Becoming more sustainable can provide your shop with additional efficiencies and additional profits.
“While most manufacturers now use labels like ‘green,’ ‘eco-friendly,’ or ‘sustainable’ to describe some share of their products, identifying such options was more challenging at the time.” There was extra work involved in learning about green materials, which are best, and who offers them,” he admits. “But part of running any successful business is market research.”
That work has allowed MegaMedia to give its clients the option of printing their projects on a full range of eco-friendly media. The selection includes a wide array of substrates – from aluminum panels, fabrics, and wallpaper made from recycled material to recyclable wood, acrylic, and vinyl.
With that, there’s the shop’s 100-percent-recycle guarantee: Whatever material clients choose for their wide-format projects, they can be recycled or repurposed once the project is complete and materials removed.
It’s a guarantee that takes many forms. On one project for IBM, 100 Sintra panels featuring human silhouettes, each measuring 4 x 6 feet, were donated to organizations in Las Vegas for their use. Some used them as fundraisers, as tourists paid for photos taken with these life-sized cutouts.
Other clients have taken advantage of the shop’s “Banners to Bags” promotion. At the conclusion of a Dunkin’ Donuts promotional campaign, for example, MegaMedia took back possession of the vinyl banners it had produced to hang in stores, then cut and reassembled them – producing bags the chain could then sell or give away.
“You can get real creative,” says Senatore. “We’ve gotten quite a bit of business because of the things we’ll do.”
A longstanding commitment
In Austin, Texas, ProGraphix (www.prographixaustin.com) has also taken a sustainable route to success.
“We’re known in Austin as a company that really cares and strives to be as sustainable as we can. We get people looking for companies like ours,” says owner Nicki MacFarlane, who has had a longstanding commitment to run an environmentally friendly company since taking over the business in 2004. Today, she promotes ProGraphix as “certifiably green.”
“We really just took baby steps at first,” she recalls. “We needed a new printer and looked for one that was eco-friendly.” She also explored ways to reduce waste and signed on for AustinEnergy’s GreenForce program, a 10-year commitment to rely on wind-generated power.