14 July 2015
Generation Press has been on a bit of an adventure for some years now. We embarked on this fascinating escapade, following our gut feelings and our beliefs about the environment and our shared responsibility to take good care of it.
When we started out, we genuinely believed that words like ‘sustainable’, ‘green’, ‘eco’ and ‘environmental’ were used, and sometimes abused, by many companies to try to convince us that they were doing right by our planet. That if they had an ‘environmental policy’, or were certified ‘ISO’ or paid to become ‘Carbon Neutral’, that was all they needed to do, rather than truly committing to taking full responsibility for their impact on the environment.
At first we felt we really didn’t need to get involved in all that. There was no point in simply complying with a range of certifications to prove ourselves. We knew we cared and behaved accordingly.
We thought maybe, just maybe, we should start communicating our values and the very real principles we stand by. But to do so we first needed to be certain that our own house was in order – sustainable, in other words. It was an enormous challenge for us to navigate through this new and endless maze, trying to separate the green from the green wash. So we conducted some rigorous research into which certifications were truly authentic and effective, and then we were able to take stock and assess if what we were doing naturally was actually making any difference at all.
It turned out that we seemed to be going in the right direction. But there was still much work to be done. We understood that being open and honest about what we do well and what we need to improve is fundamental to our quest in achieving sustainability and reducing our ecological footprint.
And we realised that, out of all the various certifications out there, the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) was the most testing – it simply doesn’t allow you to hide from the things you may be doing wrong. Things have changed dramatically at Generation Press, based here on the edge of the South Downs in the middle of a working farm.
In 2011/12 we acquired an additional building and a new B2 Press. Then (2013), we purchased a new chemical-free thermal closed loop plate processor, and we are now the proud owners of a gorgeous new Indigo Digital Press, shuffling everything around to fit it all in.
As of August 2013 we now have our very own solar panels to feed electricity directly into our new building where the B2 and B3 Presses are now housed. We hope we can get most of our electricity from these, with the remainder provided by Ecotricity – in our view, by far the most advanced green energy company. In 12 months we will know precisely what percentage of electricity can be generated from the panels. So here we are. The result of, and reward for, all this work comes in the form of our first ever EMAS certification!
Please send an email to email@example.com requesting a copy of our book (Th)ink with all our environmental achievements and a more in depth story of our journey.
We know that we have merely reached base camp. The ascent so far has been pretty tough going. But after breakfast we are about to start climbing Everest. We were already doing so much before EMAS. Now we must, and will, do much, much more.