It’s not uncommon to hear the terms “sustainability goals” and “environmental stewardship” come up in discussion at meetings, during consultations and written into mission statements. And it’s certainly not uncommon to talk about what that means on Earth Day. At United, we typically let our work and service do the talking for us; but we also realize the importance of letting everyone else know what sustainability goals and environmental stewardship mean to us as a locally-owned business and commercial print industry resource.

As a commercial printer, we actively seek ways to use less to produce more and recognize there is always going to be a certain amount of waste produced and energy consumed in our daily production. However, we seek out opportunities to reduce emissions, create a cleaner work environment, and stock materials and supplies that help us – and our clients – achieve sustainability goals.  Here are some of the ways we work toward those results.


United has installed the first-of-its-kind HP R2000 Latex Printer - a hybrid solution that allows both rigid and flexible sign and display printing in one device.
HP R2000 Large Format Printer
: There are a multitude of reasons that we invested in this first-generation wide format latex hybrid roll and rigid printer – and you can read a lot more about that on a previous blog post here. In addition to delivering outstanding image quality, stellar consistency and durability, the water-based HP Latex Inks offer eco-friendly highlights that we want to focus on today.

  • Water-based HP Latex Ink prints are odorless – this is especially important for prints going in interior settings that need to limit solvents, like healthcare, work environments or living spaces.
  • No special ventilation is required – no hazard warning labels or HAPS and nickel-free
  • HP Latex Inks are UL ECOLOGO, UL GREENGUARD GOLD Certified and prints meet AgBB criteria
  • Printing adhesive vinyls also demonstrate compliance with international wallcovering industry standards.
  • Read more about HP end-to-end sustainability efforts and specifications here


Eco-friendly materials: We are conscious and accommodating of the materials that customers request as part of their own sustainability efforts at their respective companies. We can source (and have access to) wholesale suppliers providing alternative solutions to traditional mixed media. And we steer clients toward materials that they can feel great about using without sacrificing print quality.

For example, we recommend PVC-free adhesive vinyl like 3M™ Envision™ a highly conformable, durable and versatile product suite that can be used for custom vehicle wraps to wall graphics. Print quality remains beautiful and vibrant, and works well for both latex and UV printing options.

Another product we recommend is Falconboard®, an eco-digital rigid board that’s 100% paper-based and fully recyclable. The unique rigid corrugated sheet structure makes it perfect for direct-printing, and is available in both Kraft and white color options. This takes the place of traditional foam or Gator board and provides a wonderful option for corporate environmental stewardship. It comes in a variety of thicknesses and is perfect for interior-based graphic displays. For eco-conscious large format digital printing, Falconboard® is a no-brainer.

Additionally, we carry and/or source 100% post-consumer recycled papers for clients on request. And we encourage customers and team members internally to recycle coated papers and cardstocks as much as possible. While there are some public misconceptions about what type of glossy or coated papers can or can’t be recycled, advances in materials and printing methods over the years make nearly every type of paper recyclable. For more information on sorting papers (and other materials), visit:


Construction Plan Printing: Over the years, we made the decision to convert from toner-based printing to an aqueous inkjet environment, using HP Pagewide technology. This machine also allows us to consume less power when we print in our plans department. Aqueous (or water-based) inks are ideal because they don’t contain solvents, which reduces chemical odors and provides a toxin-free workplace for our team.

In-House Recycling Program:
As you can imagine, there is a lot of packaging, paper and supplies that are part of the process with daily commercial printing, especially with the high volumes we’re producing every week. Our team has been trained to use strategically placed bins located in each department that are pre-designated by material type, internally sorted and then picked up by West Seattle Recycling as part of our ongoing in-house recycling program.

Delivery Fleet Vehicles:
Several years ago, United replaced old delivery vehicles with new Toyota Prius models. While maintaining any fleet of vehicles can be a challenge, the obvious benefits of using hybrid vehicles made this a no-brainer: they burn less fuel, emissions are lower, and we save more money (allowing us to keep delivery fees lower). We also make calculated efforts to “bundle” or schedule our deliveries based on address locations to keep time on the road to a minimum.