Formed 25 years ago, Corby-based Emerald House Associates - or EHA as it’s better known - is now a well established full-service design, print, build and install graphics company, working for prestigious clients such as Chanel, Coty and Selfridges.
I talked with the company’s owner, Mick NcNamara, about the reasons for its recent investment in a HP R2000 latex printer as part of its drive forward.
EHA has many well-known clients, for whom the environment is now a very big focus. To what extent is that impacting your own investment choices?
The circular economy is a big thing for clients like Chanel and Coty, and with regards to our investment we have to consider very carefully, because we don’t want to be using products or machinery that don’t follow that remit and fit with their guidelines.
I was really excited when I heard about the HP R2000 because this fitted all the requirements - it uses recyclable latex inks, it’s very economical, produces very high quality print, and we just looked at it and thought it was the right machine for the company.
It looks really cool in the new print area we’ve created too. We take customers in there and it’s a big selling point.
We recycle a lot of stuff here - over 90% of our rubbish. We burn waste MDF to heat the factory. So having kit like the R2000 is a big deal - part of our thinking when it comes the circular economy.
When we were talking the other day, you mentioned that Cranfield University had provided a grant to help you buy the R2000 as it’s helping you adjust to - dare I say it - a new normal! Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Cranfield University has been working with us on our growth curve and moving onto the next level. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, this turned into a bounce-back programme. We’re closely associated with retail and were badly affected by it all, but I’m glad to say that we’ve come back now and Cranfield really helped us do that.
Part of what Cranfield was offering was a Government recovery and resilience grant that went towards the new HP R2000, it being such a key part of our recovery. We were vetted, and because the printer is environmentally friendly etc. we got the money. If we’d been going for something else I don’t think it would have been so easy.
The expansion of our print department has created more jobs and the R2000 has done so much for the business.
How do you see EHA’s client-base evolving, and how does the HP latex printer fit into that?
Well the quality is there, it’s cost effective - it’s comparable to our roll machines - but it’s this environmental side of things that is the real draw. Everybody is going to have to become more environmental conscientious eventually, and I thought we may as well jump on that train early on. We will get more work by having it.
It’s great when customers come in and they say ‘we’ve got this sustainability mission and you’re going to have to do this and that Mick’, and I can say ‘we’re already doing it!’ with how we can print, with our recycling etc. It means they’re engaged with us very quickly.
We’re members of the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) and it’s that kind of detail and a cohesive sustainable agenda they are looking for. It’s a long road, but we’re getting there, and HP has been very good in helping us along the way.