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Monday, September 1, 2008

Vision To Visuals: Be The Change

EcoImaging is becoming a reality today

Vision To VisualsAs a first step, we’ve begun using an aqueous printing system in lieu of more traditional chemical inkjet printers. The aqueous printer we had built for us is truly one of a kind. It’s a fine-art fabric printer combining the best of gallery-quality printing with the durability of commercial outdoor applications. It’s an environmentally friendly, energy-efficient, water-transfer process. Traditional inkjet printers need a chemical mechanism to penetrate and adhere to the bond of the paper or fabric. The aqueous pigment printer uses high-pressure nozzles to spray the water-based ink into the paper substrate so that it will adhere. The water evaporates, leaving only the pigment behind, yielding the quality of a high-end fine-art print. Such an ultra-high-quality print proves versatile when the application requires outdoor usage because it can last several years. This printer is at the heart of bridging the gap between green printing and quality.

As a further example of our transition to using sustainable resources, all of the print materials in our EcoImaging line have environmental attributes. The line continues to grow with our ongoing research and currently contains rigid mounting or direct-to-substrates materials, fine-art papers, large-format vinyls and a range of fabrics. Their attributes include being a combination of recyclable, biodegradable, recycled and repulpable, with various certifications like ISO 14001, ISO 9001, FSC- (Forest Stewardship Council) or SFI- (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certified. Duggal takes great care when selecting high-quality ecofriendly materials.

In addition, we’ve switched from a garbage removal company to an industrial recycler. Filco Carting of New York recycles 85% of what we produce as garbage from all of our facilities. We also contribute our waste material to an organization called Material for the Arts, which supports local artists.

As we continue to strive for improvements to our existing facilities and materials, we’re also in the process of creating a new industry standard for production buildings. The Duggal Greenhouse, currently in development in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard, will be energy “self-sufficient” by producing and using wind, solar and geothermal energy. We’re not building the facility from scratch, but rather are converting an old building already on-site. We’ll also deploy the latest, state-of-the-art environmentally friendly printing equipment.

From conversations with my clients in the advertising community, I think there will be a dramatic shift in the use of materials away from traditional to environmentally friendly alternatives. For the long term, conversation no longer will be about going green, it simply will be about being green.

We believe that the essential first step in a commitment to change is to educate our clients, employees and suppliers about environmentally responsible practices. Then we need to continue research in the development of alternative materials. Together, through education and effort, we can make significant progress toward sustainability. Gandhi put it best when he said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Baldev Duggal, president and founder of Duggal, has been innovating visual solutions for image-makers for more than 40 years. Credited with building and designing the industry’s first dip-and-dunk processing machine, Duggal has maintained his status as a leader in the imaging business and is heralded for outstanding service by consumer and trade magazines alike. With digital capabilities reaching worldwide, his headquarters covers a block on West 23rd Street in New York City.


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