Green Business Awards 2008: Best Business Services Company - Winner DG3 Europe

DG3 Europe, the European division of global print and communications group DG3, aims to put environmental responsibility at the heart of its business strategy.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

In the past year, the company has focused on obtaining environmental accreditations, motivating its 173 staff to embrace the green agenda. DG3 has also invested in cleaner equipment and has taken steps to persuade clients to adopt environmentally friendly printing techniques. The judges were particularly impressed by the range of quantitative targets set for environmental improvement and by DG3's engagement with clients, showing how companies can exercise influence not only up the supply chain but down it too.

UK-based DG3 Europe has made great efforts to re-engineer its environmental strategy and position itself as a sustainable leader in the business services sector. As a specialist provider of 'end-to-end communications solutions', printing documents is a central part of DG3's activities and of its environmental programme.

In 2007, DG3 Europe purchased a new computer-to-plate (CTP) printing system that reduced plate-room chemical consumption by 85%. It cut overall solvent use by 18% in 2007-8, and from September 2007 the CTP system began using vegetable-based inks.

DG3 has set production-system error-reduction targets to avoid unnecessary wastage of plates, paper and inks. It now keeps records on energy and chemical consumption, water use and petrol used in delivery.

It has set itself the goal of reducing electricity consumption relative to turnover. Measures include a switch-off programme and stickers next to lights and machinery. A year-on-year reduction of 5.9% was achieved in the six months to March 2008.

Water-saving devices were installed in toilets in DG3's Bow and Canary Wharf sites. Total water consumption was halved at Bow. It remained level at Canary Wharf, where reduced toilet use compensated for increased consumption by the CTP system, which uses fewer chemicals but more water.

Other measures included a 100% recycling policy for waste paper, cardboard, metal plates and cartridges. DG3 is working with the Carbon Trust to reduce its carbon footprint and is considering investment in equipment to reduce energy consumption.

Recognising that one of the biggest challenges to any environmental initiative is to win the battle for hearts and minds, DG3 has acted both to demonstrate top management commitment and to secure staff buy-in. The managing director is closely involved in all the firm's environmental initiatives. Staff receive internal presentations on what is being planned.

DG3 has launched a green awareness booklet, and green suggestion boxes to encourage staff to identify ways of enhancing the firm's environmental strategy. Posters and stickers remind staff of the benefits of being environmentally responsible.

DG3 has also put in considerable effort to extend its environmental thinking to its customers. In spring 2007, it secured certification to the ISO14001 international environmental management standard. It obtained chain-of-custody certification to the main sustainable forestry standards, FSC and PEFC, guaranteeing that paper is sourced from woodfibre that can be tracked through every stage in the supply chain, from forest to final user.

With these in place, DG3 launched an 'I am Green' communications campaign, with the aim of increasing the number of its customers purchasing FSC- or PEFC-certified paper. By March 2008, 11 clients had joined in and DG3 aims to have 40 customers using FSC/PEFC-certified paper by the end of 2008 and to use only FSC/PEFC-certified paper by the end of 2009.

Highly Commended - Clear Channel Outdoor p24; dCarbon8 p25

Shortlisted - HarperCollins UK p25; Stralfors p27

Web Links - DG3

Press release on accreditation to ISO 14001 news-item.aspx?article=1387

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