The sustainable business of printing

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The sustainable business of printing

From paper to people: how Dashing commits to socially responsible growth

By Paul Wilcockson, Chief Operating Officer, Dashing


Dashing’s Chief Operating Officer Paul Wilcockson shares his take on the sustainable business of printing over a cup of Nespresso Professional coffee

At Dashing, being in the business of printing, marketing and the production of retail campaigns, we have more than an inkling of the impact our operations can have from an environmental, social and economic standpoint. As a result, we place the environment and sustainability at the heart of everything we do as a business, from the production floor to the Dashing office, down to little details like our choice of coffee in the office kitchen.

Here are some of the things we’re doing at Dashing that have seen us awarded for our recycling and sustainability efforts within the industry.

Sustainable culture

One of the less obvious drivers of sustainability is company culture. We’re seeing great success in improving our sustainability by fostering a workplace that encourages a sustainable culture. While this starts with leading by example, in terms of how we operate and what we stand for, as well as monitoring recycling habits and running quarterly educational toolboxes, many of our sustainability initiatives are being proposed and led by our employees, who have taken it upon themselves to make a difference. One example of this is the Nespresso Professional machine that now takes centre stage in the Dashing office kitchen. The team take great pride in the fact that beyond the production floor they’re making sustainable decisions, even in something as simple as their choice of high quality coffee.

The team loves knowing their morning cup of coffee is enclosed in aluminium, an infinitely recyclable material – and there’s also plenty of debate about which of the 13 Nespresso Professional Coffee blends make the tastiest coffee.

Nespresso Professional coffee is a favourite in the Dashing kitchen as it is enclosed in the infinitely recyclable material – aluminium!

Supply chain and production

The natural place to start when considering sustainability is with the product and how it’s being produced. One of our primary focuses is on ensuring maximum efficiency across all aspects of the print production process. This includes everything from maximising the print area of a sheet to reduce waste, to the use of water-based inks free of harmful chemicals, to sourcing sustainable products that comply with our FSC certification and working with our supply chain and machine manufacturing partners to actively seek out the latest sustainable products. We were also the first company in the world to use HP’s Print OS Tool across three different platforms – allowing remote access to machine data and the ability to manage production workflow from any location.

Sustainable supply and production are a key focus right across the Dashing business

In case of waste

With production and company culture singing to the same tune, it’s then about ensuring what waste we do produce can be removed and redistributed in an easy and effective way. That’s where waste segregation and management come in. At Dashing, our general waste bins used to be collected daily. Realising this was an inefficient means of waste collection we installed a large compactor onsite with a capacity of nine tonnes to reduce the collection cycle to once a fortnight or once a week in busy periods. It might seem minimal, but such a change can have a significant impact on carbon emissions. In the office, paper and cardboard waste is segregated and placed in the appropriate bins, which are collected daily and taken to the recycling facility, whilst our Nespresso coffee capsules are collected in a bulk recycling box in the kitchen and, once this is full, returned free of charge through the Nespresso recycling program.

Dashing recycles its used Nespresso Professional coffee capsules in a Bulk Recycling Box through the Nespresso Recycling Program

Third party perspective

Finally, it’s one thing to stand back, look at all the effort we’re putting into operating sustainably and give ourselves a pat on the back. But the final piece to this ever-evolving puzzle is validating our processes with third party accreditation. Seeking objective outside views on sustainability credentials not only allows us to ensure we’re complying with legal and regulatory requirements, it also provides insight into what we’re doing well, and thus, where we can improve – because there’s always room for improvement. Dashing Group is ISO 14001 accredited, meaning we adhere to the strictest environmental management system standards globally. Our FSC certification guarantees our paper products have been sourced in an environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically viable manner. On top of this, our implementation of FOGRA colour management saw us become the first business in the world to receive the PSD FOGRA 51 certification. Process Standard (PSD) provides print production partners with benefits of improved cost, quality and time performance, with better sustainability and reduced waste.

Since joining Dashing back in 2015, the business has made tremendous strides in both financial growth and our commitment to sustainably. When it comes to the latter, it’s about continually monitoring and working to improve how we operate as business. We’ve found that quite often the biggest difference is in the ‘fine print’.

Paul Wilcockson

Paul Wilcockson
Chief Operating Officer, Dashing

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