Corporate Image: Explaining the terms of Green Printing

You are looking for a green printer that produces eco-friendly custom binders, folders, or other marketing materials but there are many “sustainable” terms floating around.  What do they really mean?  Post consumer waste vs recycled content… as a green printer, Corporate Image can help.  Look here for a list of eco-friendly vocabulary to know and view the Eco-table that helps you to choose the best environmental options for your eco-friendly products.

Post Consumer Waste, PCW

Post consumer waste comes from products that have been made and used, then recycled.  This is the last part of the material usage and can also be called “closing the loop”.  As a green printer Corporate Image has done projects such as the eco-friendly custom box for the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority on Smart Paper’s Genesis Paper which was made with 100% PCW.

Recycled Content

Recycled content products are made from materials that would otherwise have been discarded.  These products can be made from anything you recycle like soda cans and newspapers.  There are more than 4,500 recycled-content products available, and this number continues to grow.

End of Life and Recyclability

Recyclable products can be collected and remanufactured into new products after they’ve been used. These products may or may not contain recycled content in the initial manufacturing and only benefit the environment if people recycle them after use.  An example is Corporate Image’s eco-friendly custom folder crafted with Neenah Conservation Paper, which does contain 100% PCW, for the Student Assistance Foundation.  This folder is 100% Recyclable. 


FSC Certified– Certifies sustainable forest management through a set of principles, criteria, and standards.
Green-E Certification– Verifies certified renewable energy and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions

Processed Chlorine Free, PCF

Recycled content paper can be processed chlorine free but must meet all the required guidelines set by the EPA for recycled or post-consumer content.  PCF papers have not been rebleached with chlorine containing compounds, and a minimum of 30% post consumer content is required.  As an option, Corporate Image offers Neenah Conservation Paper for your custom binders, folders and other materials which can all be PCF certified.

Shipping and Product Travel

As mentioned on the Corporate Image: Sustainable Products for your Sustainable Projects blogs, shipping and product travel  are important considerations when choosing the product for your project.  Located in the midwest, Corporate Image both manufactures and ships from a central location.  We also choose paper mills that are close by, for example, our neighbor, Neenah Paper, located in Wisconsin.  Not only does this greatly cut down on the carbon footprint and oil dependency by choosing a product with less travel distance, but it also benefits you because it makes the turnaround shorter and shipping cheaper. 

In order to see the environmental options for your eco-projects view the Eco-table for more information on products used in custom binders, folders, sales boxes, tabs, and software packaging.  Here you will find a visual with different material options for each green printer project.

More Information

Chlorine Free Products Association

Earth 911

Environmental Protection Agency

Treecycle: Recycled Paper

Corporate Image: Eco-friendly Custom Box on Smart Paper’s Genesis Paper

Corporate Image has searched out companies making sustainable papers to use in our custom eco-friendly products.  Smart Papers is another sustainable company that, as a green printer, Corporate Image likes to partner!  Located in Hamilton, Ohio- about 10 hours away from the Corporate Image location in the heart of the midwest, this company has been in business for over 110 years.   We choose to partner with them because, like us, they are dedicated to creating sustainable products using sustainable practices.

Smart Papers has made large strides toward greening their company and products.  They  strive to lessen landfill dependency by being one of the largest users of coated paper waste.  Over 20 years ago they produced the first 100% Recycled Premium Text and Cover paper brand.  They also use recycled fiber throughout the entire product line of fine papers and continually strive for green growth.  The company is growing greener all the time with Smart Paper’s 20 Year Green Performance, mapping the company standards on fiber, pulp, chemicals, solid waste and more, and their two current green goals for energy and water reduction.

The Sustainable Paper we choose: Smart Paper’s Genesis Paper
Corporate Image especially likes Genesis Paper, one of the many eco-friendly paper options that Smart Papers produces.  It’s a responsible sheet, offered in a versatile pallet of colors with smooth and vellum finishes that ensure great ink holdout and consistent on-press performance.  Available in 17 colors, 9 weights, and 4 finishes, it is a laser-guarenteed companion.   View the Genesis Paper Specification Sheet for more information.

Points of Sustainability:
100% post-consumer fibers
Entire grade FSC Certified
Acid-free and archival for protection

Eco-friendly Custom Box:
Recently, New York State Energy Research & Development Authority, NYSERDA, approached Corporate Image to help create a beautiful box that met the State of New York’s eco standards, requiring state agencies to purchase 100 percent recycled paper.  Smart Paper’s Genesis Line was the way to go because the size of the box required a heavier weight stock paper. NYSERDA chose to use Genesis 160#  Double-thick Cover that is 100% post consumer waste recycled.   With all of Smart Paper’s eco-friendly options, clients are sure to find a paper that suites any project.

Links for more Smart Paper green company resources:

Environmental Leadership

Corporate Image: Eco-friendly Custom Folder on Neenah Paper’s Conservation Paper

As a green printer Corporate Image partners with companies making sustainable products.  Neenah Paper, located in Neenah, Wisconsin, has been in the business since 1873 and can be found all over the world.  In keeping with our sustainable practices, Corporate Image chooses Neenah Paper because they are dedicated to reducing the solid waste disposal burden and lessening landfill dependency by creating and using recycled paper.

Being neighbors means the paper doesn’t have to ship across the world before it can be used for your project.  This benefits you because it makes the turnaround shorter and shipping cheaper.  It also cuts down on the carbon footprint in travel, making it an even more eco-friendly paper choice.

To demonstrate that “Neenah is Greenah” as they like to say it, the company offers FSC Certified, Green Seal, Green-e, Carbon Neutral Plus and more certifications on different products.  For example “Green-e is the nation’s leading independent certification and verification program for renewable energy products. By using Green-e Certified renewable energy, Neenah Paper is replacing fossil fuels with energy generated from sources such as hydro, wind and solar power.”  You can find this and more on Neenah’s Green Logos page.

The Sustainable Paper we choose:  Neenah Paper’s Conservation Paper
When choosing paper, Corporate Image, looks to Neenah Paper’s Conservation Papers for an environmentally responsible and economically priced sheet.  Neenah’s Conservation Papers have many benefits- smooth finish, 92 brightness, and available in 5 different weights in the most common sheet sizes.  Not only is the paper manufacture process chlorine free but the paper is made of 100% post consumer fiber and FSC certified as well as fully recyclable.  You want to instantly calculate the environmental savings achieved by using paper made with post consumer fiber as well as the savings from using paper made with 100 percent renewable energy?  Click Neenah’s Environmental Calculator.

Points of Sustainability:
Shipping:  394 miles: short travel distance = low carbon footprint
Content:  100% Post Consumer Fiber, PCF Certified, FSC Certified
End of Life: 100% Recyclable
No lamination needed

Eco-friendly Custom Folder:
Corporate Image recently did  a an eco-friendly folder on Conservation Paper with Student Assistance Foundation.  These folders, and other projects like it, don’t need to be laminated.   They show color well and are 100% recyclable.  View Corporate Image’s Product Feature Video for the ultimate eco-friendly folder for Student Assistance Foundation crafted with Neenah Conservation Paper.

Check out these Neenah links for more green company resources:

Neenah is Greenah category on the Neenah Blog: Against the Grain
Neenah Green: A Brighter Shade of Green
Neenah Green Logos


A Better Binders’ Board

When we were searching for a tag line for our new bare board binders, we came up with the idea of highlighting the binders board – the heart of the binder or “the core” as it was to become known. The binders’ board we use for all of our binders is unique and makes for a good story because it is constructed of 100% post-consumer waste, but it’s not ordinary waste, and hence not ordinary board.

We refer to our board as binders board, but it’s commonly called solid board in the industry and has a number of qualities which make it unique. First, it is not made from your average street waste, but clean waste that is collected from health clubs around Holland, so it’s a mixture of magazines, newspapers and other like paper. This recycled paper complies with the FSC standard when the composition of the ultimate solid board demonstrably comprises at least 85% FSC paper and/or recycled paper. Because it is FSC certified, customers know that the board complies with responsible forest management. The production process employs very clean and safe manufacturing conditions.

This particular board is selected for our 3-ring binders because it is strong and it retains its strength, shape and volume even in humid and damp conditions. It can also be easily customized in many different designs and dimensions and special printing and embossing techniques can be used to make a product that stands out. We landed on using “green at the core” for our tagline to describe the environmental benefit that comes from our bare board binders and because there is no lamination, it is green from the outside cover to the core.



100% Recycled Paper – Now More Affordable!

When Corporate Image first started printing on recycled papers a number of years ago, they were significantly more expensive than coated papers. Our customers had just begun requesting earth friendly options to reflect their environmental values, but the overall demand was still low. Over time, it became more common to find recycled paper with up to 30% post-consumer waste and prices for those papers began slowly declining. But, there were very few choices for 100% PCW, so it remained expensive… until now!

We have discovered a quality 100% recycled paper that we use for pocket folders, custom boxes and multi-media packaging that is very affordable. Available in bright, white 80 lb. text and 100 lb. cover weight, it is a smooth sheet that is fully recyclable and of course FSC certified. It is a great option for greening your presentation project and it won't break your pocketbook.

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