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Specialty Graphic Imaging Association

Empire Screen Printing Promotes Sustainable Solutions

A case study from the SGIA Sustainability Recognition Program

Sustainability is vital to the success of a business in today's marketplace, and SGIA’s Sustainability Recognition Program strives to recognize members as they take steps toward implementing sustainable business practices. Adopting a sustainable business ethic requires a strong commitment on the part of both management and the workforce, and Empire Screen Printing (Onalaska, Wisconsin) has made that commitment.

A two-time honoree of the Sustainability Recognition Program, Empire Screen Printing took their "green" journey to a new level in 2013 when they sought the Green Tier 1 certification from the Wisconsin DNR. In June of that year, their hard work paid off as were granted the Green Tier 1 title.

Tier 1 of the Wisconsin DNR program is the entry level qualification and recognizes innovators in sustainability that are taking action to improve their workplace. Tier 1 criteria includes: 

  • A strong environmental compliance record, with no recent civil or criminal judgments or DNR citations.
  • Commitment to a formal Environmental Management System (EMS) that has been or will be implemented.
  • Annual performance reviews, with results submitted to the DNR.
  • Prompt follow-up action to any findings of non-compliance discovered during the annual reviews.
  • Continual improvement of environmental performance.

In keeping with the Tier 1 requirements, Empire created an official EMS in August of 2014 to operate in tandem with their Empire Green Committe. In April 2012, the Committee implemented a recycling program that expanded the materials to be recycled, as well as create a central recycling area in the plant. As of February 2014, landfill waste was reduced from 47.69 percent to 31.23%. Additionally, and as part of their new EMS, Empire has converted 80 percent of the lighting fixtures in their facility to energy-efficient lighting solutions.

"At Empire we are driven to improve in any way possible, with a focus on the environment and sustainability. Everyday, we manufacture our products using sustainable print methods. In recent years we helped develop UV LED ink curing technology in screen printing, which eliminates ozone emissions and greatly reduces energy consumption. We strive not only to improve our company, but others as well, by introducing the benefits of LED technology to our industry," said Jennifer Schloesser, Creative Director and Sustainability Coordinator at Empire.

Empire Screen Printing shows no sign of slowing down as they continue to expand their sustainability policies through implementation, experimentation and education. 

About Empire Screen Printing

In 1960, Empire began as a one-man operation in a humble garage in Wisconsin. James A. Brush wanted the name of his company to reflect the vision of what he wanted it to become. Thus Empire Screen Printing, Inc., was born. Our roots are in screen printing, but we have grown into much more. Today, Empire is an industry leader in screen printing, flexography, digital printing, and doming. Empire is currently located on 143 acres in Onalaska, Wisconsin, and employs over 250 employees. Our facilities have expanded to encompass over 150,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

Publication/Release Date: 
Jun 17, 2015

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