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Issue no:06507postcsrseminar


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Kathy Jarvis
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“With the spotlight falling on how companies work to make their profits, Corporate Social Responsibility needs to be embedded in business strategy,” said The Right Honourable Margaret Hodge MP, Minister of State at the Department of Trade and Industry. She was speaking at a seminar on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and environmental issues as they affect the print industry. “Like other sectors, the printing world must respond to the expectation that in the 21st century, it will be more than ‘business as usual.”

Organised by print management specialists etrinsic, over 70 delegates involved in commissioning and producing printed material gathered at the seminar held yesterday (21 May) at the Institute of Directors, Pall Mall, London.

Minister of State for Industry and the Regions, Mrs Hodge is also Minister for Corporate Social Responsibility. At the seminar, she outlined government policy on CSR from a UK and global perspective.

“CSR and making money are linked and complementary.” she said. “A company’s success and its responsibility are two sides of the same coin. Commitment to sustainability can help promote a brand image and market position – it will become an intrinsic part of business purpose and our shared endeavour to conserve the planet. The role of the government is not to dictate to business but to create a regulatory framework that opens companies to public account and encourages them to think about CSR issues. We need more companies following etrinsic’s lead in promoting and supporting best practice within their sector.”

“With print the UK’s sixth largest industry, the aim of the seminar was to increase awareness of CSR issues and the contribution our industry can make in the environmental arena,” says Keith Walton, Chief Executive at etrinsic.

Other speakers included environmental consultant Clare Taylor, Jonathan Tame from WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), Tim Barker from paper supplier Robert Horne Group and Simon Dipple, etrinsic’s Technical Director,

Among the areas to come under the spotlight were paper specification and recycling, waste management, sustainability and forest certification schemes plus environmentally-friendly print technology.

Clare Taylor - a Chartered Environmentalist who advises clients in the print industry on how to ‘green’ their own companies and their supply chain, covered the links between printing and some of the major environmental issues. “Printing can be a very wasteful activity, both of materials and energy," she said. “But it doesn¹t have to be. A buyer’s choices can make a substantial difference: not just their choice of paper or printer, but also their design and the way they plan their projects.” She outlined some of the achievements the industry has made in taking waste out of the process, and also how working to standard printing conditions can help environmentally as well as with quality. She then looked at other areas where the printing industry - and choices made by those within it - make a difference including protection of forests and biodiversity, climate change and energy efficiency, air and water pollution. “Many of the steps may seem small but in such a large industry as print, they soon add up,” she added.

Speaking on behalf of WRAP, Jonathan Tame encouraged businesses to consider recycled paper - both in the office and for their publications - where possible. "The UK consumes approximately 12.5 million tonnes of paper and board per year. Circa 7.8 million tonnes of waste fibre is recovered, and creating demand for this waste is important,” he commented. “We recommend that businesses consider products with a minimum of 70% recycled content for copier/office paper and 50% for marketing and publications-type material. Modern recycled papers are equal in quality, performance, reliability and, generally, have a lower environmental impact. Organisations are increasingly concerned with sustainable procurement and buying recycled paper can be a quick win in reducing their environmental footprint."

Tim Barker, Environment Manager from Robert Horne Group, explained that buyers and specifiers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their choice of raw materials such as paper. “This choice can reflect, support and enhance an organisation’s CSR policies,” he said. Illustrating his talk with his company’s customer experiences, he provided practical advice on recycled paper, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and the tracking of products along the supply chain (Chain of Custody).

In his presentation, Simon Dipple said that as well as the strong focus in the print industry on the environmental issues surrounding paper consumption, equally important were the manufacturing processes involved in producing printed material. "The printing industry was in the vanguard of recycling which has helped drive forward the whole concept for the consumer by encouraging recycling of other more ecologically-damaging materials," he said.

"As a major commissioner of print with over 250 suppliers, etrinsic can have a direct influence on the supply chain. For example, we are actively encouraging our suppliers to consider the technical aspects of lithographic printing such as a reduction in use of certain chemicals. Furthermore, we have installed an ethical code of conduct for our suppliers. This requires them to commit to continuous improvement towards compliance with environmental standards within in their own company and within their own supply chain."

“Delegates went away from the seminar with a greater understanding of how to manage print procurement both within the existing environmental requirements and for those set to come,” adds Matt Bird, Managing Director etrinsic.

Based in Solihull, etrinsic supplies a range of client services from print and logistics to direct mail management, graphic design and data handling. Major clients include National Express, Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society, EDF Energy, Topps Tiles and Sainsbury’s.
The company recently achieved accreditation for ISO 14001, the environmental management standard.


Etrinsic, Stratford Rd, Shirley, Solihull B90 4AD.
Tel: 0870 4646131

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