Building a Green Business Through Sustainable Design

roolandBy rooland|September 7, 2018

Design is the problem as well as the solution”. – Nathan Shedroff, Californian design professor


With sustainability now at the forefront of business innovation, companies both big and small are making a conscious effort to build ‘green practices’ within their business model. At Rooland, we are a small team that is committed to making big change. Our team works hard to produce cutting-edge, eco-friendly design.


A fundamental aspect of our work is coordinating with businesses and their brand’s to find effective solutions to develop highly sustainable collateral with expectational design. In an endeavor to introduce sustainable web and graphic design, we give some top tips to get your business started.


Print – know what to look for


It is important to take a lot of consideration into finding a print supplier that will ensure your projects are being printed as sustainably as possible. Here is what to look out for when going to print:



  • FSC certified
  • Recycled paper – at least 30% post-consumer waste recycled fiber
  • Choose Eco Star or Kraft paper –
  • Processed chlorine free (PCF)
  • Lower GSM (lighter weight paper)
  • Uncoated paper stock


  • Low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) levels – less than 5%
  • Plant based inks with little or no oil content
  • Think about using less ink in your design – it’s cheaper and eco-friendly!


Other considerations

  • Choose a local printer with an environmental and/or energy reduction policy
  • Ask for a PDF over print proofs
  • Reuse and recycle – make sure your printer has strict environmental and social standards


Digital – every difference counts


While printing contributes to pollution through the usage of materials, digital design contributes to climate change through the usage of electricity but there are still some things you can do to reduce your impact.

  • Choose a hosting provider that uses 100% renewable energy
  • Reduce the size of your files – Optimise JPEG and PNGs
  • Delete doubled up or unused files on your server
  • Use CSS for graphic effects


What does sustainable design look like at Rooland?


At Rooland, we always consider the sustainability of materials in our design work such as sourcing FSC certified packaging options. For clients such as Civona, we created a brand new package design made out of 100% FSC Certified paper. Which means you can be sure that you’re supporting a product that has not been manufactured at the expense of the forest, or the animals and plants. 



In addition, we actively specify materials made from post-consumer recycled material. Aside from the obvious practical benefits to closing the loop this way, there is something almost magical in knowing that the milk carton picked up by a council truck might one day become a part of 100% post-consumer recycled paper poster that encourages people to recycle – the empowered consumer behaviour cycle!


We hope this article inspires individuals and businesses to think twice about ways they can transform their business collateral through web and graphic design. What matters is that we all should think about sustainable design solutions and where your design will end up after it is finished with its use.