The large format printing & manufacturing industries have long been considered harmful to the environment. Through printing processes that pollute the water, printing substrates that are difficult to recycle, inks that pollute the air and products that are difficult to reuse, it is no wonder that the two industries have such a bad reputation. With new advances in technology, the large format printing & manufacturing industries are able to now explore new options that are more sustainable than ever before.
Throughout the years, PNH Solutions has used its innovative spirit to master new techniques to strengthen its commitment to the environment, while continuing to offer durable and high-quality marketing solutions.
Below, are 10 ways PNH Solutions embraces green practices in the large format printing and manufacturing industries:
1- PNH Solutions specializes in dye sublimation printing, the most environmentally friendly, sustainable printing process for fabric, as it does not contribute to polluted waste water and ground contamination. Unlike screen printing, where large amounts of water is necessary to dye the fabric, dye sublimation requires no water for dying, as the process involves turning color into gas. As the heat-sensitive inks transfer to the surface of the textile immediately, the ink becomes part of the material. Without ‘dot patterns’, the final product is more durable, as the inks don’t fade and the prints don’t damage easily. With large format printers that are able to print up to 120” wide with a print resolution of up to 1200 dpi, PNH Solutions is able to offer large, seamless prints of exceptional quality.
2- In its dye sublimation process, PNH Solutions uses recyclable polyesters as print substrates. As materials that meet the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100, they are free of harmful substances, like heavy metals, toxic dyes, crop protection substances, and carcinogenic substances like formaldehyde. They are also manufactured in environmentally-friendly operations at socially acceptable conditions as per STeP by OEKO-TEX®.
3- For its fabric printing, PNH Solutions uses water dispersed dye inks that are completely environmentally friendly, recyclable, odorless and free of VOCs. Like the polyester print substrates, these inks meet the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100. In addition, they also meet the Blue Wool rating of 5-6, meaning that they resist UV degradation for up to 7 months of continuous outdoor exposure to UV light.
4- PNH Solutions also offers green alternatives to PVC-based media, an otherwise wasteful material, with its Eco Verde substrates and latex inks. Capable of printing up to 126” wide, PNH Solutions is able to print a wider color gamut than the majority of large format printers on the market, at up to 1200 dpi.
5- The Eco Verde collection is made of PVC-free banner media which, post campaign, can be disposed of by simply utilizing curbside blue box programs prevalent throughout the country.
6- The latex inks have been classified A+ in the French scheme, “Émissions dans l’air intérieur,” which means that they have the highest mark for environmentally- related health, though the lowest emissions of VOCs. As Ecologo UL2801 certified inks, they are tested for heavy metals content and solvents. Moreover, they meet the requirements for low VOC content, as well as product recyclability. They are also Greenguard Children and Schools certified, an even stricter certification criteria, that considers safety factors to account for sensitive individuals (such as children and the elderly), and ensures that a product is acceptable for use in environments such as schools and healthcare facilities. The inks are rated by HP for durability, in terms of scratch resistance and 5 years indoor/3 years continued outdoor use.
7- PNH Solutions manufactures Silicone Edge Graphic (SEG) Frames and Lightboxes and pop-up tents made of aluminum, a material that can be melted and reused into other products. According to the North American Aluminum Industry Sustainability Report, recycled aluminum uses 5% of the energy that would be needed to create a comparable amount from raw materials.
8- In order to create a backlit effect, PNH Solutions uses LEDs, a lighting solution that has a low energy consumption, for its Silicone Edge Graphic (SEG) Lightboxes. While a typical LEDs light power consumption is 150 watts, a fluorescent is 610 watts and 400 watts for a neon glass. With less than half the power draw of that of a glass neon fixture and less than four times the power draw of a fluorescent light, LEDs are a more eco-friendly alternative to traditional lighting.
9- All of its structures, whether they are made of aluminum or wood, are modular. As a result, they are able to fit into smaller boxes, which not only reduce shipping costs, but also help reduce their carbon footprint.
10- PNH Solutions repurposes waste from its projects into reusable items. Its flag carry bags, for instance, are made from waste materials. Moreover, in 2017, the large format printing company was awarded an innovation award at the Gutenberg Awards for its reusable bags made entirely of waste materials.
Though the large format printing & manufacturing industries may be considered harmful to the environment, they do not have to be. The reasons listed above suggest that is possible and worthwhile for the industries, and companies like PNH Solutions, to embrace new technologies, experiment with possible solutions and find alternatives that are sustainable. As PNH Solutions has been able to demonstrate through examples of its work for the 2015 Pan Am & Para Pan Am Games, 2016 and 2017 Invictus Games, the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and the Superbowl LI, offering green products does not come at the expense of offering high print quality.
To attest to its commitment towards sustainable development, in 2016, PNH Solutions began taking all the necessary steps to becoming ISO 14001:2015 certified, so that it could follow an effective environmental management system, where its environmental impact could be measured and improved.