Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2018):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 18, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Printing House Ltd., The / TPH was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2018):
- The Printing House works with the World Wildlife Fund, supporting a number of its environmental initiatives throughout the year, including Living Planet@Work, the CN Tower Stair Climb for Nature, and the Kids Run for Nature initiatives -- the company has also partnered with the "Forest Farmer" organization to ensure that one tree is planted for every new account opened at The Printing House (planted in the customer's name)
- In response to worldwide drops in honey bee populations and honey yields, The Printing House took the unique step of working directly with "Toronto Bee Rescue" and installed 6 rooftop hives at its head office location, creating one of the first corporately-sponsored bee apiaries in the country
The Printing House has eco-friendly paper - and beehives
Since 1961, The Printing House (TPH) has believed that doing the right thing is good for business. The company specializes in short-run, on-demand printing and has more than 70 locations across Canada. For Andrew O'Born, the company's Vice President of Business Development - and son of founder and CEO Earle O'Born - The Printing House's green volunteerism goes hand-in-hand with its philosophy of being eco-friendly in its operations.
The younger O'Born points out that the company aims to procure the greenest paper possible: 93.7 per cent of the paper it purchased in 2017 was environmentally certified, with 91.5 per cent of it designated as Forest Stewardship Council-certified. "Our continued goal is to inch ahead to 100 per cent," he says, pointing out that being devoted to Earth-friendly initiatives has attracted like-minded customers to use TPH's services sustainably, and employees to join TPH because of its environmental leadership.
Rebecca Stewart, a Marketing Coordinator who started as an intern at the Toronto headquarters of The Printing House, is such a hire. She was studying Graphic Communications Management at Ryerson University and taking electives related to the environment and printing. What the passionate animal lover found was a company that had always been committed to sustainability.
During her internship, Stewart was tasked with drafting a sustainability report and helping to create a green paper-procurement policy for The Printing House. She joined the staff in April 2015 as a business development associate but also assumed the role of point person for several of the firm's volunteer green activities, including initiatives in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund Canada. In 2016, she was given the Sustainability Trailblazer Award by the WWF's Living Planet @ Work program.
"Being involved with green projects has definitely made me enjoy my job even more," says Stewart. "Seeing the impact that I can make just by doing these little things makes every day more exciting. It makes me feel like I'm doing something at work that's impacting the world, not just the company."
Stewart notes that The Printing House has supported her "100 per cent. I've been able to take employees during work hours for volunteer activities." Those activities include initiatives such as Clean Toronto Together and the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a project of the WWF and the Vancouver Aquarium.
Partnerships play a key role in The Printing House's commitment to the environment. The company works with the non-profit Canopy, which promotes sustainability among forest-industry customers, to ensure it doesn't source paper from ancient or endangered forests. It also partners with Forest Farmer to help restore Canadian forests by planting a tree for each new corporate account that's opened. Such efforts have led Canopy to designate The Printing House the most sustainable and forest-friendly printer in Canada, and No. 2 in North America.
But the company's focus on sustainability goes beyond that. In 2016, it joined Toronto Bee Rescue's Corporate Hive Hosting Program and currently has eight hives on its roof in midtown Toronto, donating proceeds from in-house sales of honey to local green initiatives. The TPH Charitable Office, founded in 1985, also provides funding for health and education initiatives for women and children in need.
"We believe in being involved in our communities and to give back as best we can," O'Born explains. "So, while we do operate a business, we do it in the most sustainable and fair way possible for the planet, given that we have a long time to go and I think it's safe to say the world's going through some climate change. We factor it in as a cost of doing business. Aside from the fact that when my father started the company many years ago, it was a value to him, we believe that we should sustain that and accelerate. Simply put, we try to incorporate environmental consciousness in everything we do."