Case Study

How our sustainability certification changed everything for Impress Print | Planet Mark

Impress Print is proof that there’s always a next step to take on a business’s sustainability journey, no matter the progress that’s been made. Our latest impact story details the remarkable journey the company has been on over the past few years, with the help of Planet Mark’s sustainability certification.

Keisha Sintim-Lewis
How our sustainability certification changed everything for Impress Print | Planet Mark-printing-machine-
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Printing With Purpose: How Planet Mark Certification boosted Impress Print’s sustainability journey

For over 30 years, Impress Print has been walking an extraordinary sustainability path. The award-winning print company, based in Walton-On-Thames, is undoubtedly a trendsetter in the printing space and the first UK printer to achieve Planet Mark certification. The brand is, in their own words, ‘The Home of Environmental Print’.

Founded in 1989, Impress Print’s founding team was well ahead of the game in understanding the significance of the industry’s carbon impact. Not only that, but Impress Print grasped the increasing consumer desire for authentic environmental action. In 1990, the brand outlined a detailed sustainability pathway and by 2001 had introduced vegetable-based ink, which is less environmentally harmful than its petroleum-based counterparts. Recognition for their progress came in 2007, with FSC and ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard certifications.

In an industry that relies so heavily on excessive energy and resource use, this foresight was prescient, shrewd and wildly successful. Even so, the company knew there was more they could do.

The key stats after six years of Planet Mark certification

  • 68% carbon footprint cut over seven years
  • 70% of vehicles are now electric
  • 381 solar panels installed
  • 100% carbon-free mailing

Far, but not far enough

Since its foundation, sustainability has been ingrained in Impress Print’s DNA.

Reducing waste-to-landfill by an impressive 80%, installing LED lighting and transitioning to 100% renewable energy were just a few examples of the sustainability progress taken by the printing service.

Despite the success, Impress Print were determined to achieve more.

The company knew that if it were to take its sustainability policy to the next level, comprehensivecarbon measurements across the board and further certification from a respected organisation were vital. Being held to the highest account year-on-year was also far up the priority list. After over 25 years of pushing the boundaries of sustainable action in the printing business, the team were struggling on the ‘what’s next’.

The path forward had seemingly come to an end. A refresh was in order.

The solution

We chose to work with Planet Mark because we’d done a lot in the business already but were struggling with ideas on where to go next. It’s given us a community to talk to and get ideas from, helping us go to that next level and continue to drive our carbon footprint down.” – Michael Kille, Managing Director at Impress Print

Impress Print chose us to help guide them through the next stage of their sustainability journey, both in the short and long term. Since then, our collaborative progress has been phenomenal.

A comprehensive understanding of emissions

Before Planet Mark came on board, Impress Print didn’t measure the carbon data that is vital for sustainable progression. Our expert team combed through every aspect of Impress Print’s organisation, from manufacturing to transport to resources. This indispensable emissions data, found in scopes 1, 2 and 3, has helped Impress Print identify areas that could be improved immediately. For example, solar energy was introduced to power company premises with consumption thoroughly tracked, while the move to a fully electric fleet is well under way.

Developing customer relationships

Early on, Impress Print understood that sound sustainability policy is also smart business. Since working with Planet Mark, the company has taken the development of customer relationships to the next level. The company sees its relationship with its customers as a sort of partnership, with engagement also driving further business opportunities. Managing this relationship isn’t easy, but Impress Print has succeeded in taking its customers along its journey towards net zero. Planet Mark’s communications expertise has helped tremendously with the brand articulating and documenting progress in an easy-to-digest manner.

Lower emissions, more profit

Many organisations worry that cutting emissions could hamper financial performance. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and Impress Print is the perfect example. Less waste disposal, lower energy bills and higher customer engagement have all been achieved while maintaining an impressive level of business growth.

Employee engagement

Rule number one: never underestimate the importance of your employees. Impress Print’s staff are more engaged than ever with the extra actions the company are taking to tackle emissions.A cycle-to-work scheme was recently introduced, as well as encouraging staff to purchase electric vehicles through various financial incentives, including free electricity on site for early uptakers. This level of fantastic employee engagement is crucial for hiring and retaining top talent.

Transitioning to an all-electric fleet

A company’s fleet is one of the most critical aspects of any carbon emission-cutting strategy. Impress Print has ten vehicles in its fleet, seven of which are now entirely electric. With 70% of the fleet now emission-free (up from 52% in 2021), the company has set its sights on using 100% electric vehicles in the near future. Fast progress like this is a testament to Impress Print’s unwavering desire for change.

Vegan-approved products

In the world of print, it can be unclear when a specific product contains animal-derived ingredients or not. That’s why, with official certification from the Vegetarian Society, Impress Print has removed raw materials of animal origin from a wide range of products, including brochures, booklets and posters, and has zero association with animal testing. The brand even went so far as to examine paper binding additives associated with raw materials.

Impress Print is now a certified vegan printer, opening them up to previously inaccessible consumers and reducing scope 3 emissions in the process.

The installation of solar panels and LED lighting

Thanks to newly installed energy-efficient LED lighting, Impress Print now uses around 70-80% less energy than previous lighting setups. The company has also installed 381 solar panels on the roof of its warehouse to reduce energy use. These simple changes will go a long way to reducing their yearly carbon emissions, but benefits can be found in the cost savings too.

Zero waste-to-landfill

Waste was a significant issue for Impress Print in the past, with excess cartridges, paper and plastic bloating the company’s carbon footprint. A new commitment to enhance the waste management process changed all that. With its new ‘zero-waste to landfill’ policy, the company is rewriting the script for how a printing company can operate and now sorts and recycles more waste than ever before.

The future: Printing for the planet

…and the journey doesn’t end there.

The ambitious, energetic and relentless commitment to net zero has entirely transformed Impress Print’s present and future. What’s more remarkable is that Impress Print isn’t just building a more environmentally conscious business year after year; they’re thriving as a business, and customer relationships have never been so strong.

Is your business ready to make a mark on its carbon footprint? You’re in the right place. Speak to one of our expert team members today to discuss how your organisation can join the journey towards net zero with Planet Mark certification.

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