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More is Less: A Look at Sustainability at Modernistic

(August 2010) posted on Wed Aug 11, 2010

Environmental responsibility comes in many forms. This article describes the strategies Modernistic used to reduce consumption, save money, and improve efficiency.


By DeAnn Strenke

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The lighting change is projected to reduce related electricity consumption by 60%, from 715,635 kWh to 283,255 kWh annually. With this comes a reduction in the amount of electricity generated to power lights and a decrease in CO2 emissions by 5679 tons during the lifecycle of the high-efficiency fixtures. During that same period, the company will reduce 23 tons of sulfur dioxide and 8 tons of nitrogen oxides, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The reductions are the air-scrubbing equivalent of a 79-acre forest or removing 70 cars from the road. It is also the equivalent of saving 35,693 gallons of gasoline a year.

For all of its work on improving energy efficiency, Modernistic received the Efficiency Partner Award from Xcel Energy for the last two consecutive years. This award recognizes a small group of businesses for their outstanding efforts each year. In addition, the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association honored Modernistic with the first ever SGIA Sustainability Recognition Award. The company was nationally certified as a Sustainable Green Printer by the SGP Partnership toward the end of 2009.

Other projects
Environmental sustainability goes far beyond certification. We’ve implemented wholesale changes. During production, waste from the material stream is removed, ground up, and recycled for other uses. We coordinate bulk shipments to cut down fuel costs and select suppliers that use wind energy to reduce total energy costs throughout their supply chain.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is also a huge initiative at Modernistic. We pledge to be compliant with all applicable EHS and labor regulations. To acknowledge our role in continuous improvement, we still implement programs and procedures that are consistent with these regulations and abide by the principles of healthy lives and eco-friendly environments. The health and safety of our employees is a top priority.

Now Modernistic is focusing on larger annual projects for 2010. The company plans to reduce its kilowatt-hour use by 10% as part of the annual SGP continuous-improvement project. The goal is to install motion sensors on lights and develop programs that automatically turn off office equipment to save energy. We used the SMART Objective Development Process when we chose our 2010 objective:

Specific (reduce kilowatt hours by 10%)
Measurable (kilowatt hours as compared to last year)
Achievable (team support will help achieve the goal)
Relevant (our goal will have a positive effect on our business)
Time-sensitive (end of year 2010)


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