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Modernistic: The Desire to Do More

‘We strive to get better every year at some sustainability element,’ says CEO.

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Modernistic facility

Modernistic offers clients sustainable and recyclable alternatives to standard substrates, such as styrene [left]. The company reduces waste at the packaging stage with a box-making machine [right].

Modernistic is a Stillwater, Minnesota-based P-O-P graphics and display provider that’s been SGP-certified since December 2009. 

“We strive to get better every year at some sustainability element,” explains Scott Schulte, co-CEO. “SGP is a nice formal way of keeping the goal out in front of you.” And with big-box clients like Best Buy, Target, Kohl’s, and more, Modernistic has been able to make quite an impact with these incremental improvements over time.

Schulte says recycling is the most noticeable sustainability activity throughout Modernistic’s facility, but you can find other innovative ways the company has lessened its environmental impact if you know where to look. For example, instead of producing displays from corrugated metal or solid wood, they offer customers an option made of recyclable styrene, corrugated to look like metal or printed with a wood-grain pattern, and run through a heat bender to add structure and rigidity. Not only does this reduce shipping weight; it makes life easier on installers, too.  

Modernistic also selectively screen prints adhesives instead of using laminates across an entire surface, eliminating the waste of the film and reducing the amount of adhesive used. Other ways of reducing environmental impact include using an in-house box maker and pushing sales of sustainable substrates. 

“I wish I could do more,” Schulte says in the spirit of any leader striving for perfection, “but we do what we can.”

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