A Greener Tomorrow for the UK Print Industry

A Greener Tomorrow for the UK Print Industry

Welcome to the world of printing, where innovation meets sustainability! At Flexpress, we’re not just about producing stunning print; we’re about moving towards a greener future. In an era where environmental consciousness is not just valued but essential, we are proud to be at the forefront of eco-friendly printing practices.

Our journey is not just about us, it’s about our planet, our customers, and the entire printing industry. Join us as we unfold the story of how printing can be both beautiful and beneficial to our environment.

Table of Contents:

The Environmental Impact of Printing

The printing industry, traditionally, hasn’t been the poster child for environmental friendliness. From energy consumption to paper waste, the industry faces significant environmental challenges. However, the tide is turning. Innovative technologies and conscious practices are paving the way for a more sustainable future in printing.

In the UK and Europe, a significant step towards sustainability is the use of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accredited paper, ensuring that the paper used comes from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social, and economic benefits. This practice is not just a nod to sustainability but a full embrace of it. For those keen on delving deeper into the sustainable journey of paper, TwoSides.info offers a wealth of information, debunking myths and laying out facts about paper’s environmental impact.

Deepening Our Understanding of Printing’s Footprint

The printing industry’s environmental impact is multi-faceted, extending beyond just paper usage. Energy consumption, ink production, and the manufacturing process of printing equipment all play a role in the ecological footprint of this industry.

  • Energy Use: Traditional printing methods can be energy-intensive, particularly in the drying and curing processes of inks. This not only increases the carbon footprint but also contributes to the depletion of non-renewable energy sources.
  • Ink Production and Usage: Conventional inks often contain chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be harmful to the environment. The production process of these inks can also be resource-intensive and polluting.
  • Equipment Manufacturing: The production of printing presses and related equipment often involves substantial resource use, including metals, plastics, and electronics, which have their own environmental impacts.
  • Waste Management: Waste generated from misprints, excess paper, and used ink can contribute to environmental degradation if not properly managed. Effective recycling and waste reduction strategies are crucial in minimising this impact.

However, the industry is witnessing a positive shift towards sustainability. The use of FSC-certified paper is a significant step, ensuring responsible forest management and paper sourcing. This move not only supports environmental conservation but also promotes social responsibility and economic viability for communities involved in forestry.

Turning Over a New Leaf in Printing

As we at Flexpress navigate these waters, we are committed to contributing positively to this change. Our approach is multifaceted, from harnessing solar energy to adopting cutting-edge printing technologies. Let’s dive into the steps we are taking to ensure our bit in this green revolution.

Flexpress’s Journey to Sustainability

Our journey at Flexpress towards a more sustainable future is a story of commitment and innovation. Recognising the need for environmental stewardship in our industry, we’ve taken significant steps to reduce our carbon footprint and promote eco-friendly practices.

A shining example of our dedication is the installation of solar panels on our factory roof. These panels harness the power of the sun, significantly reducing our reliance on non-renewable energy sources. The impact is twofold: we’re cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions and promoting renewable energy use within the industry.

Additionally, our fleet has taken a turn towards sustainability with the introduction of an electric delivery van. This move not only reduces our emissions but also serves as a testament to our commitment to eco-friendly practices in every aspect of our business.

Our journey is not just about making changes within our walls; it’s about setting a precedent and inspiring others in the industry to follow suit. Every step we take towards sustainability is a step towards a healthier planet.

LED UV Litho Printing: A Greener Choice

In our quest to be more environmentally friendly, Flexpress has embraced LED UV Litho printing, a groundbreaking technology that stands out for its energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact. Our LED UV Litho press, the Ryobi 924 – is the reliable work horse in our factory for all of your longer run booklet and brochure needs.

The RMGT 924; Flexpress’ SRA1 LED UV Litho Press

So, what makes LED UV Litho printing a greener choice?

  • Reduced Energy Consumption: The LED UV system uses up to 70% less energy than conventional drying methods. This dramatic reduction is not only beneficial for the environment but also for reducing operational costs.
  • No Harmful Emissions: Unlike traditional UV printing, LED UV technology does not emit ozone or other harmful gases. This makes it a healthier choice for both the environment and the print shop workers.
  • Longer Lasting LED Lights: The LEDs used in this technology have a longer life span compared to traditional UV lamps. This means fewer replacements, less waste, and reduced manufacturing impact.
  • Higher Quality with Less Waste: The instant drying feature ensures that there is no smudging or offsetting, leading to fewer wasted prints and higher overall efficiency.

At Flexpress, by incorporating this technology, we are not only enhancing our print quality but also significantly contributing to a more sustainable printing process. This technology reflects our commitment to combining technological advancement with environmental responsibility. So when you next order a long-run stapled booklet, or 1500 folders, you can be sure they’re printed with the environment in mind.

The HP Indigo 100K: Pioneering Sustainable Printing

In the realm of sustainable printing solutions, the HP Indigo 100K stands out as a beacon of innovation. At Flexpress, we’re proud to incorporate this state-of-the-art technology into our printing arsenal, not just for its unparalleled efficiency and quality, but for its environmental credentials as well.

Learn how to design a printed document folder using one of our downloadable templates in Adobe InDesign.

The HP Indigo 100K is designed with sustainability in mind. Its energy efficiency is a game-changer, consuming significantly less power than most conventional digital presses. This efficiency translates to lower carbon emissions, aligning with our commitment to reducing our environmental impact. Moreover, the press operates with a high level of material efficiency, with minimal waste during set-up and whilst running. For most jobs printed on the HP Indigo, we only print 1 or 2 sheets over!

But what does this mean for our clients? It ensures that their projects are not only of the highest quality but also produced in an eco-conscious manner. The HP Indigo 100K offers a range of sustainable media options, including recycled and FSC-certified papers, empowering our clients to make environmentally responsible choices without compromising on quality.

In embracing the HP Indigo 100K, Flexpress is not just investing in advanced technology; we’re investing in a sustainable future for the printing industry. Our clients can rest assured that their printing needs are met with the utmost respect for the environment.

Did you know?

HP provides a recycling program for all HP Indigo users. All empty ink cans, consumables and excess oil is collected every two months and recycled!

Practical Steps for an Eco-Friendly Printing Process

Adopting sustainable practices in printing is not just a corporate responsibility; it’s a collective journey. At Flexpress, we believe that every step, no matter how small, counts towards a more sustainable future. Here are some practical steps that printers, graphic designers, and print management companies can take to be more eco-friendly:

  • Choose Sustainable Materials: Opt for recycled or FSC-certified paper to ensure that your print materials are sourced responsibly. All materials we use at Flexpress are FSC-certified.
  • Embrace Energy-Efficient Technologies: Technologies like LED UV Litho printing and presses like the HP Indigo 100K significantly reduce energy consumption and environmental impact.
  • Minimise Waste: Implement practices to reduce paper waste and recycle scrap materials.
  • Order what you need: With the advent of high-quality digital printing, it is no longer necessary to print 1000’s of copies of a particular item and then scrap them when a telephone number or address changes. Instead, simply order what you need. This reduces shipping costs, storage costs, and the potential of wasted inventory.
  • Buy Local: If you’re based in the UK, use a UK-based printer. Unnecessary mileage on goods shipped in from overseas is a leading contributor to carbon emissions.
  • Educate and Encourage Clients: Share the benefits of sustainable printing with clients and encourage them to make eco-friendly choices.
  • Stay Informed and Evolve: Keep abreast of new technologies and practices in sustainable printing and continuously evolve your processes.

By implementing these steps, we can collectively contribute to a more sustainable printing industry. It’s not just about making a statement; it’s about making a difference.


As we draw our discussion to a close, it’s clear that the journey towards sustainable printing is both necessary and rewarding. At Flexpress, we’ve embraced this journey wholeheartedly, recognizing that our responsibility extends beyond providing high-quality prints to ensuring a healthier planet.

Our adoption of solar energy, use of an electric delivery van, implementation of LED UV Litho printing, and the integration of the HP Indigo 100K are not just individual initiatives. They are parts of a larger, cohesive effort to redefine what it means to be a printer in today’s environmentally conscious world.

We understand that this journey isn’t ours alone. It’s a path that we share with our clients, partners, and peers in the industry. To the graphic designers, print management companies, and fellow printers reading this: you are a crucial part of this narrative. Together, we can make choices that don’t just look good on paper but also do good for our planet.

Our message is one of hope and action. We believe in a future where printing doesn’t just reproduce images and text, but also reflects our collective commitment to sustainability. This future is not a distant dream. It’s a reality that we’re creating with each sustainable step we take.

As we look ahead, we invite you to join us in this endeavour. Choose Flexpress for your printing needs, not just for the unmatched quality we provide, but for the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re choosing a partner who values the planet as much as you do. Together, let’s print a brighter, greener future.

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