Green Prints is not your regular printing company in Singapore, but one that believes in sustainability. The green business was started by Mark Cheng in April 2011, who took over his parents’ printing business and gave it a more eco-friendly twist. Green Prints is an environmental social enterprise that provides green printing solutions using environmentally friendly paper.
The company aims to provide the greenest and cheapest printing solution in Singapore, and operates 24 hours, 7 days week. It provides printing for products such as namecards, brochures, flyers, magazines, newsletters, greeting cards, certificates, books and publications.
There is no surprise to Mark’s desire to have a green business as he is an environmentalist at heart, having co-founded Avelife Foundation, a charity in Singapore dedicated to providing an educational platform for effective green innovation and imparting green values to the youth.
In the past, Mark found it difficult to find a green printer for printing materials for his activities at Avelife, and the cost of printing on eco-friendly paper is usually double that of normal paper. So he decided that green printing is a business worth going into, and founded Green Prints. He believes that going green should not incur a premium but should be affordable to everyone.
Green Prints is the main supplier and distributor of sugarcane paper, which is manufactured in India. The paper-making process uses sugarcane waste that is usually dumped in India (and also from Vietnam), and makes use of wind energy. This use of waste sugarcane enables Green Prints to offer the paper at prices comparable to paper from wood sources.
Besides printing on sugarcane paper, Green Prints also has other eco-friendly paper alternatives such as recycled paper; FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper; PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified paper; red algae paper (from Korea); banana stem paper (from South America); and panda poo paper.
For its operations, Green Prints uses digital printing, which is more energy efficient than normal printing process, and uses energy efficient LED lighting, and recycles paper waste. The company is also looking at implementing the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System to manage its environmental impacts, and considering looking at monitoring its carbon footprint.
Mark shares that more companies are starting to explore green printing for their namecards and annual reports, and he expects increased demand for green printing moving forward, and intends to expand further to other Asian and European countries.
True to his green roots, Mark is making green printing more affordable for all registered charities, non-profits, not-for-profits, and social enterprises with a 40% discount off all their green printing services in 2012.