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Image Science & The Environment

31st March 2016


At Image Science we try and reduce our impact on the environment wherever and however possible.  

Natural Fibre Papers

We are the first (only?) company in Australia to offer printing on the entire Hahnemühle Green range of papers - Bamboo, Hemp and Agave - all of which are significantly more environmentally friendly than traditional cotton based papers (and of course also 'resin' (plastic) coated papers!). We've done everything we can to move our print customers over to these papers, and strongly suggest you try them if they haven't yet tried them - archival and exquisite AND ecologically friendly, they are truly a wonderful new option.

The cotton papers we use are made from cotton linters - generally speaking this is regarded as a waste material from other industries (textiles etc).  That is - the cotton is not grown for the purpose of paper making, meaning that cotton paper production adds no further environmental impact to a product already being grown - indeed, quite the opposite - it's essentially recovery of a waste material that leads to these gorgeous papers.

Even though it is renewable, and cotton rag papers are almost a by-product of other manufacture - cotton is a very resource heavy crop. Thus, the fact remains if you can use a fibre other than cotton -like the three mentioned above, all of which need vastly less clear land, water or pesticides to produce - you really should!

Colour Management

Colour Management has been used at Image Science right since we began in 2001 - we've had colour management in place longer than any other print service in Australia, and it literally is at the core of our entire  approach. (Many labs still weren't using colour management more than a  decade after we started, and those that were very often learnt it from  us!).

One not often recognised benefit of pervasive colour management in an imaging workflow is a vast reduction in waste generally -  very little test printing is required by us, or our clients, to achieve perfect results. This tremendously reduces waste in paper and ink - both of which require significant resources to manufacture.

Put simply - printing well means using less.  And we've been printing well longer than anybody.  It's at the heart of who we are.

Re-Use, Reduce, Recyle

We of course also recycle all waste ink and paper cut-offs etc, and do so using properly audited services (as opposed to some ad-hoc backyard recycling approaches that have recently sprung up, and which often end up using more resources than they actually recover, sadly!).

Image Science is also an ink/toner cartridge recycling drop off site - so you can bring in your used ink cartridges and we can pass them on to the right people for recycling (please bring only the cartridges themselves in a neat form, we can't accept cartridges that are actively leeching ink or packing materials etc).

We re-use whatever we can - this includes ink/toner cartridges in printers where colour is not critical, such as our general office printer. We also re-use packing materials from incoming deliveries for outgoing orders wherever possible.  Again, this massively reduces our need for newly manufactured materials.  

All excess or non re-usable soft plastics, including old, un-reuseable bubble wrap, are recycled weekly through Melbourne-based organisation REDcycle.  The REDcycle program is an initiative focused on reducing the amount of soft plastics going into landfill by recycling and re-purposing recovered materials.  Through this program, soft plastics can be remade into a range of products such as bollards, decking, fencing and furniture.

We continually exert as much pressure as we can on our upstream suppliers to improve their practices and to reduce waste, particularly plastic waste.

Our Own Environment

Environmental considerations are even at the heart of our carefully chosen office space.

We minimise our use of cooling and heating - largely through having carefully selected architecturally designed office space built with temperature control in mind - good natural ventilation, an inner atrium full of plants and fish, and so forth.  Of course we have always used green power companies to provide our utilities (despite the extra cost).

We select our hardware with the environment in mind as well.  We favour Eizo monitors, both for their amazing colour quality and their product longevity, but also because they are unmatched in the industry in terms of environmental credentials and attitude to sustainability.  Epson recently became the only print vendor to use 100% renewable energy and are taking significant steps towards greater sustainability.  With other tools, we always try to take a 'buy it once, but it right' approach - e.g. using Rotatrim trimmers, which when well cared for, last a lifetime. 

No replacement means no new resources needed!

Hahnemühle Bamboo 290gsm
Our favourite warmtone fine art paper - with rich & velvety tones. It's also highly eco-friendly making it pretty much perfect in our book!
  • ConstructionFibre Based
  • Made FromBamboo 90%, Cotton 10%
  • Paper Weight290gsm
  • Surface TextureMatte, Smooth
  • White ToneWarm
  • Acid Free?
  • Optical Brighteners?
More info
Hahnemühle Hemp 290gsm
A smooth, lightly textured environmentally friendly fine art paper created from sustainable hemp fibres.
  • ConstructionFibre Based
  • Made From60% Hemp, 40% Cotton
  • Paper Weight290gsm
  • Surface TextureMatte, Smooth
  • White ToneWhite
  • Acid Free?
  • Optical Brighteners?
More info
Hahnemühle Agave 290gsm
This sustainable, eco-friendly paper is made from Agave fibres, with a wonderfully warm tone and balanced surface texture.
  • ConstructionFibre Based
  • Made From70% Agave, 30% Cotton
  • Paper Weight290gsm
  • Surface TextureMatte, Textured
  • White ToneWhite
  • Acid Free?
  • Optical Brighteners?
More info