St Austell-based printing firm, Nationwide Print, has significantly added to its sustainability credentials this summer, helping the company vie for the title of the UK’s most environmentally-friendly printing business.
Remarkably, the energy-intensive printing operation now produces more energy than it uses, thanks to investments in solar panels, energy-efficient lighting and, most recently, external wall insulation.
MD Julian Hocking, commented: “Reducing our environmental impact has been a major priority for us over the past five years. I’m pleased to say that, with careful planning and bold investment decisions, we are now where we aspired to be; carbon neutral, energy efficient, and sustainable in our use of resources.”
The latest improvements, which took place this summer, resulted in the 1970s building (which is solid block construction and leaks heat) externally insulated and clad with cedar – improving both heat retention and appearance.
The firm has also invested in Dyson Airblade hand dryers, which are up to 79% more energy-efficient than other dryers or paper towels, and is considering the purchase of an electric vehicle for local distribution runs.
These improvements follow the replacement of all office lighting in 2015 with a modern LED lighting system, reducing energy usage by 75% and saving over four tonnes of CO2 every year.
An additional 20kW of solar panels were also installed in 2015, adding to the existing 30kW array and helping Nationwide Print meet its energy requirements – with some left over.
Hocking explained: “Taken annually, we now produce more energy than we use, thanks to the extended solar array and the efficiency savings we have instigated.”
He added: “However, natural fluctuations mean that sometimes we still need energy from the grid, while at other times we sell it back. We are looking into solar energy storage systems, as we would be very keen to invest!”
Nationwide Print’s commitment to sustainability contributed to the firm being named ‘SME of the Year’ at the PrintWeek Awards in 2014.
Hocking said: “Our success in the PrintWeek Awards spurred us on, and we redoubled our efforts to become fully carbon neutral. There can’t be many printing businesses out there that produce more energy than they use – it’s something we are very proud of.”