Sustainable growth

Dolf Kahle, CEO, Visual Marking Systems Inc.

Lean and green is the evolution of manufacturing, according to employees at Visual Marking Systems. The Twinsburg-based company, which provides custom graphic design services, has spent years perfecting the lean piece, investing in a “pure lean” for nearly a decade. So it makes sense that it’s now ramping up its focus on the green aspect, undergoing a 12-month sustainability initiative to implement “green” into the company’s existing lean systems and further evolve its lean enterprise by eliminating waste and minimizing its carbon footprint.

Applying a dual focus on lean and green, VMS launched several new waste elimination projects, including a closed-loop recycling program. Through the program, VMS has not only reduced its environmental footprint by diverting 15 tons of material from landfills, it has converted this waste into a sustainable resource for new products.

In addition to adopting a program to enhance its lean enterprise, in March 2011, VMS took steps to adopt the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership — a nonprofit organization focused on promoting corporate sustainability — into its business. Under the leadership of CEO Dolf Kahle, VMS was the first company in Northern Ohio to achieve SGP certification as a Sustainable Green Printer and second in the state. The certification forces VMS to undergo a stringent third-party audit and to disclose sustainable improvements to stakeholders. VMS was recognized with the 2012 Summit of Sustainability Award in the Small Business Category for its waste-reduction practices and sustainability commitment.

How to reach: Visual Marking Systems Inc., (330) 425-7100 or