Solopress and the environment

At Solopress, our concern for the environment goes beyond ticking boxes and making token gestures. Ecological values are central to our mission and we’ll never introduce new products or policies without first considering the environmental consequences.

 

History and culture

From its inception in 1999, Solopress has always encouraged a business culture that takes environmental factors into account in its practices and decision making. Our founders Aron Priest and Andy Smith were passionate about ecological issues and it’s an attitude that remains with us today.

As the business grew to over 100 people in 2011, Aron and Andy pioneered many environmentally conscious measures such as sourcing FSC certified paper stocks, becoming early adopters of vegetable inks, and getting involved in local green projects.

Becoming part of the Onlineprinters Group in 2017 only strengthened the company’s eco-friendly ethos. You can learn all about the group’s incredibly thorough environmental commitments here.

From the day our current Managing Director, Simon Cooper arrived in his all-electric car in 2019, there was no doubt that the company’s environmental legacy would remain secure into this latest chapter of the Solopress story.

 

Responsible procurement

Whether it’s raw materials, inks, couriers or utilities – whenever we invest funds in procuring the essentials we need to do business, we always do so with our environmental responsibilities firmly in mind.

Sustainable materials

In terms of raw materials, the bulk of our consumption is in paper stocks, so it’s important to us that we source them responsibly. We work closely with our suppliers to ensure we use recycled materials wherever possible.

FSC certified and recycled paper

FSC stand for the Forestry Stewardship Council. It’s an international non-profit organisation formed in 1993 to introduce a certification system to uphold benchmark standards for sustainable forestry and paper production. We seek to use FSC certified paper wherever possible, as the raw materials are guaranteed to have come from a sustainable source. 

Although FSC certified paper may contain recycled material, it is not necessarily recycled paper. FSC certification is intended only as an assurance that the wood pulp that goes into the paper stock has been harvested from a sustainably managed forest. In contrast, FSC recycled paper is guaranteed to have been produced using 100% recycled material. 

Vegetable Inks

Solopress was among the first commercial printers to adopt vegetable-based inks as an alternative to petroleum-based products. As well as deriving from a non-renewable resource, petroleum-based inks are known to release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contribute to global warming. On the other hand, vegetable inks are a sustainable and less harmful alternative that also produce great results on the page.

Partners and providers

Aside from the procurement of materials, we’re also mindful of how else we can benefit the environment through careful selection of partners and providers. When awarding contracts, we’re diligent in assessing the environmental performance of any potential suppliers and take their environmental track record into account in our decision making.

DPD

We’re proud to partner with DPD for the majority of our courier requirements. Through DPD, we’re able to offer carbon-neutral delivery within the UK, and to support their mission to operate in the most environmentally responsible way possible. You can read more about DPD’s green mission here.

100% Renewable Energy

It’s important to us that we power our factories and offices as efficiently as possible and with the minimum impact on the environment. Our current relationship with TotalEnergies Gas & Power allows us to run our entire operation on electricity derived from 100% renewable sources.

 

Affiliations and certifications

ClimatePartner

ClimatePartner is an organisation that helps businesses to neutralise their impact on the environment. Thanks to their work, we are able to source climate neutral paper stocks for use within the Solopress Green range of products. Not only is the material 100% recycled, but the unavoidable carbon emissions resulting from production are neutralised through investment in carbon offset projects overseen by ClimatePartner. You can track the amount of carbon that we have offset here on the ClimatePartner website.

Two Sides

Two Sides is a not-for-profit group formed in 2008 to research and communicate data regarding the ecological issues surrounding paper and print. The group promotes environmental practices and provides a voice for businesses involved in the graphic communications supply chain - from forestry to design to print to delivery.

Its mission is to tell the true story of how far the industry has come in reducing its impact on the environment and to expose instances of ‘greenwashing,’ when organisations make disingenuous claims about their eco-credentials. Solopress became a full member of Two Sides in 2021, and as such commits to abide by the Two Sides Principles which outline strict standards of best practice for members.

ISO 14001 Environmental Management

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world's largest developer and accreditor of international standards, with a network of institutes in over 160 countries. UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) is the sole national accreditation body recognised by the British Government to assess organisations that provide certification, testing and inspection services.

Solopress is ISO 14001 certified, meaning that we are committed to minimising our impact on the environment. This includes looking for ways to optimise our energy consumption, using recycled stocks, monitoring our supply chain, and reducing our carbon footprint.

Environmental Agency registered waste carrier

Solopress is registered with the Environmental Agency as a waste carrier, broker, dealer, registration number CBDL217956. As a registered carrier we ensure all waste is disposed of appropriately. We reuse and recycle wherever possible and remain committed to continuous improvement and the prevention of pollution.

 

Solopress Green

Solopress Green is a range of products that goes beyond our own high standards of environmental responsibility to offer customers the opportunity to buy print that‘s not only 100% recycled and recyclable after use, but also produced on materials with zero carbon footprint.

Solopress Green uses FSC certified paper, ensuring that all the material used in the range is either recycled or comes from sustainable woodland. In addition, we work with ClimatePartner to ensure that CO2 emissions produced through paper production are neutralised. 

ClimatePartner are able to calculate the carbon resulting from manufacture and ensure that an equivalent contribution is made to projects in both Europe and the Amazon that offset the impact of production on the environment.

Just because our paper stocks are responsibly sourced and produced from recycled material, doesn't mean you have to compromise on quality. The de-inking process produces 100% recycled paper stocks that are bright white, opaque, and smooth.

This eco-friendly printing range includes Business Cards, Flyers & Leaflets, Postcards, Greetings Cards, Vegan Stickers and more, meaning you can create an impressive suite of environmentally-friendly print with Solopress Green.