Empire Screen Printing of Onalaska celebrated the company’s participation in Wisconsin’s Green Tier program at their facility as part of its biennial sales meeting.

Green Tier unites sustainability-minded organizations with the DNR and recognizes companies like Empire Screen Printing, who seek to grow their business while improving the health of the environment. In exchange for a commitment to superior environmental performance, DNR grants benefits to Tier 1 participants, including public recognition of participation, a single point of contact at DNR and the use of the Green Tier logo in marketing materials.

A leader in protection

The company is a leader in the printing industry providing screen, flexographic, doming and digital printing services. The company is also a leader in sharing new technology successes so others in the industry can combine efforts to significantly benefit the environment. Their two-day national sales meeting is a testament to this endeavor – clients, vendors, suppliers and competitors were invited to attend the informative gathering.

Empire Screen drove the development of ultra-violet light-emitting diode (UV LED) ink curing technology for the screen printing manufacturing process. This new technology is significantly more economical and environmentally sustainable than the current industry standard using solvent based ink.

In the late 1990s, Empire made the transition from solvent to UV inks, which has low VOCs and is 100 percent solid. making it much less hazardous than its predecessor.

In 2008, Empire married UV and LED technologies together and harnessed the energy-efficiency and environmental properties of each. This UV LED-curing technology produces no ozone emissions, reduces energy consumption and eliminates the need for high-energy mercury vapor bulbs.

Today, Empire runs 95 percent of its screen printing operations using UV inks, of tha 50 percent uses energy-efficient UV LED ink curing technology.

Other organizations applaud Empire Screen Printing’s endeavors with UV LED technology as well. This year the company has received several awards, including the Sustainability award for superior sustainability practices from the Specialty Graphics and Imaging Association (SGIA); a 2016 Earth Day award from the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council; 2016 Business Friend of the Environment award from the WMC Foundation; and the Wisconsin Family Business of the Year award for the large company category.“The best part is that Empire created a process that preservers the environment and does not cost our customers more,” said John Freismuth, Empire Screen Printing president.

Empire Screen Printing employs more than 275 people and has 150,000 square feet of manufacturing space on 140 acres near the Mississippi River. They say their location serves as a reminder of their responsibility to protect natural resources for future generations.

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