September 25, 2017

Print and the environment

Each year, more and more businesses are realising the growing importance placed on environmentally friendly practices. Be it through new government legislation, greater consumer demand or through Corporate Social Responsibility. This means that all aspects of your business can seek new ways to improve upon its practices, including, of course, any marketing strategies. This includes print marketing which, compared to digital marketing, is from the outset far more wasteful. This doesn’t mean that businesses shouldn’t use print marketing; instead, it means working with printing agencies who seek innovative ways to improve upon each one of the following 3 aspects.
Image result for environmentally friendly print
Production

The production process of using environmentally friendly print marketing falls under using resources that are not simply being diminished and destroyed. You’ve no doubt seen plenty of news coverage about entire forests being wiped out worldwide, such as in Brazil, to cope with growing consumer demand for paper. However, in the UK and Europe, strict measures have been put in place to ensure that any wood and pulp harvested is done so in a sustainable way. In fact, between 2005 and 2015, Europe’s supply of woodland forest area actually grew by over 40,000km squared, which is roughly the size of Switzerland. All reputable users of paper in print marketing follow these strict measures as put in place and managed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification  and the Forest Stewardship Council.

Printing

Beyond the paper itself, the printing process, in which any designs and marketing material are added to paper, does have the potential to be wasteful and environmentally damaging. Again, however, we have seen organisations taking tremendously innovative steps towards reducing their carbon footprint. Recycling cleaning solvents, offsetting carbon emissions and using vegetable-based inks are just three steps that forward-thinking companies are taking to carry out what is being dubbed “environmental printing”.

Consumption

The most vivid display to consumers of print marketing being an environmentally damaging tool comes in the consumption process. But with growing international awareness, European levels of paper recycling have hit as high as 70-75% in recent years. Though we can always strive for better, industry experts suggest this is roughly the highest practical level as there will always be some paper that cannot be recycled sure to being contaminated or simply being too old. Though it is true that paper cannot be recycled indefinitely because fibres become too worn, recycled paper does have new fibres added with every cycle and, as such, is as environmentally safe as possible.

Being a business that cares about the world it operates in means being fully aware of good print management practices and seeking companies that follow them strictly when producing any marketing materials. For more information on how we can help you achieve your green targets, contact us at Granby Marketing today.

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