How did you branch into printing?
As printing operations became more computerized, our well-established knowledge of digital prepress gave us a major head start when we decided to venture into offset printing. Computer-to-plate technology, color-management systems, and digital press controls allowed us to shape an offset printing operation that was far less wasteful than traditional shops.
What made you decide to offer printing online?
Setting up eCommerce was a natural extension of some of the web-based services we'd already offered as a prepress company. By allowing customers to get pricing, place and track orders, and set up deliveries and shipments anytime they wished, we realized we had seized upon a powerful and efficient new way to conduct business.
How did you set about becoming a green printer?
We decided first to focus on paper. Paper manufacturing has traditionally been one of the most environmentally harmful industries in the world, destroying natural resources and churning out countless tons of waste. When we discovered New Leaf Paper, we knew we'd found a like-minded partner, and in 2005, we rolled out greenerprinter.com, the first online printing site to offer recycled paper exclusively.
The San Francisco Bay Area was really the birthplace of the concept of "green business", and is home to the Bay Area Green Business Program, one of the most comprehensive green business certifications in the country. The process of meeting (and in many cases exceeding) those standards required that we change fundamental practices and invest even more in newer, cleaner technologies.
We also offset our carbon footprint by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), both for our internal energy consumption, and for the carbon footprint of our shipments. We entered into a partnership with Sterling Planet to purchase RECs which are invested in sustainable energy sources such as wind and solar, and we chose Carbonfund.org for the purchase of carbon credits to offset our shipping. Through RECs, we are able to essentially negate our carbon footprint.
Plus, in 2007, we earned our certification for being in compliance with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) "Chain of Custody". Adhering to FSC chain of custody processes ensures that paper can be traced from its final manufactured product all the way back to the sustainably managed forests (or processes) from which the raw materials were harvested.
How do you do all of this and still offer such low prices and great quality?
We've always stuck to one essential goal: Offer eco-friendly printing, but do it without sacrificing quality or value. To achieve this, we've invested in technologies that are not only cleaner but more efficient, meaning we absorb fewer costs for makeready and reprints. Plus, by offering recycled papers exclusively, and focusing on only the most popular stocks, we are able to purchase paper in discounted bulk quantities, a savings which is passed on to the customer. Most customers are pleasantly surprised to discover that, in addition to being eco-friendly, our printing is usually better than the competition's, while still being affordable.
We look forward to having you join us.
For more information about greening your printing, and for the latest updates on what's happening at Greenerprinter, please visit our blog.