Sustainability Superheroes blog
Using Decision-making and Entrepreneurial Thinking
How Does a Printing Company Reduce Waste and Stay Eco-Friendly? Featuring Suzanne Alvarez of C&D Print and Packaging
Welcome to Part 3 of Sustainability Superheroes in the world of manufacturing! If you haven’t already, make sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 so you can stay updated on all the exclusive news!
Today, our special guest is Suzanne Alvarez, Print and Packaging Specialist with C&D Print and Packaging Company, located in Pinellas Park, FL. For over 45 years, the company has been working with creative agencies and corporate businesses to bring their printing projects to life. They build lasting relationships with their customers, and consistently exceed their expectations.
Print and packaging plays a huge role in consumption and waste, so how does a well-established printing manufacturer with many clients take on the role of being environmentally friendly? Find out in this exclusive interview with Suzanne Alvarez who shares with us the inside scoop on her company’s issues, future plans, and other sustainable initiatives she’s working on!
Tell us about your company and what you do.
She says, “We now use all vegetable based inks and everything is all digital. We’ve been doing this for the last ten years, which is pretty impressive for this industry.” Sounds like a great accomplishment! We’re already off to a good start!
What are some of the sustainability issues or concerns in your industry?
Despite the sustainability efforts, Suzanne says there are still some harmful processes, like the UV process, which is quite toxic, but the company is doing what they can to avoid this. She says, “We’re using newer equipment for us and clients, but also for sustainability. At the same time it’s been costly on our part, so it’s kinda scary. You think, 'Oh let’s make this big investment,' and all you can do is hope it’s something that other people care about.”
However, C&D does have clients that call them specifically for the fact that they are an award-winning and sustainable company. Overall, it depends on the client and what they want. Sometimes, she’ll even try to negotiate with clients about what they want vs. what they need in order to produce and consume less.
What are some of the sustainability initiatives you’re taking now?
Suzanne’s company is continuing to find more ways to stay green, despite the many sustainable efforts they’re doing now. “We have started using an LED press. It uses a different kind of ink and drying process. Instead of ink drying on a sheet naturally over time, it is cured with LED lights on top of the paper,” Suzanne says. This removes the toxicity of the production, eliminates the drying powders they used in the past, and uses less paper. It’s also better for the workforce. Plus, the clients love it!
Another sustainability initiative Suzanne mentioned was about clients making errors, which then creates more waste. But, C&D has a huge recycling program that helps with these mishaps. Suzanne and her company are always prepared!
What are the problems you’d like to solve in the near future?
One problem Suzanne and her company are currently dealing with is their estimating system, which uses too much paper. She says, “We’re working on using less paper wherever possible. I think there’s great room for improvement everywhere like the cups and plastic in offices. And whenever clients want to print and make things, I always ask them what it’s for and what’s your distribution?”
In the future, Suzanne says she’s looking forward to hemp products coming into the market. The company recently started using hemp paper, which she hopes will go down in price in the future, so that more clients will consider using it for their print projects.
Test your knowledge!
After reading about Suzanne Alvarez’s work or watching the videos, take this quiz and find out if you've got what it takes to be a sustainability superhero! If the quiz does work on this page, you can also take it here.
In the #RethinkTank!