For Quad, sustainability isn’t just a buzzword—it’s a guiding principle woven into its very fabric.

As Natalie Hahlen, Executive Director of Environmental Health & Safety, explains in the company’s most recent Environmental, Social and Governance Report: “We continue to show that what is good for the environment is good for business. Never settling for ‘good enough,’ we remain committed to finding new ways to conserve raw materials, reduce waste and refuse, reuse, recycle and responsibly source materials to minimize our environmental impact.”

Sustainability inside Quad

Sustainability initiatives run across departments throughout Quad, integrating seamlessly to fuel its production solutions. In 2022, 79% of the paper purchased by Quad was third-party certified by organizations like FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council), SFI® (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) and the PEFC™ (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification). To limit the environmental impact of its manufacturing processes, Quad recycles more than 98% of solid waste across its U.S facilities.

Quad is continually looking for new ways to create sustainable impact. In April, the company made a five-year commitment to participate in We Energies’ Renewable Pathway Program, which will provide enough renewable energy to offset the power used at its Franklin, Wisc., plant—where more than 50% of the company’s U.S. packaging manufacturing takes place.

Waste-watching beyond Quad

Quad also weaves sustainability throughout its market-facing offers and solutions. These sustainable practices have been essential to growing relationships with brands equally dedicated to creating a better way for local communities and the environment.

Quad In-Store has implemented a sustainability strategy of “redesign, reduce and reuse” to guide its operations, which has led to innovations such as the LAMà Band, a proprietary and eco-friendly alternative to the polybag packaging Quad’s in-store displays were previously wrapped in. Not only does this solution reduce waste, but it also streamlines packaging assembly processes for retailers.

Innovative LAMà® Band rids hard-to-recycle waste from in-store signage

The company estimates this innovation leads to an annual waste-stream elimination of:

  • 330,000 plastic polybags
  • 330,000 one-time-use paper instruction sheets
  • 660 paper-ream wraps
  • 66 corrugated boxes
  • 132 plastic straps
  • 8 wooden pallets

Finding fresh ways to market sustainably, a California-based retailer worked with Quad to reuse the bases of its in-store displays at 600+ locations. The collaboration managed to effectively reuse 1,308 plastic bases across different campaigns, significantly cutting down on plastics and the environmental impact of shipping.

Other examples of bespoke client efforts rooted in sustainability include the eco-friendly packaging created for prepared food brand Mostly Made. Quad also performs time- and energy-saving virtual testing for the effectiveness of direct mail through its Accelerated Marketing Insights group. AMI works across industries and successfully conducted 11 years of testing in the span of one study for this health insurance payor.

These practices are showcased in Quad’s annual Sustainability Symposium. Started in 2018, this event brings together industry leaders from brands including CVS Health, General Mills and How2Recycle to share ideas and build initiatives that help celebrate and sustain the earth.

By prioritizing sustainable solutions, Quad not only enhances its own business practices but also positively impacts its employees, clients and communities. In a world where sustainability is imperative, Quad continues to forge ahead on its journey to demonstrate that profitability and environmental stewardship are not mutually exclusive but rather are intrinsically linked for a brighter, greener future.

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