Quad/Graphics Becomes First Major Commercial Printer to Achieve LEED Certification for a Manufacturing Plant
SUSSEX, WI – Quad/Graphics, the hemisphere’s largest privately held commercial printer, announced today that its Sussex, Wis., manufacturing facility has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, Silver rating, from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The accomplishment makes Quad/Graphics the first company of its kind to achieve any level of LEED certification for a manufacturing site. It also builds on the company’s longstanding and industry-leading approach to making business decisions that are both environmentally responsible and sustainable.
Because of its age – 25 years old – Quad/Graphics’ Sussex facility qualified for LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB). With 1.7 million square feet of usable space on a 73-acre site, Quad/Graphics' Sussex plant houses almost 60 pieces of heavy industrial press and finishing equipment, and serves as the company’s corporate headquarters.
“We’re proud of our environmental record and what LEED certification signifies,” said Quad/Graphics President & CEO Joel Quadracci. “The fact that we’ve been able to certify a decades-old manufacturing facility – one that first opened in the 1980s – is a testament to our long-time commitment to environmentalism. It’s not something we decided to get into recently. We’ve been committed to the environment since the very early days of our company – so much so that it is now embedded in our corporate DNA.
“Truly, we walk the talk when it comes to operating in an environmentally conscious manner,” Mr. Quadracci added. “We take seriously our responsibility to the environment and it shows. We have the best environmental record in the industry.”
LEED is a voluntary green building rating system developed by USGBC, a nonprofit group that promotes sustainable building practices. There are four levels of certification available – Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum – for meeting criteria in five specific areas: 1) sustainable site development; 2) water efficiency; 3) energy efficiency; 4) materials and resource selection; and 5) indoor environmental quality. In addition, the USGBC recognizes innovations beyond those prescribed in the LEED rating system. For example, Quad/Graphics earned points for its pioneering role in the U.S. EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership in which it has created innovative approaches to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its fleet of trucks.
Existing buildings, like Quad/Graphics’ manufacturing plants, must score at least 32 points out of a possible 85 to achieve the most basic level of certification. Quad/Graphics’ Sussex plant received 45 points, qualifying it for a Silver rating – just three points shy of a Gold rating.
The company was able to meet many of the USGBC’s rigorous criteria going into the certification process due to many long-established programs and practices. Highlights include:
• A comprehensive recycling program. Quad/Graphics’ Sussex manufacturing facility recycles 99.0 percent of its solid waste, including paper, fluorescent lamps, batteries, metal, plastic, wood and concrete.
• A progressive approach to site development and grounds maintenance. Quad/Graphics’ manufacturing plant grounds have been designed to minimize storm water runoff leaving the property and reduce the need for fertilizers that contaminate the groundwater.
• Installation of high-efficiency fluorescent lighting. Quad/Graphics uses bulbs that burn 50 percent brighter while consuming 52 percent less energy.
• Proactive water conservation. Quad/Graphics uses non-potable water for irrigation and has also installed low-flow water fixtures within its plants to reduce the amount of water it consumes.
• The creation of the Quad Building Management Network, an enterprise-wide computerized system for monitoring, recording and, in some cases, controlling in real time heating, ventilating and air conditioning; electrical and natural gas consumption and demand; process boilers,
chillers, air compressors and vacuum systems; indoor air quality; and life safety systems.
“Quad/Graphics has long maintained a vested interest in minimizing our environmental impact for the benefit of our employees and clients, whether that’s been conserving energy and raw materials or reducing waste and controlling emissions,” Mr. Quadracci said. “We believe that doing what’s good for the environment is also good for business, and certification for our Sussex plant just confirms through an independent third party that the practices and processes we’ve been following for years are as sustainable as possible.”
Quad/Graphics’ Sussex plant is the first of 10 manufacturing sites the printer plans to certify. It intends to be the first printer of its kind to have all its major manufacturing sites designated as green buildings.
Quad/Graphics recently made headlines by donating a conservation easement on Camp/Quad, its 325-acre recreational facility in Erin, Wis. to Tall Pines Conservancy, a non-profit land trust dedicated to preserving natural areas in and adjoining Northwestern Waukesha County. The company also recently has been recognized by print industry news portal WhatTheyThink.com with an Environmental Innovation Award and has earned an Outstanding Achievement in Recycling Award from the Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin (AROW). More information about the company’s practical approach to environmentalism can be found on its Web site: http://www.QG.com/aboutus/environment.
Quad/Graphics (www.QG.com) is the largest privately held printer of magazines, catalogs and other commercial products in the Western Hemisphere, and the third largest printer – public or private – in the nation. Headquartered in Sussex, Wisconsin (26 miles west of Milwaukee), the company provides services ranging from front-end design and photography through digital imaging, printing, finishing, mailing/distribution and data-driven marketing solutions such as data optimization and analytics. The company has long been known for its environmental stewardship and social responsibility, garnering a long list of local, state and national honors. These honors include being featured among the Top 5 Print Industry Brands associated with sustainability, according to a survey published by Graphic Arts Monthly. Annual sales are $2.2 billion. Worldwide employment approximates 11,000 people.