Environment and sustainability
St Ives and the environment
St Ives is committed to continuous improvement in its environmental performance and accepts that its responsibilities with regard to environmental protection rank equally in importance with other key business objectives. The board is responsible for setting the Group’s Environmental Policy.
Printing, by its nature, impacts the environment and the application of the Group’s Environmental Policy is intended to minimise that impact. The production of non-recyclable waste or the excessive use of water or energy, are costs which cannot be converted to revenue from our customers and so do not contribute to the Group’s operating profit. It therefore makes good business sense to manage our environmental performance. In addition, the Group’s reputation would be at risk if its environmental performance was not adequately managed and the law or regulations breached.
The Group’s Environmental Policy Statement is reviewed on an annual basis and circulated throughout the business. The Policy Statement includes the following environmental objectives:
- To ensure that its products and their manufacture by member companies will not be harmful to people or the environment;
- To strive continually to improve the efficiency of the group’s operations so as to minimise the use of materials, the generation of waste and to prevent pollution of the environment;
- To comply with all relevant environmental regulations and legislation;
- To include a review of environmental performance as a criterion for the selection of suppliers and contractors;
- To operate its facilities in a responsible and cooperative fashion in the communities in which it resides.
What we measure
The Group manages its performance against four overall Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
i) Energy consumption;
ii) Emissions from energy;
iii) Waste sent to landfill; and
iv) Water consumption.
During the year the Group’s Print businesses applied an ISO14001:2004 - certified environmental management system to manage their performance against the Group’s environmental statutory legislation commitments and site based KPIs. The Group is committed to an energy reduction program driven via DEFRA and the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF)...
The Group’s Marketing Services businesses and the Group’s new headquarters are office environments and so their activities have minimal effect on the environment. Nevertheless, each site applies good house-keeping practices such as segregating waste for recycling and using timers, thermostats and low voltage lighting where practicable.
How the Group performed in 2011/2012
The Group’s environmental KPIs show improvements, year on year, primarily due to improved efficiencies in the Group’s printing processes, site closures and the disposal of the Magazine business.
In particular improvements were made to the year on year performance of the Print segment against its KPIs. This was attributable, in the main, to improved efficiencies in our print production processes. The Print segment’s customers have the final decision on which substrate they wish their work to be printed and, indeed, many of the Group’s larger book publishers prefer to supply their own paper for use in producing their work.
Having signed up to the Carbon Trust Carbon management Programme in 2007, each of the Group’s Print sites have progressed with the implementation of the carbon reduction initiatives identified by the programme including:
- Improved process energy control
- During refits, the replacement of conventional fluorescent light fittings with high efficiency, low energy fittings
- Improved compressed air management
- Replacement of fixed speed electric motors with variable speed drives
- All St Ives’ Print sites that use paper or board as the primary printing substrate have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification
- FSC/PEFC certification enables these sites to:
- Identify and control their wood sources, including FSC/PEFC certified, reclaimed/recycled material and non-FSC/PEFC certified wood;
- Communicate business-to-business about the content of their wood and wood fibre products; and
- Use the FSC/PEFC logos to promote their products in the marketplace
- All of the Print sites have environmental management systems that are certified to ISO14001:2004
The Group’s overall performance and the Print segment’s performance against KPIs for 2012 and the previous two years are set out in the charts below.
- Carbon emissions were reduced by 12,091 tonnes of CO2 (26%) year-on year in 2011/2012, compared with a 20% (11,132 tonnes) reduction in 2010/2011 over the prior year.
- Energy usage fell by 54% (61.87 million KWHr) year-on year in 2011/2012, compared with a 21% (30.329 million KWHr) reduction in 2010/2011 over the prior year.
- Waste sent to landfill fell by 25% (496 tonnes) year-on year in 2011/2012, compared with an 11% (258 tonnes) reduction in 2010/2011 over the prior year.
- Water usage fell by 33% (34,389 cubic meters) year-on year in 2011/2012, compared with a 5% (5,402 cubic meters) reduction in 2010/2011 over the prior year
- Waste sent to landfill per square meter of substrate reduced by 18% (0.21 grams) year-on year in 2011/2012, compared with an increase of 4% (0.044 grams) in 2010/2011 over the prior year.
- Water usage per square meter of substrate fell by 21% (12.12 millilitres) year-on year in 2011/2012, compared with a 0.02% (0.011 millilitres) increase in 2010/2011 over the prior year.
- Total Energy usage per square meter of substrate fell by 10% (0.04 KWHr) year-on year in 2011/2012, compared with a 3% (0.001 KWHr) increase in 2010/2011 over the prior year.
- Within Total Energy usage per square meter of substrate, Electricity consumption reduced by 0.001 KWHr (3.7%) after two flat years. Gas consumption increased between 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 but, in 2011/12, usage reduced to a level 11% below that for 2009/2010.
1. Key Environmental Issues
With reference to the requirements of environmental legislation and the desire to minimise the impact of the Group’s operations on the environment, the following have been identified as significant environmental issues for the Group and guide the board’s decision which KPIs to set:
- The control of emissions to atmosphere at all printing sites with particular emphasis on heat set web off-set processes.
- The minimisation of, and eventual cessation of, the use of isopropyl alcohol in fount solutions.
- Where appropriate and in accordance with the requirements of the Pollution, Prevention and Control Regulations 2000 (PPC), the control of emissions to air, land and water from all qualifying UK printing sites.
- Improvement in the energy efficiency of all aspects of the Group’s businesses, with particular emphasis on the printing process at UK Climate Change Levy Agreement (CCLA) sites, with the ultimate objective of minimising the Group’s carbon emissions.
- Compliance with all relevant legislation with respect to the storage, transportation and disposal of hazardous waste with specific reference, in the UK, to the Hazardous Waste and WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) Regulations.
- Minimisation of the quantity waste generated by all sites and the maximisation of the recycling or recovery of such waste.
This report covers all subsidiaries of the Group and their businesses carried out within the Print and Marketing Service segments. Each subsidiary’s General Manager, or equivalent, is responsible to his or her divisional board of directors and each subsidiary’s Managing Director is answerable to the St Ives plc parent board for environmental matters. Environmental advice and support to all of the sites is provided by the group Health, Safety and Environmental Adviser who reports to the Group’s CEO.
St Ives plc’s head office is in London. Its relocation, in April 2011, from Southwark to state-of-the-art smaller premises in Blackfriars resulted in substantial savings in energy costs.
The following table lists St Ives’ operating subsidiaries and sites as at 27 July 2012.
3. Environmental Management Systems
The Group Health, Safety and Environmental Adviser has overall responsibility for overseeing the development and maintenance of Group and site environmental procedures. Subsidiary company directors and site General Managers (or equivalents) are responsible, with assistance from site-specific Health, Safety and Environmental Advisers and the Group Health, Safety and Environmental Adviser, for ensuring that their sites comply with the requirements of the Group’s standards and legislation.
Environmental procedures have been established at all sites for:
- The evaluation of suppliers and contractors
- The management of hazardous waste
- The purchase of all items of capital equipment
- Equipment installation and construction projects
- Recycling of waste paper
- Paper procurement
Other Group procedures are developed and defined as and when appropriate for the Print sites including the recycling of aluminium plates.
4. Key environmental impacts
The Group defines environmental impact as: any change to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from the Group’s activities, products or services. The significant environmental impacts for the Group are as follows.
Emissions to air
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Solvent based inks are used at all of the Print sites. All of the web presses, both heat set cold set use only petroleum based inks. The sheet fed presses are capable of running with vegetable oil based inks. Solvents are used for cleaning plates, blankets and rollers. Abatement systems have been installed for all heat-set web off-set presses. All new heat-set web off-presses incorporate integrated afterburners which recycle heat from the afterburner to the oven. Automatic blanket washing using liquids with low volatility is fitted to the majority of presses (sheet fed and web) and is specified for all new presses. All of the heat set web off-set sites run with isopropyl alcohol (IPA) free fount solutions as do the cold set web presses at Clays. The use of alcohol-free fount solutions is specified on all new heat-set web presses. Of the five St Ives sites with sheet-fed lithographic capacity, one site runs all of its presses with alcohol-free fount solutions. Out of a total of 13 presses, ten run alcohol-free. Of the remaining three presses, one runs with less than 5% IPA and two between 7.5% and 9% IPA.
In accordance with HSE guidance and in order to reduce to a minimum the fire risks associated with the use of highly flammable solvents such as IPA, the Group’s long term aim is to remove IPA from all of its lithographic printing processes.
Solvent management of press room chemicals has been instigated at all sites including the use of non-VOC solvents wherever practicable, lidded solvent cans and lidded bins for rags. The one remaining heat-set web off-set site was covered during 2011/2012by a Part B Permit issued under the Pollution, Prevention and Control (PPC) Regulations 2000. The remaining sites operate under part B permits where applicable and are confined to operating conditions defined in their authorisation/permit.
Carbon dioxide. The use of energy either directly (e.g. burning fuel in ovens or in vehicle engines) or indirectly (e.g. use of electricity) produces carbon dioxide. The Group is committed to reducing its carbon emissions as far as is practicable by implementing low carbon projects throughout the Group. The Group has developed the capability to calculate the carbon footprint of the various aspects of its business such as energy use, printing, and the transportation of raw materials and finished goods etc. As well as enabling the Group to measure its carbon emissions, this information can be used to assist the Group’s Print customers in the assessment of the carbon footprint of products printed for them by the Group.
Dust. Dust collected by waste extraction plants within the Group’s Print sites is removed by filtration of the exhaust air.
Emissions to water. Wash water from the plate making process and from various other washing activities in the Group’s Print businesses is disposed of to drain and is routinely monitored to ensure that the concentration of any contaminants present is within the statutory limits. All sites which discharge waste process water have been issued with a trade effluent licence and are confined to the conditions defined in their consent to discharge. Wherever practicable, recycling of water is designed into all new processes. All sites on which hazardous liquids are handled or stored have established procedures for the containment of leaks and spillages in order to prevent contamination of ground water and water courses. All waste liquids classified as hazardous waste are collected for treatment and disposal by a licensed waste management company.
Waste disposal to landfill sites. The printing and finishing process can generate a significant amount of waste material. The Print sites’ quality and environmental management systems include waste minimisation programmes designed to reduce the amount of waste generated at source. All sites operate recycling procedures for all principal waste streams including plastic, wood, paper, cardboard waste and aluminium printing plates. Hazardous chemical waste is collected for specialist recovery and disposal which includes, where practicable, the recycling of non-water miscible organic liquids and the recovery of silver from photographic waste streams.
Use of Energy – use of natural resources. All sites have been established energy management policies and programmes as part of their site Environmental Management Systems. Targets have been set for the monitoring of energy usage. It is the Group’s policy that high energy efficiency is included as a factor when selecting equipment for purchase.
Noise and Vibration. The design of any new factory or alteration or extension to an existing factory includes consideration of the potential noise emission in consultation with the appropriate regulatory authority. Noise emissions from new equipment are evaluated prior to purchase and appropriate measures taken to either minimise excessive noise emission at source or to contain it. Goods vehicle movements at the majority of the Group’s sites are normally restricted between 19.00 hrs and 07.00 hrs. The use of rapid-action roller shutter doors is intended to ensure that doorways are normally kept closed in areas when there is a potential for nuisance noise. The use of such doors also reduces heat loss from buildings.
Use of water. Wherever practicable the recycling of water is designed into all new processes.
Use of raw materials. The use of raw materials within the printing process has an impact on the environment in that it uses up natural resources. The most significant such impact arises from the use of paper. All sites have adopted measures to monitor and minimise the use of raw materials consistent with changing customer specifications. Wherever practicable, paper used is manufactured from pulp which is derived either from managed, sustainable, forests or from post consumer waste (recycled paper).
5. Environmental Performance Indicators
All sites record against the Group’s KPIs: the usage of electricity, gas, water and the quantities of waste generated.
Energy Efficiency. The Group achieved, where applicable, their UK Climate Change Levy Agreement (CCLA) energy efficiency targets without having to use carbon credits. All Print sites, irrespective of CCLA status, were set the target of improving the Group efficiency by 2% compared with 2010/2011. In practice the aggregate energy efficiency in 2011/2012 improved by 11%.
Waste. All sites have been set targets for the reduction of the amount of general waste sent to landfill and Print sites have been asked to report the amount of waste generated relative to units of production in order to measure performance year on year and also to provide a comparison between sites with similar work mixes. Print sites were set a target of improving the amount of waste per unit of production sent to landfill 2% compared with 2010/2011. In practice, the aggregate waste generated per metre squared of substrate used was reduced by 18%.
Water. All Print sites have been set targets for the reduction of the amount of water used per unit of production and were set a target of a 2% reduction in the amount of water consumed per unit of production. In practice, the aggregate water consumption per metre squared of substrate used reduced by 21%.
Packaging usage. Under the requirements of the Producer Responsibility (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997, all Group sites record the use of packaging material and the Group is a member of a compliance scheme which ensures compliance with the recycling targets set by the Regulations.
The Group will consider whether a more meaningful normaliser should be adopted for measuring the performance of the Print companies in future years, whilst recognising that, for St Ives’ energy consumption to calculated against the DEFRA/BPIF agreement, consumption per square metre of substrate will have to be recorded.