Focus Press

A sustainable NSW printing company

Pangolin Associates case study: Focus Press (logo)Focus Press is an Australian-owned, award winning printing company providing offset and digital print, creative, specialised finishing, storage, and a range of value-add services.

For 19 years Focus Press has been at the forefront of innovation and emerging technologies in the printing industry. The company has also put a high value on environmental responsibility. Sustainability actions and persistence has its rewards. In 2012 Focus Press received carbon neutral certification for all offset and digital print products under Climate Active (formerly the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS)). This is the only Australian Government endorsed certification for carbon neutrality.

Carbon neutral certification under Climate Active

Verifying Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and Greenhouse Gas Inventory Reports

Certification involves a Greenhouse Gas Assessment, an Emissions Management Plan (EMP), offsetting via certified carbon credits, and independent third party verification.

Focus Press engaged Pangolin Associates to verify their Life Cycle Analysis and Greenhouse Gas Inventory reports. These are complex auditing services. Pangolin’s auditors are registered under the Clean Energy Regulator’s National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act (NGER), which met Climate Active verification requirements.

Key Climate Active verification services for Focus Press:

  • Providing assurance on emission factors and methodologies,
  • Ensuring all documentation followed the Climate Active (NCOS) format,
  • Ensuring robust controls and processes for data capture,
  • Ensuring correct accounts of any certified carbon neutral products purchased,
  • Confirming the greenhouse gas inventory was in accordance with domestic and international standards,
  • Ensuring accurately stated timelines for the Emissions Management Plan (when it was prepared and updated),
  • Checking and confirming eligibility of carbon abatement under the Climate Active program.

Critically, Pangolin’s NGER registered auditors acted as liaison. Pangolin was the key point of contact for the author of the Life Cycle Analysis and Greenhouse Gas Inventory reports, the Focus Press team, and the Federal Government’s Department of Environment.

Earlier achievements: path to sustainability

Focus Press has a long history of sustainability projects and achievements. In 2003 the organisation developed and implemented an ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS). Since then, Focus Press has implemented changes to materials and processes. This includes replacing toxic petroleum-based inks with vegetable-based alternatives, and eliminating solvents and isopropyl alcohol from processes.

In addition Focus Press has developed and improved waste management systems and new recycling streams.

Through Clean Technology Investment Program (CTIP) funding, Focus Press reduced emissions associated with its manufacturing processes. CTIP funded efficiency measures and greenhouse gas reductions at the Matraville site. These measures included efficiency upgrades to variable speed drive compressors, lighting and printing equipment, and power factor correction. Results over the past year:

  • 14% reduction in Scope 1 emissions (those activities over which Focus Press has direct control),
  • 5% reduction in Scope 2 emissions (purchased services, e.g. electricity, heat, steam),
  • 19% reduction in waste to landfill,
  • 5% reduction in electricity use at the Strathfield site.

Over the past ten years (Strathfield):

  • 29% reduction in energy intensity, saving $465,000,
  • 85% reduction in water intensity, 33% decrease in total water use, saving $243,000,
  • 95% reduction in waste to landfill, saving $242,755.

Focus Press takes a holistic approach to sustainability, looking beyond business premises. The company endeavours to trace raw materials through it’s supply chain, for instance. This is to ensure raw materials are manufactured in a sustainable way. Paper is sourced from certified and controlled sources, with print jobs using vegetable based inks.

In an effort to reduce waste to landfill, employees wash and reuse rags for cleaning the presses each day, rather than disposing after use.

Future sustainability measures

In the future Focus Press will complete the carbon emissions initiatives planned for the Matraville site (under the CTIP grant). This work should be in place by mid-2014.

Additionally, the company will implement further upgrades and improvements, for example:

  • Completing changes to energy efficient lighting at Strathfield and Wollongong sites,
  • Upgrading compressors and power factor correction at Strathfield,
  • Sub metering energy to better understand how the company uses electricity and where to focus energy efficiency efforts,
  • Improving productivity of manufacturing operations to reduce emissions.


We chose Pangolin Associates for our verification due to their excellent reputation and professional approach. They had also completed our previous Climate Active (NCOS) Verification and we had been very happy with their work. In particular, we valued their communication skills. Our Auditor took the time to explain in detail what the Verification entailed and, as the project progressed, they kept us informed and we always knew what was required of us.

We also like that the Pangolin staff are each leaders in their field. Working together with them we feel reassured of the depth of their knowledge and their ability to advise us of the most recent developments in the sustainability and carbon industries. We would not hesitate to work with Pangolin Associates again if future opportunities arise.

Louise Pastro, Manager Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement, Focus Press
September 2013

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