Soar Printing Company Limited
In 2009 Soar Printing committed to the strict demands of gaining carboNZero certification even though this well established family business could already boast impressive green credentials. Two years later and the results are impressive, including a 19% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
- carboNZero certified organisation and print service
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Soar Printing is a family owned, market-leading New Zealand printing services company utilising the latest offset and digital technology to deliver printing, point of sale, and packaging solutions for business clients. The company employs 70 people and operates 24 hours a day, five days a week from its premises in Auckland’s Eden Terrace.
“Soar Printing offers its clients a complete, end-to-end service, managing artwork through the entire process from prepress to printing, finishing, packing, storage, and distribution,” says Fred Soar, Managing Director.
“The company was founded in 1920 on strong values and a desire to leave something lasting for the next generation, and these values are as strong today as they were back then.”
This is especially evident in the company’s position as New Zealand’s leading environmentally responsible printing company. Soar Printing was the first printer in New Zealand to be certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council® (FSC) and to achieve Enviro-Mark Diamond status and ISO 14001 certification. The company also prints on Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) papers sourced from responsible forest management programmes.
Conventional printing activities inflict negative impacts on the environment so countering those impacts can strengthen print companies’ brands and put them one step ahead when pitching for big clients that have ‘greenness’ on their shopping list.
Moreover, Soar Printing is also a family-owned business that is committed to making responsible decisions that take into account the long-term environmental, economic, and social consequences of its actions. Its vision is to provide a positive legacy for generations to come by promoting an internal culture of self-improvement, adopting new technologies that add value to its clients, and being environmentally and socially responsible.
Soar Printing realised that the best way to set itself apart in a crowded marketplace and reach its environmental and social responsibility goals was to achieve carboNZero certification.
Every organisation is different but gaining carboNZero certification generally follows a similar five-step process – measure, manage, verify, mitigate, and market.
First is the measurement phase in which carboNZero Holdings provides the organisation with the tools and guidelines so they can calculate their emissions. Next carboNZero Holdings provides guidelines for clients to identify opportunities to manage or reduce their emissions.
Once actions have been taken to reduce emissions, carboNZero Holdings provides an independent verification audit prior to certification and then facilitates the purchase of carbon credits to mitigate or offset any remaining emissions.
Finally, carboNZero Holdings provides guidance for the organisation market its new ‘green’ credentials and gain maximum business benefit.
After following these steps in 2009, Soar Printing became the first offset printing company in NZ to receive carboNZero certification for the organisation as a whole in 2010 and the first to offer carboNZero certified products and services in 2011.
Soar Printing reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 19% from 2009 to 2010 and have saved a whopping $92,000 compared to 2007 to 2008 emission levels. Compared to 2007 to 2008 emission levels, Soar Printing have since saved:
- $50,000 in fuel costs by changing its company vehicle policy and reviewing van delivery routes
- $27,000 in electricity consumption by investing in more energy effi cient machinery, reviewing lighting and air conditioning, and changing staff behaviour
- $15,000 by reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill by 11%
The business now recycles 99% of its waste paper, has increased its income from recycled paper and plastic, and improved its gross profit by around 2% since 2009.
The company’s premises offer further opportunities for improvements in energy efficiency through better use of natural light and ventilation, and installing light sensors above low-use areas. Electricity savings of around 17% or $2000 per month are possible, eliminating the need for a new $40,000 transformer. Solar panels and battery banks could potentially be installed to provide even greater savings.
Overall, Soar Printing spent around $20,000 for the tools and carbon credits which allows them to achieve certification. In return they identified emission reduction opportunities which results in them saving approximately $80,000 each year compared to their base year. Soar Printing has also become the authority on ‘green printing’, providing new publicity opportunities and helping to attract new business.
People who want to take their companies down the carboNZero certification road should first formulate a clear, sustainable vision of where they want to end up – and why they’re making the trip in the first place, according to Soar Printing Managing Director Fred Soar.
“There are many benefits to gaining environmental certification but you need to be sure that everyone within the company is on board with the idea before you commit,” he says.
“We picked carboNZero certification because of the credibility and integrity it carries and because it would help us achieve our sustainability aspirations.”
“There’s a lot of hard work involved to get there so take the time to fully engage your staff.
“Be careful to ‘walk the talk’ at all levels – nothing will kill stakeholder buyin more surely than inconsistency.
“And lastly, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. The people at carboNZero Holdings are the experts in quantifying where reductions can be made and how they can be made – listen to them.”
For further information:
carboNZero Certified organisations
This certification is awarded to companies that are measuring, reducing and offsetting their carbon footprint.
To achieve carboNZero certification, an organisation must measure their organisation’s full greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (also known as a carbon footprint) so they understand what their impact is on the global climate. They measure all operational emissions required under the international standard for carbon footprints, ISO 14064, including vehicles, business travel, fuel and electricity, paper, and waste. The emissions are measured annually and the inventory is independently verified to ensure it is accurate and complete. Once they have measured their footprint, the organisation must develop plans to manage and reduce their emissions continually. Each year, the organisation then offsets any remaining emissions through the purchase of verified carbon credits to achieve net zero emissions. As part of achieving carboNZero certification, the organisation needs to achieve emissions reductions on a five year cycle.
carboNZero Certified products and services
This certification is awarded to products and services that are measuring, reducing and offsetting their carbon footprint.
To achieve carboNZero certification for a product or service, the provider must measure the full lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (also known as a carbon footprint) so they understand what their impact is on the global climate. They measure all lifecycle emissions required under the international standard for product carbon footprints, PAS 2050, including source raw materials and components, production of the product, distribution and use of the product, and any disposal of waste. The emissions are measured annually and the inventory is independently verified to ensure it is accurate and complete. Once they have measured their footprint, the organisation must develop plans to manage and reduce the product or service’s emissions continually. Each year, the product then offsets any remaining emissions through the purchase of verified carbon credits to achieve net zero emissions. As part of achieving carboNZero certification, the product needs to achieve emissions reductions on a five year cycle.
Enviro-Mark Diamond Certification
Enviro-Mark Diamond certified organisations have all the components of an ISO 14001 system in place. They have internal systems to ensure that their plans and policies are followed and to identify any opportunities for change and improvement. They have top management involvement in managing the EMS and its continuing stability.
To achieve Enviro-Mark Diamond certification, an organisation:
- Controls all important documentation to ensure only the most up to date versions are being used;
- Has an internal EMS audit programme in operation, ensuring expected outcomes are occurring as planned;
- Periodically has top management review the performance of the EMS;
- Formalises the roles and responsibilities for people working for and on behalf of the organisation;
- Communicates appropriately both internally and externally;
- Ensures appropriate training is given to people working with the EMS;
- Documents all procedures relating to managing the system (both system and operational procedures);
- Has a good system for managing problems (non-conformities and opportunities for improvement);
- Sets objectives and targets for driving improvement and has programmes in place to meet those targets;
- Develops, implements and tests environmental emergency plans;
- Identifies and evaluates their significant environmental issues arising from activities, products and services;
- Actively monitors their ongoing compliance with New Zealand legislation and ensures they are aware of any changes to obligations;
- Produces an environmental policy statement;
- Understands the scope of their EMS (i.e., are there any parts of the organisation that need to be excluded from the EMS and why);
- Exhibits no non-compliances with New Zealand’s applicable health and safety and environmental legislation.