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Print is responsible





For more information, e-mail Gruff, our environmental spokesgoat.

Print is responsible.

From forest to pressroom and to the eventual end life of printed products, we understand that to be successful for the long term, we have to take responsible steps throughout the life cycle of products we produce. Quad/Graphics examines each aspect of the printing process to measure and reduce waste, and subsequently, to reduce the environmental impact of our processes and products.

Responsible design.

Being responsible starts by consulting with our clients to recommend designs that minimize ink and paper waste, on press and during trimming and binding. For example, paper sheets and web rolls typically come in several standard sizes. We consult with our clients so they can size their projects to make more efficient use of standard sizes. Odd-size designs may not use paper efficiently and can result in higher amounts of waste. Ganging multiple print jobs uses less paper. By working with printers early in the design process, our clients can reduce paper use, decrease the number of press and bindery makereadies, use fewer printing plates and save money.

Sustainable design initiatives address core concepts and issues from which designers and other graphic communications professionals can derive valuable insights. Examples include the U.S. EPA's Cradle-to-Cradle Design Award and the Resource Conservation Challenge.

Environmental Footprint | As a response to global climate change, many print clients are asking for data about the carbon footprint of their printed product. Quad/Graphics is able to provide carbon information to our clients. However, carbon is just one part of the total environmental picture. For a complete 360-degree view of their printed product's environmental footprint, all print clients should ask their printers, "What are you doing to minimize your consumption of resources?" and "How are you reducing your emissions to air, land and water?"

Air | Some of the strategies Quad/Graphics has implemented: using electricity generated by wind and other green power sources; and lowering or eliminating potentially harmful emissions in coatings, adhesives, cleaning solutions and fountain solution/fountain solution additives.

Land | In the 1980s and 1990s, even the best companies were only diverting 60 percent to 65 percent of their waste from landfills, according to a report from the Zero Waste Alliance in Portland, Ore. At Quad/Graphics, our goal is to become 100 percent landfill-free. Our plant at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., has already achieved landfill-free status. The small percentage of waste generated there that cannot be recycled is taken to a waste-to-energy facility to generate power.

Water | Climate change may dominate today's environmental news, but the World Water Council predicts that a shortage of potable water will become the next environmental crisis. Already more than 1 billion people in Africa and Southeast Asia don't have access to enough safe drinking water to remain healthy and the problem is expected to spread.

Quad/Graphics is committed to reducing the amount of water we consume relative to production. In 2000, we produced 2,039 pages of product for every gallon of water we consumed. In 2007 that figure was up to 3,150 pages per gallon. At our Hartford, Wis., plant, we print 5,800 pages for every gallon of water consumed.


Using the highest quality materials and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, CR\T, Quad/Graphics' ink production subsidiary, began formulating and manufacturing EnviroTech inks in 1982. Based on extensive experience gained from working with press operators. EnviroTech inks vastly improve quality, consistency and customer satisfaction while also providing greater control over supply and cost.

Enviro/Tech Ink

EnviroTech inks for web offset printing have renewable resource content (including vegetable oils and pine resin) of approximately 27 percent. This ink complements our other offset inks, which have a renewable resource content greater than 20 percent.

Responsible mailing

For printed products that are mailed (as most are), one of the most responsible actions is to ensure that the mailing list is accurate, up-to-date and on target. Not only do Quads list hygiene services save customers money by reducing the number of mailpieces that require forwarding or return, they also help the environment by reducing the number of wasted printed products. Our advanced database techniques help select and segment existing customers and prospects more effectively.

The Direct Marketing Associations Green 15 Toolkit is an example of proactively addressing the environmental issues surrounding direct mail. The toolkit contains information to help mailers implement sustainable business practices.

How Green Is Your Printer?

Quad/Graphics has prepared specific questions that should be included as part of every request for proposal (RFP) to suppliers especially printers. The questions are based on our decades of sustainability experience.

Environmental RFP Questions

What Others Are Saying
About Quad

"I don't think the general public knows enough about the significant efforts Quad does to go above and beyond what's required of them."

Scott Manley, Environmental Policy Director with Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

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