It took more than two years.
The employees at Minuteman Press, 501 Gateway Drive, had to work on changing from petroleum-based to soy-based ink.
They had to find ways to reduce waste and even change how they cleaned their restrooms.
“They were all willing to try, and it was a tough journey. I won’t say that it was easy,” owner Dee Bisel said. “It’s been a long two-and-a-half years, but the results are amazing.”
The Lawrence company that handles jobs from basic stationery, forms and newsletters to color-printing marketing campaigns recently became the 12th printer in the nation to receive a certification from the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership for its environmental practices.
Bisel said she wanted the company to be a leader in environmentally friendly practices.
“There’s a lot of myths out there that we’re killing a lot of trees off, and I wanted to address that,” she said. “For every tree we do cut down to produce our product, we plant three.”
The company only buys paper through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and it recycles 83 percent of the waste it produces. Bisel said the newer products that are more environmentally friendly also have been cheaper, which has helped during tough economic times.
Becoming a Sustainable Green Printer is a holistic certification, meaning the company has to abide certain practices in many areas — even the type of fertilizer it uses on the grass outside its building. Minuteman Press in Lawrence was the smallest company and the first franchise to earn the certification. It was also the first one certified in Kansas.
Bisel started the franchise in Lawrence in 1993, and the company currently has six full-time and two part-time employees.
“We have monitored every piece of the flow of the paper and ink and also the waste that comes out of the building,” she said.