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(March 2010) posted on Mon Mar 15, 2010

Five shops report that ‘going green’ continues to have both challenges and rewards.

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By J.P. Pieratt

Sustainability continues to be a hot buzz word not only in our marketplace, but in all aspects of consumer buying and corporate marketing, as well. And while the din of the economic downturn may have muted the push for “going green” to some degree, the push is still there. The question becomes: To what extent do you and your company approach sustainability internally as well as externally with clients—and in what specific ways?

We talked to five print providers about their sustainability efforts, including their successes in addition to their not-so-favorable experiences:
• CR&A Custom ( in Los Angeles;
• Modernistic ( in Stillwater,
• Point Imaging ( in Hobart, Indiana;
• Print Art ( in Egg Harbor Township,
New Jersey; and
• Resource Grand ( in Cincinnati.

A competitive advantage
There are as many reasons why print providers implement sustainability programs as there are definitions for the term itself. Some companies see it as a responsibility, some a way to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace, others as a way to attract or maintain clients, and some a combination of these and other factors.

Marco Perez, marketing director for Point Imaging, a purely digital operation, says several factors brought sustainability to the forefront of his company about three years ago. And although gaining a competitive edge over the competition originally was part of it, keeping some of its larger clients was the primary factor.

“[The sustainability initiatives] were spurred by our West Coast office and were starting to be a requirement for us by our clients on the West Coast,” Perez says. “It was both the right thing to do and also a differentiator to separate ourselves from our competitors. It’s less so today with so many companies instituting some sort of sustainability program.”