Eco-Libris: The State of Green Printing – An Interview with Deb Bruner of Pinnacle Press

This post was originally posted on Eco-Libris blog on March 18.

deb bruner pinnacle pressWe’re constantly talking about the need of the book industry to increase its efforts to lower its environmental impacts and adopt greener practices. At the same time, we try to do a reality check every couple of months and learn from those who actually print the books how things are doing.

Last January we had an interview with Greg Barber of Greg Barber Company, who shared with us insights on what it means to be a green printer. Today we have the pleasure to host another experienced green printer, Deb Bruner of Pinnacle Press.

Deb Bruner serves in Pinnacle Press as director of book publishing and eco-friendly initiatives. She has more than 25 years experience in the publishing, paper and printing industries. Prior to Pinnacle, Bruner worked as the director of book publishing papers for New Leaf Paper, the environmentally friendly paper merchant, where she managed mill relationships and developed sales opportunities.

As you can see, Bruner has a vast experience with a specific focus on green printing, so we decided there’s no better person to get our current update from. We also wanted to learn more about Pinnacle Press of St. Louis, MO, which is well-known for its quality services and commitment to the environment.

We hope you will enjoy this opportunity to learn what’s going on in one of the major fronts of the book industry – the printing machines.

Hello, Deb. Could you describe please Pinnacle’s efforts to go green?

Pinnacle Press was the first book component printer to start stocking a recycled sheet for book jackets at price parity with virgin stock. We started doing this back around 2002 or 2003 due to customer demand from the university press community; presses like Cornell University Press wanted a recycled coated sheet for book jackets to help them meet their recycled paper commitments to Green Press Initiative.

It’s worth noting that the stock we continue to offer at price parity is New Leaf Paper’s Primavera Gloss, which is 80% recycled/60% pcw/FSC-certified/PCF and manufactured with Green-e Certified energy. It is also one of the very few sheets on the market to carry the Ancient Forest Friendly logo, which is awarded by Markets Initiative in Canada.

Two years ago we started stocking Kallima C2S, a board stock for covers, at price parity with virgin paper. This stock contains 10% pcw and is FSC-certified.

Whether or not our customers ask for recycled paper, we use these papers on all our jackets and covers since there is no premium to consider.

In addition to our recycled paper stocking program, we are an FSC-certified plant. We are also an AmerenUE Pure Power Business Leader and an EPA Green Power Partner.

Within our plant and offices, we have comprehensive recycling programs in place and continue to look for ways to incorporate more earth-friendly practices, including the elimination of Styrofoam coffee cups and using ceramic coffee mugs instead.

pinnacle press logoWhat is the biggest value Pinnacle gains from its eco-friendly practices?

Incorporating eco-friendly practices and offering eco-friendly products serves our business and customers well. Regardless of whether customers ask us for recycled paper on their projects, we take pride in our efforts to be environmentally responsible at the corporate level. Through breakfast “green sessions” at our plant, through our active participation at publisher meetings, and through our involvement with organizations such as the Book Industry Environmental Council, we strive to educate publishers and other customers on green products and practices so they can become more knowledgeable. The “green marketplace” is constantly evolving and we must stay up with it.

What responses does Pinnacle receive from customers when we tell them about our green practices? Does it make a difference for them?

Some customers come to us because of our green practices and paper offerings. Others are happy to learn about our practices and paper offerings and will try and use recycled and/or FSC-certified papers if they’re able, even if there is a premium involved (e.g. on special orders). Of course, there are customers who come to us strictly for pricing or other reasons and are not interested in green options. That is ok. We let our customers know that we are a resource for them regardless of their particular needs or interests.

One comment
  1. Alison Wiley

    I definitely appreciate the book industry’s progress in sustainable practices. At the same time, sharing existing items more and producing less new items in the first place, whether books or anything else, is the most sustainable practice. I just read a great book courtesy of a friend’s loan, and currently have one of my own top picks out on loan to a different friend. Sharing builds community and interaction (“This was my favorite part; what was yours?”) as well as conserving natural resources.

    I’m a lifelong consumer of books, and they’ve helped me learn to tread more lightly on the planet while also giving me loads of fun and pleasure. Here’s a short list of my top recommendations, both fiction and non-fiction, for other folks like me with the ‘green gene’. http://www.diamondcutlife.org/books/

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