Energy Manager

Energy efficiency comes naturally to ‘zero waste’ MET Fine Printers

April 27, 2015 - Some companies use Power Smart incentives to launch a new environmental program. Others rely on them to bolster an already-established effort.

April 27, 2015  By BC Hydro

That’s the case with Vancouver-based MET Fine Printers. The company offers high-end commercial printing, and has expanded its services to include custom websites, outdoor displays, and even augmented reality—print pieces that lead to 3D renderings or animations.

MET’s taste for innovation includes a 15-year effort to improve its environmental performance.

“Our goal is to have the best environmental technology built in as part of our package,” says Scott Gray, the company’s vice president of branding. “So we’re carbon neutral. We’re zero waste. We use UV light-activated inks that contain zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

“We try to put our money where our mouth is when it comes to green technology.”


Environmental initiatives save money on waste, materials, and energy

Through MET’s zero-waste program, the company turned a $3,000-per-month waste disposal cost into a small positive return each month.

Setting up its own onsite ink plant allowed the company to reduce ink orders by 10% and cut down time, as well as shrink the carbon emissions from deliveries.

Gray says improved energy efficiency was a logical next step, especially when MET learned about BC Hydro incentives that would help cut up-front costs and improve the payback period. Working with BC Hydro’s Power Smart Alliance contractors, MET replaced three old air compressors with a single efficient model, and old-style fluorescent lighting with efficient new ballasts and lamps.

The upgrades have also improved working conditions. “The overall light quality in the manufacturing areas of bindery and finishing has increased dramatically,” Gray says.

Together, the projects qualified for $9,500 in incentives, and will save about 30,000 kWh of electricity per year going forward.

Business case for sustainability includes customer satisfaction

Gray says MET maintains a process of continual improvement backed up by environmental leadership that’s championed from the top level of the company. And there’s a solid business case for the company’s sustainability efforts, backed up by the cost savings it has delivered.

“It gives you a great story to tell, but it also gives you a stronger bottom line because most of the leading companies out there want to align themselves with like-minded companies.

“They say, ‘We love the fact that you’re doing the right thing’ — but at the same time, they’ll say, ‘That’s not going to cost me more, is it?” he says with a laugh. “We can honestly say, ‘No, it’s not going to cost you more. If anything, we have ways to help you green up your path and your future too.’”

PHOTO: Scott Gray, MET’s vice-president of branding (left), and president Nikos Kallas. (Photo BC Hydro)

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