Protecting the environment and creating a better future for the next generation is a priority for the winners of the 2021 Moreton Bay Region’s Environment and Sustainability Award.
The Eckersley Print Group received the award at last year’s Moreton Bay Region Business Excellence and Innovation Awards for their commitment to recycling paper, metals and other products at its Narangba site.
Managing Director Tom Eckersley says their “circular economy” plays a big part in their sustainability efforts in the day-to-day operations of the company.
“We use sustainable and responsibly sourced paper companies, so then the environmental impact we are making is a positive outcome, which we are very committed to,” Tom says.
“In the recycling of our waste product, we separate it so there is a high-grade paper waste and low-grade paper waste.
“The high-grade paper waste is all separated and put into special bins and is then collected by a particular company that recycles it.
“In that circular economy, the company that we use then pays us for that waste because it is such clean waste. This company then provides some of the products they make back to us, which includes the paper towels, toilet paper, and hand towels.”
With the company using many different materials, the circular economy also extends to other aspects of the printing process.
This is done by donating unwanted pallets to local craftsmen who then use that wood to make furniture, giving the aluminum in the printing plates to recyclers who pay for and use that product, as well as using soy-based ink.
“We want to make a good impact on the earth, so everything in this space needs to be done in a sustainable way,” Tom says.
The Eckersley Print Group is one of two printing sites in Queensland that has an FSG accreditation - which stands for Forest Stewardship Council - and an ISO 14001 accreditation - which sets out the criteria for an environmental management system.
Tom says he and his company were thrilled to be recognised at last year’s Moreton Bay Region Business Excellence and Innovation Awards.
“Usually there are lots of other industries that are more front and centre in that space, so for a printing company to be recognised, it was a great accolade for us and for the initiatives we have undertaken,” Tom says.
“The truth is, paper is fundamental to the print industry as it’s a sustainable product - we plant it, we grow it and then use it in different ways,” Tom says.
“As an industry, we plant more trees yearly than we use, so we have a positive impact in that regard.
“We will be entering the awards again this year because the print industry has a good story to tell in the environmental category.”
The Moreton Bay Business and Innovation Awards are returning in 2022, with an earlier start date and additional categories for businesses and individuals to celebrate their achievements.
The awards are free to enter, and nominations open on May 16 at 9am. They close on July 17 at 11.59pm.
To find out more, visit the website.