Environmentally-Responsible Printing

by Williams & Heintz Map Corporation


I'm fortunate to have my maps printed by Williams & Heintz Map Corporation of Capitol Heights, Maryland. In the above photo, chief press operator, George Buxton, checks ink densities on the Essential Geography of the USA. Williams & Heintz is North America's leading map printer and a printing industry pioneer in environmental responsibility. Here is what Williams & Heintz is doing:


Williams & Heintz President and CEO, Holly Heintz Budd, earned a B.S. in Environmental Studies from Rutgers University and an MBA from Trinity D.C. University. As a result of her leadership in this area, we have employed materials and practices that are as kind to the environment as possible.

We were among the first printing firms to completely eliminate alcohol in the pressroom. The dampening systems on our presses are alcohol free. Alcohol based fountain solution was eliminated and replaced by alcohol substitutes. Our plate and press washes are water miscible.

We use vegetable oil based inks. Soy printing inks are currently made from cheaper, non-edible grade soy oil imported from South America. We do not believe it is environmentally sound to increase the agricultural demand on areas currently occupied by rainforest. That is why our standard inks are vegetable based. However, we will use soy oil inks on request.

Our inks dry by oxidation. Unlike the heat-set inks used on web presses, which require the use of propane, natural gas or some type of electric-powered oven, and discharge large amounts on particulate matter into the atmosphere (unless scrubbers are used), our sheet-fed printing process does not require the use of an external energy source to dry, and does not release particulate matter into the atmosphere as a by-product.

We use recycled paper whenever it is specified by our customers for their maps. As with most such choices, there can be a downside. The processing of previously printed paper prior to recycling has its own environmental risks.

Williams & Heintz is a member of the Maryland Green Registry. In addition to providing a transparent platform to show customers what we are doing, It is a way for Williams & Heintz to share initiatives with other businesses and encourage them to do more too.

Williams & Heintz map is ISO14001 certified. ISO 14001 is a standard for our business to develop and maintain an environmental management system. You can be assured of our commitment to continually improve our environmental performance. The processes and materials that we use to create quality maps and charts are continually monitored to reduce our environmental footprint and to decrease the pollution and waste.

We are ISO 9001 certified for "Cartographic Production, Large Form Cartographic Printing and Specialized Map Folding" This means that for you, our valued customers, we have a certified system in place that will provide better product with greater consistency and quality.

We are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not for profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world's forests. Our FSC certification assures the chain if custody of the paper that we print, and allows you to have the logo on your map, if you wish.

At Williams & Heintz, we monitor everything we do to insure compliance with local and national regulations. We strive for continuous improvement, and to go beyond legal requirements of environmental regulations as they pertain to the printing industry. We are committed to staying up-to-date on improvements in materials, processes, and equipment, that will allow us to become even more environment-friendly in the future.