August 1, 2005

P2 projects yield major savings with modest payback times for Bowne of Canada

Five pollution prevention (P2) projects being implemented by Bowne of Canada will together save the company $133,000 per year and reduce its annual process wastes by nearly 52 tonnes, its water use by 2.7 kilotonnes, and its emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and greeenhouse gases (GHGs) by 29.3 tonnes and 6.6 tonnes, respectively. The payback time for the various projects averages out to just seven months.

The Toronto operation is part of Bowne & Co, a multinational provider of printing and document management services for financial and corporate clients. As part of its strategy for developing an environmental management system (EMS) to meet the ISO 14001 standard, the company has initiated its own internal sustainability program and recently signed on to the Toronto Region Sustainability Program (TRSP).

Funded primarily by Environment Canada, the TRSP is carried out by OCETA, the Ontario Centre for Environmental Technology Advancement. Bowne management realized that the program offered a multi-media approach to achieving the company's numerous environmental objectives.

Funded primarily by Environment Canada, the TRSP is carried out by OCETA, the Ontario Centre for Environmental Technology Advancement. Bowne management realized that the program offered a multi-media approach to achieving the company's numerous environmental objectives.

Through the TRSP, Bowne commissioned a P2 assessment to determine to root sources of its pollutant streams and recommend the best options for dealing with them. Along with fulfilling its own goals, the company sought to meet regulatory requirements from all levels of government. The assessment was conducted by John Piggot, a consultant from EcoSafe with expertise in the printing and packaging sector on OCETA's program roster.

The analysis revealed several areas of Bowne's operation with significant P2 potential. As a result the company is implementing five P2 projects recommended in the assessment report; these will involve changes to production processes or operating practices.

In the pre-press department, for example, the computer-to-plate (CTP) processor was using approximately 0.38 litres per second of fresh wash water. Recommended changes included installing a wash water recirculating unit on the CTP to filter the recycled water and add fresh water periodically as needed, and installing pH neutralizing equipment to remove target pollutants and comply with Toronto's sewer use bylaw.

These measures are projected to reduce Bowne's water consumption by 50 to 70%, saving 2.7 tonnes of fresh water per year and reducing GHG emissions by 6.6 tonnes. The recirculating unit is expected to save the company $3,500 per year, with a payback period of 13 months, while the pH neutralizer will save $4,400 per year in disposal costs, with a return on investment of 20 months.

In the press room, the assessment report recommended installation of closed-loop ultrafiltration membrane equipment on-site to recover and re-use spent fountain solution, which was contaminated with process wastes and VOCs. Doing so will cost the company $16,500 but will save $30,800 per year in waste haulage and fountain concentrate costs-a payback period of just six months. This measure will eliminate 53 tonnes of hazardous waste and 51.6 tonnes of process wastes per year, while saving 70% of the fountain concentrate (about 1,400 litres) and reducing VOCs by 0.2 tonnes per year.

A technological modification proposed for the pressroom also promises a six-month payback period: by investing $43,000 in a solvent recovery distillation unit to recover and re-use spent press wash and solvent, the company can expect to save $84,500 per year in solvent purchasing and waste hauling costs. This initiative will also recover 95% of solvents (28,500 litres) for re-use, while reducing VOC emissions by 24.1 tonnes per year.

Also in the pressroom, the assessment recommended a best practices program to deal with used, often solvent-saturated printer's towels and wipers, which were the company's largest single waste management cost (over $30,000 in 2003 alone). Measures to reduce waste and solvent use, plus investigation of the use of an on-site wringer for rags and wipers, would save $11,200 per year in laundry and solvent costs and eliminate five tonnes of VOC emissions, with a one-year payback period.

One final, revenue-neutral, proposal will enhance Bowne's sustainability profile. Instead of throwing used fluorescent lightbulbs in the garbage, as was the practice, spent tubes will be picked up by lamp recyclers, keeping 9.7 grams of mercury per year out of landfills.

More information on the Toronto Region Sustainability Program is available from Fred Granek at OCETA, 905/822-4133, FAX 905/822-3558, E-mail fgranek@oceta.on.ca, Web site www.oceta.on.ca/TORSUS/index.htm.

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