A SOUTH Lakeland-based printer has become the first in Cumbria – and one of just a handful in the UK – to be officially recognised as carbon neutral.

H&H Reeds Printers reached the environmental gold standard when it was named as the county’s first accredited printer of carbon balanced publications.

That means that the print jobs it produces have zero impact on the environment because the paper used by the Milnthorpe firm is carbon balanced – and all of its customers are also given an opportunity to offset carbon generated by their products through a payment the printer makes to the World Land Trust.

Steve Wray, of H&H Reeds, said customers paid the same price as they would for a conventional print run.

“Businesses that really want to cut their impact on the environment need to focus on reducing carbon emissions, and choosing carbon balanced printing is an important step,” said Mr Wray.

“We can also issue the customer with a certificate for each print job to show how much carbon they have balanced.

” He said the company had seen an upsurge in interest in carbon offsetting since it gained its accreditation, with sustainable tourism body Nurture Eden choosing it to produce 30,000 trail guides for walkers and cyclists.

Mr Wray added: “Many people think that using environmentally friendly paper and printing materials will result in an inferior product, but that is absolutely not the case.

“The latest green printing technology means it is impossible to tell the dif-ference between traditionally printed materials and those that are produced with the least possible damage to the environment.”