Yolitz sets environmental standard at West Publishing

Yolitz sets environmental standard at West Publishing

by Sue Denkinge , West Reporter

In keeping with the company's tradition of environmental concern, in late 1995, West Publishing became the first company to use Envirochem. Envirochem is a film developer that helps fulfill two of West's goals: preserving the environment and maintaining West's high quality standards.

Using Envirochem, which is produced by Fuji Hunt Corporation, is a result of a joint effort between Fuji Hunt and West Publishing to develop a hydroquinone-free film developer. Hydroquinone is used in film processing in the graphic arts industry.

Prepress assistant manager Craig Yolitz '85, an industrial technology graduate, began the search for a hydroquinone replacement in 1994. Fuji Hunt had been developing a hydroquinone replacement chemical, but it had not had the opportunity for large-scale testing until Yolitz approached the company in early 1995. Testing began in the prepress department shortly afterward. The results were "flawless," according to Yolitz. Consequently, Envirochem was used in full production in prepress beginning in December 1995.

By February 1996, the use of Envirochem had eliminated over 90 percent of the remaining hydroquinone use in prepress.

The use or storage of hydroquinone-based developers in quantities that exceed certain limits requires the submittal of annual reports to federal and state authorities. The use of Envirochem at West will eliminate the need to submit a report for any of the products used in the prepress department.

"This developer epitomizes West's effort to run an environmentally friendly manufacturing operation," says vice president of production Craig Jilk. "As a result of Yolitz's efforts, we will be the first major printer in the U.S. to use a hydroquinone-free developer."

According to Ron Rose, Fuji Hunt's director of sales and marketing, West's interest made this product a reality. Although at present hydroquinone is widely used in the United States, the shift toward alternative chemicals will make hydroquinone use an increasingly visible issue in commercial printing.

West is the only current user of Envirochem, which is manufactured in the United States. However, the hydroquinone replacement will become available for widespread commercial use early this year.

Outlook Spring '97