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Green is Good

(March 2011) posted on Tue Mar 08, 2011

Print providers turn to sustainable production because it's "the right thing to do" for the enviornment and for their business.

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By Jake Widman

It seems like every kind of business is "going green" these days, from SUV manufacturers to your local supermarket. The term usually encompasses some combination of lowered consumption of resources and reusing or recycling as much as possible.

Print shops are no exception: Across the country, digital print providers are embracing the principles of sustainable printing. The basic approach includes paying more attention to the supplies they use, trying to print as much as possible on sustainably-produced substrates, and utilizing environmentally sensitive inks.

Many shops are going even further than that, rethinking and refocusing their business practices from top to bottom. The benefits they're realizing aren't just feel-good intangibles, either – some lead to increased operational efficiencies – and new marketing opportunities often arise from “going green.”

Sundance Graphics: Value engineering to aid the environment
SunDance Graphics ( in Orlando began as an art-publishing company 10 years ago. Then, about five years ago, it was purchased by the family of the company's current director of operations, JohnHenry Ruggieri. The new owners began doing some commercial printing and formed a separate commercial-printing division just over three years ago; more recently, they created a multichannel marketing division as well.

"So now we're a family of three companies," Ruggieri explains, "including SunDance Fine Art Publishers, SunDance Graphics, and SunDance Marketing Solutions.” The graphics and marketing divisions produce hotel signage, pop-up displays, banners, and the other printed material needed in a resort town such as Orlando.

"Our main piece of manufacturing equipment is the Agfa Annapurna Mv, the 63-inch hybrid UV system. We have an HP Designjet Z6100 that we use primarily for proofing, and we do some production work on that, too. And we have an HP Designjet 5500 with a SpinJet accessory that we use for two-sided work, plus an Epson Stylus Pro 9800 and 9600 we use for occasional giclée work.”