A 30-Year Legacy of Environmental Commitment
Started as Tulip Graphics in 1987, with facilities in both Berkeley and San Francisco, we were one of the early adopters of digital color imaging technologies in the country, and were one of the first digital color prepress houses in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Prior to the desktop publishing revolution, prepress operations were largely inefficient, wasteful, time consuming and produced toxic byproducts. The new digital prepress technologies we began investing in gave us our first taste of how technology can be used, not only to increase efficiency, but to also reduce our environmental impact.
In 1995 our operations took a giant leap forward in our quest to go digital with the acquisition of a Heidelberg 5-color GTO DI press, a conventional offset press with special plates designed for exposure via laser directly on press. “DI” stands for “Direct Imaging”, eliminating the need to image plates separately with traditional plate processing technology. In the months that followed we also added a Xiekon Chromapress, a toner based digital press, as well as a new QMDI press with a digital imaging head from Heidelberg.
With several years of developing and refining our expertise in digital prepress technologies, in 2001 we decided to look at how we could apply our new digital workflow to conventional offset printing. The class of offset press we were considering is well suited for industrial production, and is capable of running a 24 x 29 inch sheets of paper at 15,000 sheets per hour. Coupled with the introduction of Computer-to-Plate (CTP) technology, color-management systems, and digital press controls from Heidelberg, it became feasible for us to shape an offset printing operation that was far less wasteful than traditional offset printing. To date offset printing has remained the standard for high quality, high volume printing. Today offset presses run approximately 80% of all printing jobs.
Building an eCommerce Web-to-Print web portal was a natural extension of our digital imaging operations. We had started offering a few web-based services as a prepress company, such as custom web site construction and image color correction and optimization for the web. We quickly realized the next step for us would be the creation of a customer-facing system with the ability to give customers instant pricing, allow the placement and tracking of orders during production, as well as set up shipment and delivery details anytime they wished. We quickly realized that we had hit on a powerful and efficient new way to conduct our business and interface with customers. We hired a team of in-house software developers and architected a plan for our future. Our mission was to make print ordering intuitive and easy for our customers and to utilize the efficiencies we had developed in our workflow to streamline our production and quality control for our staff.
Greenerprinter is proud to have been one of the founding members of the B Corporation. Certified B Corporations (TM) redefines our commitment to social responsibility.
Individually, B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability, and aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems.
Collectively, B Corps are leading a growing global movement of people using business as a force for good (TM). Through the power of their collective voice, one day all companies will compete to be best for the world (TM), and society will enjoy a more shared and durable prosperity for all.
“The B Corp movement is one of the most important of our lifetime, built on the simple fact that business impacts and serves more than just shareholders—it has an equal responsibility to the community and to the planet.”
Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia
“Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, with its proximity to so many natural wonders, I have always felt a strong connection to nature and the environment. However, it wasn't until the birth of my second son that I became passionate about making sure my business was as sustainable as it was successful. I felt deeply that it was my responsibility as a business owner to foster a responsible manufacturing operation. I saw the need to think about future generations.”
Mario Assadi, President and CEO Tulip Graphics/Greenerprinter
We decided to focus first 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.
The question is: How do you protect the environment from the environmental impact of logging, processing and pulp manufacturing?
We started by purchasing paper only from known sources, both domestic and European. Second, we make sure that it’s a FSC® certified paper. Third, we buy recycled paper with a high PCW (post consumer waste) content.
When we discovered New Leaf Paper, we knew we had found a like-minded partner. New Leaf produces US made paper, is FSC® certified and has high PCW content, up to 100%.
In 2005, we rolled out the Greenerprinter website, the first online printing site to offer recycled paper exclusively. We have been the number one consumer of New Leaf Paper ever since.
We call ourselves a Greenerprinter because we strive to be greener. We believe that going green is a journey. We constantly audit every aspect of our operations from start to finish, making sure that we are producing the least amount of carbon, ozone and waste. We carefully consider the life cycle of our products, from cradle to grave.
We buy our electricity from MCE, a local provider of 100% renewable energy; we use the latest, most energy efficient printing technologies. All lighting in our facility has been changed to LED fixtures, which include motion detectors to turn off lighting in areas that are not occupied.
Due to our geographic location, we rarely have the need to use air-conditioning. The Bay Area has a moderate Mediterranean-like climate, and we have used this to our advantage in reducing our electrical usage. So, in a way we are also green by location.
Ozone: We seek to make our operations as non-toxic as possible. For instance, new developments in digital platemaking technology have allowed us to completely remove toxic chemicals from the platemaking process. With our HP Indigo 7000, we are able to offer digital short-run printing as a reasonable (and environmentally sound) alternative to offset. HP is the leader in clean manufacturing and compliance with ISO 14401.
Our offset inks have zero ozone generation. We exclusively use Toyo ink for our offset printing and our offset presses are exclusively Heidelberg presses made in Germany.
The San Francisco Bay Area was really the birthplace for the concept of a "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 offset our carbon footprint by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), which essentially offset our shipping carbon generation.
We entered into a partnership with Carbonfund.org for the purchase of carbon credits to offset our shipping. Through RECs, we are able to essentially negate our already small carbon footprint.
In 2007, we earned our FSC® 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.
We have 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 make ready sheets and reprints. In addition, 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 that 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.
Although we are essentially "carbon-neutral" through our purchase of renewable energy credits and carbon offsets, we will continue to seek out new ways to bring renewable energy more directly into our operations. While we are proud to have been one of the first printers in the country to become green certified and use recycled papers and soy & vegetable inks exclusively, we realize there is still much to do. That's why we like to say "Going green is a journey."
We look forward to having you join us.
Boston, Vancouver, October 8, 2015 – Today at Sustainable Brands’ New Metrics conference, New Leaf released a new Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) revealing significant environmental benefits of Reincarnation (100% PCW recycled coated paper) over alternatives made with virgin wood fiber. The study, conducted by SCS Global Services, is the first in the paper industry to use a new LCA standard designed to improve the accuracy, transparency, and comparability of LCA analyses.
“Though all paper production has an environmental impact, this study clearly shows that recycled papers are better for forests, species, freshwater systems and the climate,” observes Nicole Rycroft, Founder and Executive Director of international environmental organization Canopy. “This Life Cycle Analysis equips customer companies with all they need to be able to choose the best ecopapers to meet their sustainability goals.”
The LCA reveals significant differences in the impact of 2,500 tons of New Leaf Reincarnation paper versus virgin coated paper. Key findings include:
• Has less than one percent of the impact in terms of Global Climate Change and Ocean Acidification,
• Avoids impacts from logging on more than 100 endangered species,
• Uses one quarter of the water used to manufacture virgin coated paper,
• Has no impacts on rivers or wetlands from recurring logging of large forest tracts, and
• Avoids harvesting of at least 12,000 acres of multiple forest types.
“Having waited a lot time for a rigorous, holistic LCA standard, we immediately requested a full LCA for New Leaf Reincarnation, our 100% post-consumer recycled coated paper, along with LCAs for comparable virgin coated papers produced at three North American mills,” said Jeff Mendelsohn, founder of New Leaf Paper.
“New Leaf is proud to be driving transparency in the paper supply chain by commissioning this study featuring new methodology,” added Mendelsohn.
“This study considers the full range of impacts and benefits, including incorporating the latest findings in climate science. It is a comprehensive and fair comparative analysis that sets a new baseline for future LCAs.”
Canopy and New Leaf Paper have collaborated together for years to bring leading-edge Eco papers to market including their work on a 100% recycled paper that made the North American edition(s) of the Harry Potter book series a groundbreaker in green book publication.
The study comes in the midst of a sustained push by numerous forest industry players to promote virgin fiber papers and undermine customers’ perceptions of recycled papers.
“The study’s findings reinforce the importance of improving North America’s paper recycling system,” added Canopy’s Rycroft. “Given the superior ecological qualities of recycled paper, it is imperative that we bolster North American recycled paper production by curtailing recycled fiber exports and improving the quality of recovered fiber available to mills.”
The LCA was conducted by SCS based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The study methodology is consistent with the international LCA standard (ISO‐14044), and used the detailed assessment methods described in the draft national LCA standard (LEO‐SCS‐002) developed to support comparative public claims and currently in the final stages of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation process to become a new national standard.
To see the full LCA, please visit:
For more information or interview contact:
Jeff Mendelsohn, Founder New Leaf Paper
Neva Murtha, Canopy
New Leaf Paper (www.newleafpaper.com) leads the paper industry in developing the most sustainable printing and office papers. New Leaf was founded in 1998 with the mission of leading a shift toward sustainability in the paper industry. The company has received numerous awards for its leadership, including B-Corporation’s “Best in the World” for the environment for the last four years running.
Canopy is an international not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting our forests, species and climate. Canopy collaborates with more than 750 companies to develop innovative solutions, make their supply chains more sustainable and help protect our world’s remaining ancient and endangered forests. Canopy’s partners include H&M, Sprint, Penguin-Random House, Zara, TC Transcontinental, The Globe and Mail and Scholastic. Canopy’s work relies on the support of individual donors who share our passion for the planet.