The price of green

When HPG decided to become a green printer three years ago, we wanted to be sure we could truly make the claim of “being green.” We became the first Printer in Indiana to receive tri-certification to track paper purchases from environmentally responsible forests. In addition to bringing our printing standards to code, we also made sure we took a look at how environmentally friendly our office supplies were, the energy efficiency of our building, and making sure our recycling efforts were a priority.

Our 150 employees quickly got behind our program, helping us reduce our office paper use by 50%.  Taking a look around the building, one of the first things our team noticed was the extensive use of Styrofoam cups. We used an astronomical amount of Styrofoam. We stacked  them next to the water cooler, we gave them to visitors filled with coffee, we used them -- along with Styrofoam bowls and plastic flatware -- for lunch-ins. They sure were convenient – but also extremely environmentally unfriendly.

Well, our feeling is, if your corporate plan is to become a Green Printer, then you’d better be sure you are living what you are preaching throughout your company. So we purchased custom water bottles and coffee mugs for each staff member, and lots of extras for our visitors. We installed a dishwasher in the break room, too. We banished Stryofoam from our building.  AND we purchase recycled paper products AND increased our recycling.

Interestingly, we never received a complaint. Instead, our employees continue to look around to find more ways of cutting our corporate carbon footprint. The change was actually a morale enhancement for our company!

So yes, initially, going green can be expensive. But only if you measure that in terms of buying 300 or so ceramic mugs, water bottles, and a dishwasher.  (And by the way, that has already paid for itself over the past 3 years in Styrofoam cup purchase savings alone.) The real return on our initial investment? Priceless… in so many, many other much more significant ways.