It’s hard to find a modern business that doesn’t understand the importance of going green. Adopting cleaner methods isn’t just better for the environment; eco-friendly processes are a financially smart move. Brands that reduce emissions or increase recycling attract more customers and reduce expenses in the long run. If everything in your business, from product creation to designing and printing advertisements and displays, is streamlined to be environmentally friendly, you’ll likely see more revenue and satisfied customers.

Unfortunately, it takes a lot of resources to have a company that creates no emissions and zero waste. It’s probably easier for your business to start with a smaller, specific goal. Try kickstarting your company’s green efforts by using more recycled materials and using an eco-friendly printing vendor. Here are a few easy ways to start going green:

1. Reduce your electrical output

These days, the design process is almost exclusively digital. That’s great for reducing paper waste, but it means designers are using a lot more electricity than they used to. If your business has the means, try switching to a form of renewable energy. You’d be in good company – according to the World Wildlife Fund, 63 percent of Fortune 100 and 48 percent of Fortune 500 companies have at least one clean energy target.

You should look for the same innovations in your printing partner. We at NGS have our own Green Initiative that includes installed solar panels, motion-sensing LED lights and dock doors, and heat recycling systems.

2. Choose recycled or recyclable substrates

If your goal is to start using more recycled materials, ask your printing partner about their substrates. Depending on the processes used to create the substrate, cardboard, paper, wood, glass and some plastics can all be recycled. NGS offers a variety of recyclable substrate options, and we have our own thorough recycling process that has saved hundreds of thousands of pounds of plastic from entering landfills each year.

3. Opt for UV inks

Many conventional printing inks contain pollutants, toxic heavy metals or volatile organic compounds, which are all harmful to humans and nature. Specifically, most inks contain solvents which, when left to air dry, leech into the atmosphere and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and are a general hazard to be around.

Next time you need a job completed, ask your printing partner for ultraviolet inks. Instead of air drying, UV inks are cured via ultraviolet light and create no emissions.

4. Minimize transportation emissions

Shipping graphics back and forth increases fossil fuel consumption – something we all know is bad for the environment. Go green by choosing a print service that is centrally located and offers in-house fulfillment services. This way, your graphics aren’t shipped to you before heading off to their final destination. Instead, they’re sent straight from the printer, minimizing travel time and greenhouse gasses.