic inkjet printers use inks containing strong solvents, possessing a high volume of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) which when evaporated into the air are known to contribute to global warming. There are, however, other options on the market which are markedly less harmful to our atmosphere. Fo example mimaki ink, which is eco-solvent, and aqueous inks are a very cost-effective solution to help diminish the potential health and environmental risks associated with traditional solvent inks.
The “Eco” in Eco-solvent in fact stands for “economical”, because on top of its greatly reduced VOC content (as low as 4 percent compared to the 25 to 40 percent of solvent inks) its is also a low-cost alternative. This ink type is far less likely to clog printers, vastly improving their lifespan. Due to the reduced solvent content, the ink dries faster but still provides a wide colour gamut, boasting great scratch and fade resistance which makes it perfect for outdoor applications such as signage and vehicle graphics.
Food for Thought, and for Fuel!
There’s a good reason that the government provides us those little black bins into which many of us dispose of our toast crusts and banana skins. These degrading leftovers are ultimately placed into an anaerobic digester which is used to create a mixture of CO2 and methane, coined 'biogas,' which can be fed into the public grid and used to provide heating for homes and businesses. Most of this type of energy is generated from large-scale systems installed on farms or factories; however more compact versions are becoming increasingly popular, predominantly in the industry of food and drink. Restaurant and supermarket businesses are leading the way in what hopes to be a future of small scale self-produced clean energy.
It’s not just the consumers who prefer to give a little extra money to greener businesses. Most governments offer financially rewarding incentive schemes for companies who invest in eco or renewable energy technologies. The UK for example started a Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in 2011 which pays quarterly dividends for a twenty year period to companies who utilise sustainable energy sources for their heating such solar thermal and heat pumps.