Blog : Two Green Innovators Cooperate for a Greener New England

By Emily | Jul 16, 2014 | in

By Heikki (Herb) Perry

The collaboration of two eco-minded firms has helped each to profit while also advancing the cause of environmentalism.

RAM Printing was one of the earliest Business Partners and a sustainability leader in the the Green Alliance when the green business union and consumer co-op was first formed in 2009. The Green Alliance works to grow businesses that demonstrate environmental and social responsibility while building a community of consumers who will patronize those businesses.

RAM Printing has been following sustainable printing practices since 1989, well in advance of the current green trend. As “early adopters,” RAM set the standard in New England, and nationally, for the greening of the print industry, on the cutting edge of creating a product and service that was different from anything else on the market. It has strived to provide the consumer with a better product, while minimizing its footprint and succeeding financially.

“New materials emerge as technology changes,” says RAM account manager John Sobczak. “We continue to invest in those technologies that are environmentally friendly. In most cases, because of technology, recycling and new products, many of the ways of doing business are done at reduced costs, which we pass on to the consumer. It’s a win-win for the customer, a win-win for RAM, and a win-win for the environment.”

For example, while most printing companies use oil-based inks, RAM’s are vegetable-based, virtually eliminating the toxins that traditional printing expels into the environment but not compromising quality or diversity of color. The printing plates themselves are water-based and are also recycled.

“We practice what we preach,” says Sobczak, noting that RAM Printing was the first New Hampshire printer to receive Forest Stewardship Council certification. FSC certification promotes sustainable forest management.

“The fact is we're in a renewable business,” says Sobczak. “The product we make doesn’t go into a landfill, it gets recycled. With every tree that gets cut, three to six more are planted. People can recycle all sorts of products: a brochure, a piece of direct mail, a cereal box. It’s not bad for the environment, it’s a good thing. It gets used again and again.”

RAM also recycles all the waste at its East Hampstead, N.H. facility. “Basically in our plant, we don’t throw anything away, including fluorescent light tubes, which are recycled, as are paper, soda cans, aluminum plates, waste paper, and corrugated boxes, and pallets. We hardly put anything in the trash. Almost everything we dispose of has value,” says Sobczak.

“Straight out of the gate it was clear to us that if we wanted to be a leader of green businesses in New Hampshire that we would want to work with RAM,” says Sarah Brown, Green Alliance founder and director. “In those early days when we only had 10 green-certified Business Partners, we felt honored to add RAM to our ranks because it was just obvious that they were going above and beyond in the green space in printing.”

Sobczak says that other printers should stop “pretending they’re green and start instituting real green practices that actually matter. Now there’s no excuse to not do it more sustainably: If you can print either on paper or on anything to do with graphics, doing it green often means you’re doing it for less, you’re getting better quality, there’s no sacrificing. You just have to take the advantage and make the commitment.”

Exploiting cutting-edge technology, RAM’s newest printer sets up in 12 minutes and prints 15,000 copies per hour, saving time and energy, and producing a more sustainable product.

RAM buys most of its paper from local paper producers such as Mohawk and Monadnock Papers, supporting community businesses and also reducing the energy used to move the paper from plant to printer.

RAM supplies GA Business Partner Newmarket Dental, which, Sobczak says, follows sustainable practices 99 percent of the time. Newmarket Dental asks RAM for only New Hampshire-made paper, which reduces the practice’s carbon footprint. Sobczak calls the dentistry office “a superstar.”

In fact, a growing number of RAM clients are GA Business Partners, which number nearly 115 businesses and organizations located in New Hampshire, Southern Maine and Northeastern Massachusetts.

For less than the price of a direct mail campaign or a few print ads, GA Business Partners enjoy a 12-month investment in a constant flow of PR, contacts, prospective customers, and green business strategy. Additionally all GA businesses are green-certified, with that certification fully transparent and available to the public. The GA Web site, newsletter, published stories, social media, collaborative ads, and community presence are all constant sources of promotion for participating businesses.

For example, GA Business Partner Yankee Thermal Imaging brought in 20 new clients in fewer than seven days from a Green Alliance special offer email campaign to its members. This kind of success is mostly attributed to the GA’s powerful story-telling advocacy on behalf of its sustainable entrepreneurs as well as the GA community at large — one committed to doing business with local and transparent green companies.

“What’s great about both the GA business and consumer community is that they appreciate us and do business with us because of our practices and our business model,” says Sobczak. “It’s the GA members who walk the walk and talk the talk. And we’re happy to do business with GA members, be they businesses or consumers. And we applaud them for doing the right thing.”

Green Alliance members enjoy 5% off all printing at RAM Printing!

Green Alliance members enjoy 5% discount off all services and 1/2 off whitening for established patients. New patients holding a Green Card recieve free exam and bitewing x-rays with a cleaning at Newmarket Dental!

Not a member? Join here