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Success and Sustainability

(March 2012) posted on Wed Mar 14, 2012

Five print providers who have plotted out a green course.

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By Paula Yoho

“In the case of this new press, we ran a job for one of our customers that, instead of taking 14 days, we actually did it in two-and-a-half days. It didn’t even run 24 hours a day – that’s incredibly fast, and helps cut our energy costs,” says Wittenberg. “Not only does it help us be competitive in the marketplace, it also helps us provide the customers with the ability to lengthen their decision time and still allow us time to be able to respond.”

All told, Wittenberg believes the secret behind successfully implementing sustainable business practices is putting your money where your mouth is.

“It may be the simplest thing to say, ‘We’re environmentally friendly,’ but it’s making the commitment at the top and helping people understand why it’s important to the company and to the customers and to the environment, too, that ensures it is a philosophy that will last,” he says. “It has been worth the all the effort and the time for us.”

Practicing what’s preached: Banner Creations
Nora Norby, president of Banner Creations www.( in Minneapolis, has been “green” since before being green was cool.

“Hey, I clean with vinegar and peroxide at home, and I’ve been washing with cold water since Carter was in office. I set my thermostat down to 58 degrees at night and while I’m gone during the day,” says Norby. “I do try to practice what I preach.”

Her passion for sustainability carries over to Banner Creations, where Norby’s team uses the latest eco-friendly products and technologies to produce large-format fabric banners, cloth bags, flags, and other display products.

“We recycle our scrap and our paper products, we do duplex printing, and we donate paper that is left over from the rolls that we print on. We try to recycle or donate or reuse as much as we can in the paper part of our business, plus we recycle our cans and bottles,” Norby explains.

“We've been printing with water-based inks since 1993, and printing on fabrics made from 100-percent recycled soda bottles that can then be recycled again. We also make bags from our scrap recycled soda-bottle fabric that we then sell on our e-commerce site.”