Quad/Graphics has been awarded more than 25 major environmental achievement honors in the last decade. The Sussex-based company (Waukesha County) is a leader in the printing sector with energy efficient and environmentally conscious efforts that include choosing papers made from sustainably managed forests; using inks containing renewable plant-based materials; capturing and recycling compounds from photoplate making, and eliminating photoplate making whenever possible; collecting and recycling all trim and waste paper from its operations. Quad/Graphics uses electricity generated by wind and other green power sources, and also works to lower or eliminate potentially harmful emissions in coatings, adhesives, and solutions. It promotes conservation of resources and materials and aggressive recycling.
Quad/Graphics is driven by efficiency, seeking to reduce waste in every aspect of production and distribution.
To achieve lean manufacturing, Quad/Graphics—like other forward-thinking manufacturers—has established formal processes to further reduce waste and add customer value at all stages of print production. For example, Quad/Graphics uses modern large-format presses that reduce energy consumption per printed page.
It is also committed to reducing water consumed relative to production. Pumping, heating, and treating water is very energy intensive; thus the less water used, the more energy conserved. At its Hartford, Wisconsin, plant, Quad/Graphics prints 5,800 pages per gallon of water consumed (an improvement of 35 percent in pages per gallon over its 2000 figure).
Smart Energy Strategies
Quad/Graphics was the first printer to join the SmartWay Transport Partnership, a market-based partnership program introduced by the EPA in 2004 to reduce fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollutants from the freight sector. This partnership has led to efficiencies that have prevented the emission of 12,611 tons of CO2 in 2009—the equivalent of taking 2,187 passenger cars off the road for a year.
With the industry’s largest co-mailing operations, Quad/Graphics can reduce postal costs for its clients while cutting fuel consumption and delivery emissions by combining different magazine and catalog titles into a single mailstream. Co-mailing not only provides postal savings for customers, it also results in efficiency that’s good for the environment because fewer and larger pallets mean fewer trucks on the road and fewer miles driven. Responsible mailing is further accomplished with Quad’s “list hygiene” services that purge invalid address labels, reducing the pieces of mail that need to be forwarded or returned, saving customers money and reducing the number of wasted print products.
Quad/Graphics’ electricity is supplied, in part, through low-impact hydroelectric generation—turbines on an adjacent river turn generators to produce electricity. Unlike large-scale hydroelectric operations, low-impact hydroelectric generation preserves the flow of a river, allowing it to maintain healthy oxygen levels while also allowing fish migration to occur. This on-site generation lowers the company’s demands on the power grid.
Quad/Graphics also uses many other practices to support conservation, efficiency, and environmental sustainability.