A Dash of Green
The Gaithersburg, Maryland-headquartered Herron Printing & Graphics started more than 25 years ago as a quick printing franchise. Today, it is a 6,000-square-foot building that makes its business printing available to all types of customers, especially the hospitality industry, and is dedicated to making its company as environmentally friendly as possible. Creative director Randy Herron said Herron Printing set its sights on becoming a greener company about five years ago. The initial moves were small, but impactful. These measures included changing lights, recycling paper and cardboard and using vegetable-based inks. Then, three years ago, the company discarded its traditional four-color press and installed a Presstek DI, which is a chemical-free, waterless press that uses vegetable-based inks. Furthermore, all of the electricity used in the shop is 100 percent wind-powered. Finally, last year Herron added the environmentally friendly digital press, the Canon 7000.
In addition to those changes, Herron mentioned the company always encourages clients to use recycled paper whenever possible to print their jobs. He added the 20# white paper used in its copiers and digital presses is recycled as is all of its marketing pieces.
Herron Printing's changes have not only been good for the environment, but good for business. Some of the newer clients have given their business to the company specifically because of its green initiatives, Herron noted.
Nevertheless, while implementing green initiatives has captured new business opportunities, it also has incurred a greater expense.
"We don't really save any money," Herron added. "It costs more but it is the right thing to do. There were costs involved in the programs that we initiated, but it is important to us to have as small a carbon footprint as possible. So we think it is worth the expense."
Though Herron Printing has made moves to become as green as possible, he explained there is more the company would like to do. For example, Herron would like to put a wind turbine on his building. However, obtaining the appropriate permits from the county is proving to be difficult. Also, he wants to buy a 100 percent electric truck for deliveries. But, he hasn't found the perfect one yet. Many of the trucks he has looked into either don't have a long enough range or only travel 25 miles per hour, which is an unsafe speed for major roadways.