Family-owned Auckland printing company wins sustainable business award

Press Release – Soar Print
Historic Auckland company Soar Printing won the ‘Medium business’ category at the prestigious Sustainable 60 Awards in Auckland tonight, adding to a growing list of accolades for its dedication to corporate responsibility.

The family owned company was a finalist in three of the five categories – Environment, Strategy and governance, and Workplace – and won the award for companies with 21-100 employees.

The award came on the same day Soar Printing was notified by Landcare Research it has met the criteria to become the first New Zealand printer which can offer carboNZeroCertTM certified carbon-neutral printed products and services.

Fred Soar, Managing Director and grand-son of the company founder, says the Sustainable 60 award reflect a five-year journey towards environmental best practise.

“There is huge pride in our team that our vision of being New Zealand’s most sustainable printer is coming to fruition. Sustainable values are fully entrenched in the company’s strategic focus and management structure.”

The judges said sustainability is “clearly in (Soar’s) blood – how they have integrated the principles across their business should be adopted as best practice in New Zealand”.

Fred Soar says: “Receiving an industry award for this is a big honour. Our strong environmental credentials have attracted new clients, and have been instrumental in winning tenders in the last couple of years, often being a tie breaker.”

“Being able to offer carboNZero certified carbon neutral products will give us a major competitive advantage in an increasingly eco-conscious market.”

Soar Printing’s gross profit as a percentage of sales has improved by 2 per cent since its environmental management systems were introduced. The costs of energy (fuel and electricity), water, waste, and carbon emissions from operations have fallen by 40 per cent over two years.

“The operational savings in two years have been more than $160,000. These are significant savings, even after deducting the costs of environmental certification. In a tough market, it’s the difference between making a buck or not,” says Fred Soar.

The company was founded on key pillars of what is now called corporate responsibility.

“My father and grand-father passed on a legacy of long-term economic strength, and social responsibility through supporting the local community and valuing our staff.”

Fred and his two sisters, Jenny Carter and Vicky Soar, have a deep belief in carrying on that legacy through sustainable business practises which future-proof the company, and are always looking at ways to improve.

“We operate a flexible workplace, and staff morale is one of five key performance indicators reported to the senior management team.”

This year, Soar Printing was also a finalist in global printer giant Heidelberg’s Eco award, alongside companies from Europe and North America, and received a commendation in the Sustainable Business Network Northern Region awards.

Jenny Carter, Soar Printing financial director and environment officer, says the company’s 70-strong team has bought into the drive to become New Zealand’s most environmentally responsible printer.

“The printing industry has historically had a high environmental impact, but our investment in new technology and dedication to change has made it possible to help protect New Zealand’s environment and contribute to our wider community.”

About Soar Print

• Established in 1920
• New Zealand-owned and operated
• Complete, end-to-end printing services company
• Industry leader in innovation, technology and the environment
• First print company to achieve carboNZero ‘Organisation’ certification (2010), and ‘Product’ certification (2011)
• Other certifications include: Enviro-Mark® Diamond; ISO 14001 and 9001; Forest Stewardship Council; Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.

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