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Quad – Saratoga Springs, New York

Energy management is a team effort at Quad. A pressroom team cheers from the plant’s new highly energy efficient offset printing press. Photo credit: QuadBACKGROUND

At more than one million square feet, Quad’s Saratoga Springs, New York, plant is one of the largest printing facilities in the Northeast, serving premier magazine and catalog publishers, as well as brand advertisers. The plant is staffed by more than 500 employees.


Prior to achieving 50001 Ready status, Quad’s Saratoga Springs facility already understood the value of energy efficiency through participation in DOE’s Better Plants, a voluntary partnership to reduce energy intensity in industrial facilities, and an energy management program offered by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The facility first became aware of 50001 Ready while following a strategic energy management (SEM) program sourced from the company’s West Allis facility. Employees motivated by the prospect of increasing efficiency and reducing costs encouraged leadership to participate in the 50001 Ready program.

Due in part to customer expectations and a company culture that values innovation and sustainability, leadership opted into the program. In 2019, Quad’s West Allis, Wisconsin, facility became the first site to achieve 50001 Ready status, followed by Hartford, Wisconsin (2021); Saratoga Springs, New York (2022); and Sussex, Wisconsin (2022). The Saratoga Springs facility staff used the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) 50001 Ready Navigator tool to establish an energy management system, and in March 2022, the facility earned DOE’s initial year of 50001 Ready designation and re-attested in April 2023.


  • Leveraging pre-existing relationships with external programs and organizations can be helpful in the implementation of 50001 Ready standards. Quad’s Saratoga Springs facility had previously participated in the DOE’s Better Plants program and was able to rely upon the program’s technical support personnel when questions arose regarding 50001 Ready.
  • Scheduling regular check-ins is essential to staying on task and benefiting from the collective knowledge of team members. Facility staff scheduled both weekly and monthly meetings to check progress and review remaining tasks.
  • Designating a core team tasked with achieving incremental and specific goals helps to concentrate responsibility and heighten accountability. Quad’s Saratoga Springs plant had six “core employees” focusing on 50001 Ready, with three employees using the program’s 50001 Ready Navigator tool and related resources to aid in implementation of their energy management system for several hours each week.
  • Engaging with the Navigator tool’s Task 9 and Task 10 were particularly valuable. Task 9 centers around the identification and monitoring of significant energy uses, and Task 10 focuses on energy performance improvement opportunities and processes. The Quad team discovered that with an increase in automation and maintenance for enhanced manufacturing reliability, one of the sites’ three regenerative thermal oxidizers could be shut down instead of running in standby mode. Increased automation was also used to better match building systems with production demand and resulted in running chilled water pumps and trim waste fans less often. These projects contributed to significant energy and cost savings.
  • The plant added a 300 HP variable speed air compressor with a heat recovery system— another example of how Quad is prioritizing energy best practices while investing in capital infrastructure.
  • Fostering good relationships with utility providers makes it easier to work together to save energy. For instance, the utilities provider for Saratoga Springs reviewed potential projects and energy initiatives and assisted with savings calculations.
  • Using 50001 Ready’s Navigator helps to track areas in need of improvement and to maintain management buy-in by quantifying impact.



In addition to energy savings, raised awareness, team-building, and conservation were among the other benefits enjoyed by the Saratoga Springs facility.

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