Cielab Cares About The Environment

How we can help:

At Cielab we believe we all can have an effect on the environment, and the printing industry is one of the larger contributors to deforestation and global warming.

By the very nature of our business, we have a focus on eliminating wastage. Having a custom ICC profile created not only eliminates wasted labour, but also media and inks. This will have an effect on landfill and also help limit pollution from the production process for consumable creation.


Most offset paper now originates from plantation timber, although it still requires a lot of water in the manufacturing process. Your paper merchant can help direct you to media that has the least impact on the environment.


While in some cases very necessary, solvent based printers have a particularly detrimental impact on the environment due to the VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) released into the atmosphere from the printing process (also very harmful to people). Many companies venturing into the digital print markets assume that aqueous printing is old and replaced with solvent technology, this is definitely not the case. Solvent has the benefit of lower consumable costs due to the use of uncoated banner & adhesive products, although these machines are not as well suited to most other marketplaces (such as most non signage printing). Many of the larger companies will have both solvent and aqueous printers for job by job choice of production process.

Some of my customers have specifically chosen aqueous printers over solvent, even for long term outdoor signage due to the technology being more reliable, and offering better unattended and automated operation. It’s a myth that solvent will last longer outdoors than aqueous. Some of these customers producing primarily outdoor signage with UV laminated water based inks that are far outlasting unlaminated solvent prints (most common type).

Many larger screen-printing and signage companies now consider UV curable inks the future. These inks can be applied to far more surfaces than solvent or aqueous, and with reduced environmental & health implications. At this stage this technology is still unaffordable for many companies, but as this technology becomes more common many people will find themselves sending their solvent printers to scrap yard (my guess is that this would be as soon as a year or two). You should consider your marketplace and it’s requirements.

Eliminating wastage on these machines not only has savings to the business owner from the perspective of reduced labour and consumable use, but will help reduce pollution. It’s also important that the wasted ink tanks produced from these machines be disposed of properly by a collection service. We recommend finding one of these wast disposal companies and asking them how best to hold your ink while awaiting collection (this may include storage away from your building due to fire hazard, and warning notification signage).

All Digital Printing:

We have an alliance with Planet Ark by promoting and supporting the C4PA (cartridges for planet ark) recycling scheme. Returning your used cartridges and printheads through this service substantially reduces landfill, this becomes even more evident at the professional end of the print market due to the size of these larger ink cartridges. You can return your used cartridges to us (in Brisbane), or even better yet, sign up with the C4PA collection service. There is absolutely no cost to your business in doing so, and the used cartridges will be collected free of charge from your office and returned for recycling. See the Planet Ark C4PA website from our links page.