Finalists for the Green Award category at the UK Graphic Awards

Find out more about the companies that are putting the planet first in our industry

GES: Sustainable Event Graphics

Becoming the most environmentally friendly supplier in the industry while enhancing operational efficiency to better serve clients were the dual objectives GES set out to achieve. The approach to achieving these goals involved several key strategies and initiatives.

One of the core strategies centred around the graphics team, which proactively identified ways to reduce waste through a combination of using recycled materials, recycling existing materials, and transitioning towards more sustainable options such as foam-board rigid board products. They recognised that materials played a pivotal role in the events industry’s environmental impact.

The pivotal question asked when exploring new graphic materials was whether they were recyclable. This commitment to sustainable materials is also extended to the staff. GES sought individuals who were willing to embrace change as a constant, recognising its importance in the evolving industry landscape.

Enhancing efficiency was another crucial aspect of our strategy. Data analysis played a pivotal role in this, and the company integrated Clarity software, which provided detailed insights into product mix, materials, and production processes. This data-driven approach enabled GES to make informed decisions and streamline our operations. For instance, data analysis revealed that 80% of graphics could fit on a 2.52m wide roll, proving more efficient than the 3.2m wide rolls we previously used.

A significant focus was placed on replacing PVC substrates with non-PVC alternatives for all printed products, further demonstrating their commitment to reducing harmful plastics. Additionally, they transitioned to ‘green’ inks, contributing to a demonstrable reduction in environmental impact.

GES says that what truly sets them apart is the proactive and enthusiastic nature of their team. Empowered with knowledge and a platform for change, they consistently went above and beyond. From product innovation to embracing a cultural shift, they remained focused on their shared goal. Their efforts, commitment to improvement, and dedication to sustainability not only propelled the organisation but also set a remarkable example for the industry

Hollywood Monster: Sustainability Drive with McDonald's

As its trusted print provider, Hollywood Monster was approached to trial and test a water-based coated, plastic-free banner alternative to PVC for McDonalds. They recognised this as a great opportunity to create a meaningful impact in the print and display market by providing a high-performing, viable alternative to PVC materials.

The primary objective was to develop a material that met McDonalds’ sustainability goals without compromising on durability, strength or visual appeal. Working closely with McDonalds’ Head of Sustainability, they embarked on an innovative journey, collaborating with chemists in China to adapt a formula for a water-based coated material with zero poly-vinyl chloride (PVC) content.

The key challenges were to ensure the material matched or exceeded the durability and strength of traditional fabrics and had the ability to weld together seamlessly. Through rigorous print tests and strength and pull tests, the material proved to be as reliable, and in some tests more so, than PVC.

The success of this project lies in its ability to deliver a sustainable alternative without compromising the overall visual impact, which encompasses the print and fabric quality and its durability.

The water-based coated material, now called the Kavalan range, performed with excellence, maintaining the same level of quality and customer experience as traditional PVC banners. McDonald’s drive-thru restaurants across the UK benefited from this sustainable solution, with no compromise on visual appeal or brand integrity.

The impact of this project on carbon emissions and waste diversion has been remarkable. By replacing traditional PVC banners with non-PVC alternatives, they were able to save 132.3 tonnes of carbon in just 12 months for one product line in the UK alone. Moreover, this initiative diverted 200,000 sqm of PVC signage from landfill – that’s enough to fill Wembley Stadium, twice.

By implementing the Kavalan range at coastal sites with high winds and adverse weather conditions, McDonald’s demonstrated its trust in the newly developed Kavalan range as a viable alternative to PVC signage, as well as its commitment to improving its environmental sustainability. With non-PVC materials now used in 938 drive-thru’s across every city in the UK, Hollywood Monster has paved the way for a PVC-free future, encouraging other businesses to embrace sustainable alternatives.

MacroArt: ICE - Sustainability In The Real World Of Exhibitions

By their nature, events and exhibitions can generate a substantial amount of waste. In February 2023, MacroArt initiated a new pilot program aimed at assisting clients exhibiting at the ICE gaming event at ExCeL London. The primary objective of this initiative was to divert a significant volume of graphics and materials away from potential landfill disposal.

For all clients sourcing graphics from MacroArt for the event, the company introduced a comprehensive turnkey service encompassing print, installation, dismantling, and take-back of their stand graphic prints. This approach ensured that all materials were carefully collected and returned for proper recycling.

Recent investment in advanced software programs facilitated the seamless processing of client artwork files throughout production, thereby minimising waste and enhancing efficiency, all without requiring manual intervention.

Through meticulous collaboration with clients, stand designs, graphics, and overall effectiveness at the show remained unaffected by the initiative. The only discernible change was the enhancement of a significantly more sustainable approach to exhibiting.

Despite the intricacies of the planning process, the Sustainability Team developed effective on-site procedures that minimised disruptions for clients while maximising the retrieval of materials. This resulted in a smooth and hassle-free operation.

Post-event data analysis revealed that 1500m2 of graphics materials were collected, sorted, and processed. The dedicated Sustainability Team ensured that these materials were directed to suitable audited waste streams, effectively preventing them from ending up in landfills.

Service Graphics: Charity Super.Mkt

To attract a new generation of conscious consumers, the concept of a “charity supermarket” needed to establish a distinct identity both online and in the physical world. Social media emerged as a vital communication channel for conveying the brand’s message, while the physical stores also needed to align with the brand’s vision.

For the success of Charity Super.Mkt, it was imperative to partner with a company that not only comprehends the intricacies of retail but also shares a deep resonance with its philosophy encompassing social value, reuse, and sustainability. The partnership with Service Graphics showcased an authentic commitment to Charity Super.Mkt’s objectives, including the ability to deliver comprehensive in-store branding within a tight timeframe.

Service Graphics facilitated the design, production, and installation of a range of elements, including wall graphics, window displays, point-of-purchase (POP) and point-of-sale (POS) materials, floor graphics, screens, and branded backdrops. In line with the shared sustainability ethos, every component was crafted with reusability and recyclability in mind.

Inside the store, branding played a crucial role in narrating the story through inventive utilisation of colour, iconography, and slogans such as ‘Garms for Good’ and ‘Resale Therapy.’

The charities associated with Charity Super.Mkt noted a significant shift in their demographic, attracting a younger audience with disposable income. This translated into a substantial increase in sales, furthering their capacity to contribute to their respective causes.

Eye on Display Industry Directory
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Hollywood Monster Ltd

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Service Graphics

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The UK Graphic Awards

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