Monday, August 24, 2009

When Going Green Isn't About Marketing

In a brutal economic slump it might be expected that going green would take a back seat to earning green. After all, many entrepreneurs these days are focused more on merely surviving a protracted recession rather than on saving the planet. But it turns out many business owners have figured out ways to do both.

Consolidated Printing's Green Push

Since 1973, Marilyn Jones, owner of Chicago's Consolidated Printing, has been on a mission: to eliminate all toxic chemicals from her operation. "Printing is one of the top 10 most toxic businesses," says Jones. "My whole goal has been to make this a safe place for employees."


It hasn't been easy, but several notable improvements over the past three years have allowed her to claim success for her 14-person, $2 million company. To clean some printing tools, she uses reprocessed restaurant grease instead of petroleum-based solvents. Her inks are now free of heavy metals. (Most vegetable-based inks aren't metal-free.) She also bought a digital prepress system modified to work without potentially dangerous chemicals.

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