Sharing Sustainable Values

When two family-owned companies that value sustainability work together successfully, the end result is more than a 56-foot wall mural: it’s a testament to environmentally friendly paper products that retain quality, durability, and beauty.

Monadnock Paper Mills, based in New Hampshire, is the oldest continuously operating paper mill in the country and, obviously, in the state. For decades, the company has valued sustainable practices in its manufacturing, and has created an environmental supply chain of excellence. It reinforced this commitment with the September launch of the Envi Portfolio, its line of eco-friendly paper products. The Envi Portfolio is a full complement of fiber-based solutions designed to provide eco-savvy brand owners with high-quality alternatives to plastics across a broad range of applications and end-uses. The product line speaks to Monadnock’s conviction that cost-efficient, beautiful, quality papers can be environmentally friendly as well.

Also located in New Hampshire—less than forty miles from Monadnock—Grappone Auto Group is a family of dealerships that has served the state since 1924. Grappone is a family-owned business that believes sustainability is no longer a trend but a pillar of a lasting, successful company. As the first LEED-certified Toyota dealership in New England, Grappone Toyota sought a partner with similar values to help it create and mount a wall mural outlining the milestones of the dealerships’ ninety years in business.

Enter Monadnock. “We are a natural partner for Grappone,” said Lisa Berghaus, Monadnock’s manager of marketing communications. “It’s great to connect with another New Hampshire business that values sustainability as we do, and to share a product that honors our respective commitment to the environment.” The Mill recommended its Envi Wallgraphics line, which is specifically designed for applications in the retail environment. Envi Wallgraphics provide an eco-friendly alternative to traditional residential wall covering and retail environmental graphics. Made with 10 percent post-consumer recycled fiber, the substrate is Forest Stewardship Council certified (FSC C018866) and manufactured carbon neutral with 100 percent renewable electricity. Envi Wallgraphics also meet California 01350 standards for indoor air quality.

Mural creation began with design concepts. To complement Grappone’s intent to honor the history, milestones, and progress of its dealerships over the past ninety years, designers used old paper textures, historical color treatments, and minimal pops of color. The 3- by 56-foot mural required rounds of print testing, paper applications, and installation tests.

Image 4, a New Hampshire-based large-format printer, partnered with Monadnock and Grappone to manage the mural printing process.

"Monadnock's paper is the nicest and highest grade of paper we've installed in years," said Jeffrey Baker, President of Image 4. "It prints extremely well in both ultra-violet and latex methods, it's incredibly easy to work with, and our installer said it was the best paper he's worked with in his 35-year career."

With expertise in producing products for 3D spaces, Image 4 also shares its partners’ focus on sustainability and social responsibility. Monadnock, Grappone, and Image 4 are all members of New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR). NHBSR is committed to adopting socially responsible business practices and recognizes that people, principles, and profits are inextricably linked.

“We are philosophically aligned to do right by the planet,” said Berghaus. “Image 4 is extremely eco-conscious and does tremendous amounts of retail environment work, so it was an ideal fit.” Image 4 also brings an intense focus to details. Paper strength and quality is key, but the substrate must also retain inks properly and stand up to changing environmental conditions in the retail space. Image 4 tested Envi Wallgraphics’ adhesive strength, stretch, and performance on various wall surfaces. Monadnock worked with Image 4 to provide product specs, ensuring the printer had information needed to determine the appropriate machine and select the UV inks. After multiple rounds of testing, Image 4 gave Envi Wallgraphics a full vote of confidence.

The easy-on, easy-off properties of Envi Wallgraphics made for a smooth installation process, especially when snags occurred. When the printed mural ended up slightly too long for the wall it would hang on, designers worked on-site with installers to adjust the material. The ease with which the paper could come down, be re-cut and subsequently re-mounted, saved time for all parties and prevented additional costs.

Monadnock underwrote costs of the paper stock as an expression of goodwill from one New Hampshire-based company to another. The finished product ultimately honors the skills, talents, and abilities of three local businesses and their shared values of sustainability and social responsibility.

“We were thrilled to place this mural in Grappone’s Toyota dealership as a testament to our mutual commitment to conducting business without forsaking the environment,” said Berghaus. “The two aren’t mutually exclusive—even for large-scale printing jobs that need to stand the test of time.”

"The timeline looks beautiful and we are so pleased that Monadnock Paper Mills produces an environmentally friendly wall covering," said Amanda Osmer Grappone, 4th generation Owner of the Grappone Automotive Group. "It was the perfect paper for this historical project in our new LEED certified Toyota dealership."