Comprehensive recycling, water conservation and energy management programs are among the environmental efforts that helped Quad/Graphics' Hartford, Wis., manufacturing facility achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, Silver rating, from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
The new LEED certification means Quad/Graphics (NYSE: QUAD) now has more than 3.2 million square feet of LEED-certified space. Quad/Graphics' Hartford plant is the company's second facility to qualify for LEED certification. In 2009 the printer's corporate headquarters and plant in Sussex, Wis., received the LEED for Existing Buildings Silver rating, making Quad/Graphics the first major printer to achieve any level of LEED certification for a manufacturing site.
The 1.6-million-square-foot Hartford plant opened in 1992 also qualified for the LEED for Existing Buildings certification. The facility has more than 900 employees and houses 50 pieces of heavy printing equipment, including an array of high-tech, high-speed web offset presses supported by perfect binders, saddle stitchers and polywrappers for finishing printed products.
"Our Hartford plant's LEED certification is another step in our quest to become an environmental leader of not just the print industry, but of all industries," said Quad/Graphics Chairman, President & CEO Joel Quadracci. "Our company's long-standing approach is simple: We believe doing what's good for the environment is also good for business, so we make business decisions that are both environmentally responsible and sustainable. We plan to continue to build our environmental record and LEED certification is a key element of our strategy."
LEED Certification and the Hartford Plant
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. Quad/Graphics' Hartford plant earned extra points for offering proactive environmental education programs for employees, such as Eco Driving and Sustainable Purchasing; for the type of low-mercury fluorescent bulbs it uses; and for exemplary recycling performance for efforts like the plant cafeteria's coffee-cup refunds, which keeps thousands of styrofoam cups out of landfills.
Quad/Graphics met many of the USGBC's rigorous criteria for LEED certification because of long-established environmental programs and practices, including:
The creation of the Quad Building Management Network, an enterprise-wide computerized system for monitoring, recording and, 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.
A comprehensive recycling program. The Hartford plant recycles 99.3 percent of its solid waste, including paper, fluorescent lamps, batteries, metal, plastic, wood and concrete.
Exterior lighting that reduces light pollution of the nighttime sky. Exterior building and parking lot lights at the Hartford facility are shielded, directing light downward to where it is needed. This allows people an undiluted view of the stars and moon and also minimizes the lighting's impact on nocturnal wildlife in the area.
Installation of high-efficiency, low-mercury fluorescent lighting. Quad/Graphics uses bulbs that burn 50 percent brighter while consuming 52 percent less energy.
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 groundwater. The Hartford plant utilizes a very water efficient landscaping plan.
- Proactive water conservation. Quad/Graphics uses non-potable water for irrigation and has also installed low-flow water fixtures within its plants to reduce water consumption.