Future Ink Printing Sustainability & Mother Nature: Be the Change
Howard Zinn once said; “We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world”. Mario Panter, owner and founder of Print Equipment GmbH & Co. KG, took this to heart and transformed a generation of printing specialist leaders for the better:
“It all started when we built a brand new state-of-the-art headquarter, heated and cooled by geothermal energy, which is 100% carbonless. An entire building has now been run by geothermal energy powering a highly efficient ventilation system instead of the commonly used air condition. In order to supply the energy needed for this, the company’s roof was covered with a 400 kW solar panel installation, creating more power than the building actually uses, sending the excess to anyone in need of it.”
HOW DID THIS CAME ABOUT?
That`s pretty simple: Once again, the company needed to find a different building, as the former headquarter building didn't offer any more space for expansion and dividing the company into two separate locations was not an option. Therefore, the decision was made to build a brand-new headquarter building with a grand warehouse and make it an environmentally friendly one! So Mario Panter, owner of Print Equipment, checked options and alternatives for every single process they had and ended with a building that produces so much more energy than it consumes!
This was not the only change this business leader took to heart, in addition to powering an entire building via solar power, he also equipped the loading docks with inflatable cushion dock shelters. This is a structure that allows minimal airflow and highest safety for delivery trucks and the employees involved, as well as provides an energy efficiency mode. Here is what it means: When a delivery truck arrives at the docking station, it backs up into the loading station where a safety lock automatically aligns to the truck’s second to last wheel and pulls it tight toward the docking station to fully lock it in to prevent the delivery truck from moving and any other unintended movements that could potentially cause harm. This way Print Equipment provides the greatest possible safety for any employee, intern or extern, involved. Then, the inflatable loading dock seals fully inflate and adjust to the vehicle depending on its size and height. Once the seals are fully inflated and locked, the loading station can be opened. This is especially important in winter when cold air (or hot air in summer) tries to enter via the loading docks, increasing heating and energy needs. Using these inflatable lock seals, only minimal cold or hot air will enter the facility as the inflatable seals will seal the truck tight to prevent any possible airflow and in such, providing greater safety and higher energy efficiency.
In addition, an automatic small-parts warehouse was also implemented which is driven by independently working robots made in Norway, trimming down product picking time by 70%! This allows the company to triple their revenue and to double staff and inventory while reducing order processing time by 40%! A step outside of the normal business’s ballpark!
Furthermore, stepping up their game to protect the environment for generations to come, Print Equipment changed 9 out of 18 of its fossil fuel vehicles to a solar energy vehicle fleet. Forklifts over shuttles and now even Tesla electric cars are up and running for the company without damaging the environment by doing so. In order to supply such, 10 electric car charging stations were installed allowing not just the sales force to charge their Tesla cars, but also all other employees to charger their private cars for free. All powered by the 400 kW solar power installation on the company’s roof.
Also, other environmentally grand investments have been made. In addition to replacing half of its company vehicles, 98% of polystyrene packaging materials were replaced with cardboard shipping (stuffing) material. All employees do get free filtered natural or sparkling water, coffee of their choice and free fruit, depending on the season.
To not only establish a green environment, Print Equipment has also implemented various changes to the HR environment. Besides the added benefits of fresh fruit, free coffee, and fresh filtered water, Print Equipment has also implemented a new system that allows paying parts of the salary without tax deductions (depending on the individual situation of the employees), resulting in significantly higher salaries after tax deductions which results in a more appreciated and healthier employee environment. Such is also the preamble, or over governing article of their company policy; “The highest principle of this company is to lead in a positive way, be it in daily contact within each other or anyone in contact with Print Equipment GmbH & Co KG such as delivery personnel or street worker in front of the building, we will lead with positivity in business and in personal communication within the company and the surrounding world to provide a positive work environment and work experience.”
With the vision “Unser Antrieb ist die Freude am Schenken”, which means “Our Motivation Lays in the Joy of Giving”, Print Equipment is intending not only to support its customers with satisfaction by offering great products, but also to impact the world, leaving it with joy and excitement, and a memory that is certain set for generations to come Print Equipment is having an impact that is positive and a green one - and that not just for their customers!
WAY TO GO!
Recognized with the SGIA Sustainable Business Recognition Award, Mario Panter strongly believes in protecting our environment and although it does bring some added expenses with it, he has already seen the positive impact within the environment as well as the company’s revenue assuring him that it will pay off in the long end. “Why changing something only half way if you could make changes even nicer, more efficient and healthier for the environment at the same time?”
After all, he is convinced that employees thrive in a modern building where they are able to feel supported and cared for in order to do what they are proud to be part of. Sustainability is a long-term trend and people love to share and support it, they love to be a part of it, striving for a better future without pollution.
That`s the reason why Print Equipment decided to go the full mile! This energy thrived even into its internal specialist developing their own environmentally friendly and OEKO-TEX certified Sublisplash sublimation ink of the future!
HEATED WITH WATER
Print Equipment headquarters has one of the largest water heat pump systems installations in the southwest of Germany, using not fossil fuel to heat and cool, but water to power the building’s heat and air conditioning needs. The entire building is being heated and cooled with only the most modern technology: geothermal energy. Pipes in each floor/ceilings allow this company to model after mother nature. Water is being heated (or cooled depending on the season) and sent throughout the entire building’s offices, powered through solar energy, traveling throughout the entire building to heat and cool the temperature within all rooms. But that is not all! All rooms/offices are also equipped with sensors to adjust the window roller shutters to operate as it sees fit depending on the season and weather. Especially in summer, this will be very handy to have in order to save solar energy that has been gathered.
Print Equipment is based in Ottersweier, Germany and is an international wholesale company for personalized printable gifts and promotional items. Print Equipment offers necessary printing and transfer systems as well as a large selection of printable items and devices for nearly every printing need.