Moving Sustainability Forward: Q&A with Mark Sieder


Mark Sieder, Account Executive with Digital Hub, a Fuse Company

Q: What’s the story behind eco-taglines?

A: We developed our own eco-taglines because some companies just use soy-based inks and others care about where the paper comes from. It really comes down to individual clients. Many have made a commitment to sustainability and they want people to know that.


Q: Any examples?

A: We have one client that focuses on the preservation of wetlands.  Our tags inform people about sustainable printing. It’s a message to the marketplace. The printed piece is an extension of a company’s values and beliefs. DePaul University is another example. Their sustainability program is part of the university’s 2020 plan. Our work drills right down to the marketing materials we produce for its enrollment marketing and other divisions.



Q: Why should people care?

A: The printing industry did more harm than good and that needed to stop. We need to make the world a better place for the kids in the future. For us, this is nothing new. I’ve been in this business 40 years. There were harmful chemicals. I was one of the first to pursue   printer standards with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. We developed a way to use recycled ink to burn as fuel to make asphalt. When we used to use film, we recovered the silver before dumping it down the drain. We started a recycling program for  plates because they would seep ink into landfills.


Q: What’s the biggest myth among marketers about sustainability?

A: There’s a lot of false assumptions out there about recycled paper. If you look at the paper industry - it’s hard to take waste paper and de- ink it. There is more damage from chemicals than cutting down trees. In this country, we’re not cutting down trees in the rain forest. We’re planting three for every one we cut down.

Q: What is Fuse doing on the sustainability front?

A: Tracking sustainability metrics is very important to us. Annually, we recycle 400,000 pounds of plastic per year, 1.5 million pounds of paper and corrugated, and 5,000+ wood skids from inbound deliveries. We also voluntarily participate in a ComEd Brownout program that allows ComEd to optimize its peak usage seasons. We use occupancy sensors as a key strategy for light saving technology along with energy efficient T8 lighting. Our pressroom uses vegetable-based inks and we’ve reduced our VOC limits by over 75 percent. All excess inks are burned into oxygen monthly.


Q: Any gift ideas for creatives crazy about Mother Earth?

A: Buy a book from our client Resketch! Chicagoan Sean Smith founded the company. It’s very cool. He takes surplus paper and turns it into sketchbooks. Fuse cuts down the paper and bind the sketch books. Covers are made from old maps from the Field Museum, Chicago Park District blueprints and now extinct letterheads from corporations.


Download Fuse’s print-ready eco-taglines.