Commercializing Technology Through Partnership

Technological Development Through Solid Partnerships

More than five years ago, C.L.E.A.N.’s Alliance Partners recognized the scope of the problem facing the printing industry: how to deal with VOCs while remaining profitable?

The printing industry was contributing directly to the formation of greenhouse gases through the release of thousands of tons of VOCs from uncontrolled solvents.

Additionally, there were immediate health and safety concerns involved with handling solventladen wipers. The VOCs released from the wipers were known to cause respiratory and neurological disorders, and the wipers could and did spontaneously combust, resulting in explosions at several laundry facilities.

Compounding the problem, in response to regulatory pressures some industrial laundry facilities were dropping out of the solventwiper business. If this were to continue, printers would have little option but to use more costly and less efficient disposable wipers, which present an even greater environmental hazard.

The answer came in the form of C.L.E.A.N.’s Closed Loop Solvent Recycling System, developed and refined over the last four years as a joint effort in cooperation with G&K Services Canada Inc. and Aimco Solrec Ltd.

The Alliance perceived that it wasn’t enough to simply provide an alternative means of disposal to the traditional method of incinerating waste solvent. The process had to offer immediate and tangible benefits to the printing industry.

The benefits were seen in more streamlined and profitable operations, since reusable wipers would, over time, cost less than disposable wipers. Additionally, the Closed Loop Solvent Recycling System enabled printers to comply with the government’s tightened restrictions on the handling of VOCs, thereby improving worker safety and reducing environmental contamination.

Environmental Marketing

Protecting our environment is not simply a byproduct of C.L.E.A.N.’s Closed Loop Solvent Recycling System, but is the foundation of the process and of C.L.E.A.N.’s marketing efforts in general.

To aid the public in recognizing the environmental benefits of this technology, C.L.E.A.N. participates in industrial training programs as well as international forums such as the “Dialogue of Civilizations” held in Rhodes, Greece in 2004.

Additionally, the company has developed the C.L.E.A.N. CARE Environmental Services Certification Program (ESCP), a comprehensive array of strategic environmental, health & safety, and waste management products and services for the print and graphic arts industry, an integral part of which is the solvent recycling system.