We're committed to being good stewards of the university and global communities. We have been using soy/vegetable based inks since 1995 and have been recycling paper trim and metal plates since 1992. We recycle approximately 4,000 pounds of aluminum plates, paper trimmings and unusable corrugated cartons each week. Over 80% of the paper we use is FSC Certified (Forestry Stewardship Certified) or contains recycled content. We have replaced outdated equipment with newer, more energy efficient equipment, and equipment that uses environmentally friendly toner, decreasing our carbon dioxide output by an estimated 60%. In December 2010, we became the first in the nation to be designated an In-Plant Sustainable and Green certified printing facility.
Long ago we switched from oil-based ink to a much safer soy-based ink. Production of soybeans uses only about 0.5% of the total energy to produce the ink. Soybean crops require very little irrigation and leave much less agricultural residue than most crops. Soy ink also has low levels of VOCs, (volatile organic compounds) which helps to reduce air pollution by minimizing toxic emissions.
The addition of our Indigo digital presses have made true on-demand printing a reality. Printing only what you need saves paper, requires less storage, and is much less expensive. A conventional offset press might take two or three hundred sheets to get the color up. The Indigos can take as little as one or two sheets. Also, Indigo presses give off less VOCs than other digital presses.
Printing with Water
Our CTP (Computer To Plate) system uses only one chemical to develop plates: water. Nothing but water. In the past, in order to make a plate we first had to send files to an imagesetter. This machine would output the file on large sheets of photographic film. This film would then be developed in conventional photo chemicals. After the film was checked and stripped it would be "burned" onto the printing plate using a UV light source. The plate would then be developed in more nasty chemicals. Now, we use no film, no chemicals, no fumes, no disposal problems...just water. And, when we're finished with the plates they are recycled.