Quad/Graphics hopes to become the first major commercial printer to have all of its major manufacturing sites designated as green buildings. The printer has registered its 10 core U.S. printing plants for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

LEED is a voluntary, nationally-recognized rating system that establishes benchmarks for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. The system rates facilities in five areas concerning human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Quad/Graphics hopes to have its Sussex, Wisconsin headquarters certified by mid 2008, and its remaining plants in the months thereafter, according to marketing communications manager Claire Ho. "We will learn a lot from going through the certification process on the first plant and will apply that knowledge to getting our other plants certified," Ho wrote in an e-mail to FOLIO:.

The company says it will continue to implement green practices-such as energy and water management systems-as it pursues certification. Quad/Graphics already promotes carpooling and utilizes environmentally conscious landscaping. The company says it recycles 98.5 percent of waste materials leaving its plants, including paper, fluorescent lights, metal, plastic and concrete.

In October, Quad/Graphics received an Environmental Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in recognition for a reduction of the company’s air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions from its freight transport service. The company also received a Going Green Recognition form the Wisconsin 75 program.