We can proudly say that NGS Printing is an environmentally friendly company. We believe each and every individual has a responsibility to be a steward of their surroundings, which is why we developed our green initiative a few years ago; it’s helped us reduce our carbon footprint as we strive to lead by example by letting our actions do the talking.

But you don’t have to just take our word for it, as NGS Printing was recently recognized with an award of which we’re immensely proud.

“The award is given to 30 member companies that implement eco-centric practices.”

In April, the Specialty Graphic Image Association bestowed NGS Printing with the coveted Sustainable Business Recognition Award, an annual title the SGIA gives to 30 member companies that go above and beyond the call of duty to improve business efficiency through eco-centric practices, procedures and applied uses. These activities may include recycling, installation of renewable energy sources and reduced electricity usage, among others.

What is the Sustainable Business Recognition Award?
The sustainable business recognition program is an award for which many apply but few are chosen. That’s because member companies must substantiate the manner in which they’ve gone about making their workplace a cleaner, more sustainable place that contributes the nation’s economy all while reducing their carbon footprint.

Marci Kinter, vice president of government and business information for SGIA, said NGS Printing certainly meets that standard, joining 29 other award recipients.

“The Sustainable Business Recognition program puts the spotlight on companies who have demonstrated a commitment to sustainable practices,” Kinter explained. “Sustainability is not just about the environment – it’s also about employees’ well-being and creating efficiencies that can improve a business’s bottom line. With each year, we continue to see innovative ideas for energy and waste reduction and safety awareness, and 2019 was no exception.”

“Solar supplies NGS with nearly a third of our electrical needs.”

In order to be recognized by the SGIA, companies must demonstrate not just what they’ve done to improve the environment, but how those processes worked. NGS Printing has done so in a host of different ways over the years. In 2014, for instance, we installed a 189-kW solar array on our roof here in Elgin, Illinois. Solar power now supplies our company with nearly a third of its electrical needs, up from 27% in 2016 and 25% in 2015. The array itself remains one of the largest among private companies in all of Illinois.

We’re never fully satisfied
To achieve true sustainability, however, you have to make it a company priority, always seeking out ways to improve and become even more efficient than before. That’s why in 2018, we began a preventative maintenance program that helped us diagnose, flag and facilitate all maintenance tasks on an ongoing basis throughout our facility. Prior to the rollout, it became clear that our old system simply wasn’t cutting it. We had the capabilities to make the appropriate adjustments, but the process was more reactive, rather than proactive. So, we did some self-diagnosis and learned that the best way to flip the script was by making accountability a priority through the implementation of more accurate record keeping. We also shifted to paperless logging to enhance efficiency, reduce waste and more effectively share data.

From printing on recyclable plastics to installation of motion-detection lighting systems, NGS doesn't just support green practices, we show it.
From printing on recyclable plastics to installation of motion-detection lighting systems, NGS doesn’t just support green practices, we show it.

Our reformed preventative maintenance program not only helps us reduce consumption and waste but it also allows us to make our facility safer. That’s because we get out ahead of situations that may lead to injury, such as through routine maintenance of heavy machines and spot checks of safety systems.

While we’re certainly pleased with the new system thus far, there’s always room for improvement, whether in the safety sphere or sustainability. That’s why we’re looking to replace our central air system this year by swapping out with fittings that can enhance efficiency and operability. It’s expected that in doing so, we’ll save potentially as much as 13,000 kilowatt hours of electricity in a given calendar year.

From printing on recyclable plastics to installation of motion-detection lighting systems, NGS doesn’t just support green practices, we show it. The recognition from the SGIA is the latest proof. Reducing our carbon footprint is a responsibility we take seriously as we aim to make the Earth a little bit better and cleaner any way we can.