Sustainable printing the Seacourt way

Thanks to print firm Seacourt, our 2017 Green Gown Awards brochure is the greenest ever produced.  It is printed on carbon neutral, 100% recycled paper using vegetable-based, VOC-free inks, using LightTouch print technology - waterless and free of harmful chemicals. It is produced by a circular economy business - Seacourt is zero waste, powered by 100% renewable energy and certified by ClimateCare as Beyond Carbon Neutral. It’s important to practice what you preach.
We spoke to Seacourt MD Gareth Dinnage about how Seacourt became so sustainable.

Seacourt’s journey to sustainability holds many lessons

Print firm Seacourt transformed itself from being a conventional polluter with a high carbon footprint, to become an industry leader, completely environmentally sustainable.  The firm’s achievements - recognised with no less than three Queen’s Awards - are proof that it is possible to ‘break the mould’ and build a successful business that has a net positive impact on the planet.  
Seacourt MD Gareth Dinnage explains:  “Print is a powerful communications medium and printing sustainably embodies the message that an organisation takes its environmental responsibilities seriously, whether it’s a university or a global enterprise. Anything that is printed by Seacourt guarantees that it aligns with that organisation’s values for protecting the environment not harming it.”
Seacourt began its journey towards sustainability more than 20 years ago. A recent article in i-Paper explains where it all started:  
Net-positive printing holds lessons for companies that want to follow the same path. It all began with an epiphany 20 years ago when the directors were invited to a conference on sustainability and print, at a time when few other people were interested. Although initially unenthusiastic, when they heard that the printing industry was the fourth or fifth-largest polluter in the world, they thought they had to do something about it.
“At that moment in 1996, everything changed,” says Gareth Dinnage. “We couldn’t unhear this information. We could either act upon it or not act upon it. We decided to act.”
Seacourt’s journey to sustainability was taken with three landmark steps:
Reduce impacts
Setting targets to lower the firm’s impact on the environment was the first priority, and over the years Seacourt has achieved:
A zero waste to landfill operation
100% powered by renewable energy
The world’s first user of waterless, non polluting LightTouch print technology
A user of FSC-certified RECYCLED paper  
A 100% user of VOC-free inks
Measure impacts
Gathering data on environmental impact is essential to track progress and form strategy to build value for the business while reducing environmental impact. Seacourt worked with environmental consultant Empathy Sustainability who made a thorough impact assessment.  This included ‘walking the supply chain’ to measure how client value is delivered while minimising carbon footprint at every single stage.  
Go Net Positive
Finally, via the widely recognised ClimateCare, Seacourt thoroughly verified its carbon footprinting and invested in a leading UN backed project in Brazil with social, economic and environmental benefits so that our total net operations now make a positive impact on society and the planet.  ClimateCare has now certified Seacourt as ‘Beyond Carbon Neutral,’ confirming its operations have a net positive effect on the planet.  
To add to its Queen’s Awards, in 2017 Seacourt won Europe’s highest accolade for sustainability, voted by EMAS as Best SME for Environmental Excellence.  
The firm is continually committed to building on its ‘net positive’ achievements:  "It's so important for us to use our success to inspire others in the industry to follow our lead," adds Gareth Dinnage.
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