Wednesday, October 21, 2009


As I have recently started interning as the sustainability coordinator intern at Hagadone co., my "boss" Myah Ely and I partecipated at the Green Market, which took place today all day on Ft. Street Mall, in Honolulu (Oahu).

Hagadone has been the biggest printing company in Hawaii for years, and in several years it has greatly focused on sustainability and "green efforts", seeing it as a way to set up from competition and, of course, feel good about themselves as well (which never hurts...).

Improving paper recycling on the island is obviously a strong objective for Hagadone. I am surprised, given the American efficiency in most issues, that Oahu does not seem to have a State-run paper recycling program, but it's left up to community programs or individual companies with an underlying interest in it (such as Hagadone).

Some of the strategies the Sustainability Team (which I am now part of) have created and implemented involve recycling and more.

All those unwanted, erraneous, out-of-date print jobs that would otherwise end up in the landfill, can be pretty conveniently picked up by Hagadone's trucks where regular deliveries are made. This paper is then shredded and sent in huge bundles back to the mill factory (that's a whole other crazy story I'll tell you one day!), re-transforemed into paper, and then re-bought by Hagadone to print on it. The paper mill factory obviously pays for shredded paper received, creating an incentive for Hagadone to send in more and more used and unwanted paper. It's a win-win situation.

You know all those junk mail, unwanted mail, old magazines, brochures, flyers, and phonebooks stacking up in your mailbox?This program returns all these used products back into the manufactoring process, thus closing the manufacturing-consumption loop, by collecting all these items every 2nd Saturday of each month at the HQ, selling it back to the paper mill factory, which then converts into post-recycled content paper.

This pretty admirable carbon offset program stands at the core of Hagadone's sustainable efforts. For each printed page, the company buys carbon offset credits in equal amount, which support renewable energy, reforestation and similar projects. The company's carbon footprint is therefore reduced, being the first step towards being carbon neutral.

Other cool things I have witnessed are: vegetable-based inks, and energy neutral machineries. That is, some of the energy/resources' outputs of the machineries dedicated to specific mass-scale printing jobs (we are talking huge machines, 1,000 copies/minute) are thrown back in as energy/recources' inputs.

Sustainability means everything and nothing. They say "sustainability" is the "buzz word" of this decennium, or something like that. Well, from what I've witnessed and taken part in today, I can tell you that sustainability is in full swing here in Hawaii, and it's BIG as the waves of the North Shore.

The Green Market's goals were not only to educate and inform the public, but also to network one with the other. I believe this is the strenght of these hawaiian green businesses. They have realized they are all in this together; the more people involved spreading the word, the more interest created, the better off everybody is.

As a matter of fact, the business present today at the Green Market revolve around the Sustainability Association of Hawaii. With Hagadone's President, Erwin Hudelist, being the president of the Association, and Myah the Secreatry, I was representing the SA as well. I therefore had the occasion to come up and close with some cool so-called green companies.

Tomorrow I'll tell you more about the businesses showcased at the Green Market.


Pit said...

nettamente il #1...grande Chicco

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