I’m going to jump right into the topic of the day which is the value of renewable energy in the printing and envelope industry and the importance of accurate claims in this regard.
As anyone who follows this blog is aware, I’ve been skeptical of the claims made by some of our competitors that a particular envelope was manufactured or printed using wind power. In fact, “skeptical” may not be the right word. “Dismissive” might be more accurate. The way this works is that a company will purchase what are known as Renewable Energy Credits or REC’s. These represent a purchase of a certain amount of power that is actually produced by a random wind farm somewhere in the US. The theory is that the power once purchased goes into the grid and is available for use by someone/anyone. So this energy is thought to replace power that would have been produced using conventional fossil fuels.
I’ve always thought this to be a bit squirrelly and you can read why here. But I’ve also said that if you really want to make a difference and think that renewable energy is important, then by all means put your money where your mouth is and you’ll get no quarrel from me.
That’s what we’ve done at Elite Envelope & Graphics. Since the beginning of 2017, we've begun generating somewhere between one half and three quarters of our total energy consumption through an array of solar panels on our brand new roof.
To be honest, our primary reason for doing this was economics. Between the incentives provided by the Federal and State governments, the system will pay for itself in a fairly short time after which our monthly savings on electricity will be substantial well into the future. And once all the impending breakthroughs in large, storage battery technology I’ve been reading about come to fruition, it’s possible that we could be completely self-sufficient in our energy usage at some point down the road.
But aside from the economics, there are certainly environmental benefits to consuming less fossil fuel. Plus, we can print a "made/printed with solar power" logo on our customer’s envelopes and have it be literally accurate. There’s a lot to be said for truth in advertising! Let us know if we can help you impress your customers.