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Commentary & Analysis

Do You Have Your “Do Good” On?

Doing good has become good business practice. We not only see it in action, but the research bears it out, too.  Fortunately, we are seeing printers taking up the mantle and investing in various areas of social responsibility, cementing customer relationships and (hopefully) creating positive peer pressure to do the same.

By Heidi Tolliver-Walker
Published: May 22, 2019

Doing good has become good business practice. We not only see it in action, but the research bears it out, too. People want to buy from companies that do good for others, whether that is in the area of social responsibility, economic justice, environmental protection, or something else.  

According to a study by Clutch, for example:

  • 75% of people are likely to start shopping at a company that supports an issue they agree with.
  • When asked about the most important attributes of a company, 71% said environmentally-friendly business practices were most important, 68% said social responsibility was most important, and another 68% said giving back to the local community was most important. Price came in far behind at 44%.
  • 71% of people think it’s important for businesses to take a stance on social movements, and 59% are likely to stop shopping at a company that supports an issue they disagree with. This rises to 70% of GenXers.

We see these principles being lived out by companies like TOMS, but I am seeing it more in the printing industry, too.  Burlington Press, for example, has a Giving Back page in which it promotes ongoing discounts for first responders and gift-in-kind programs for nonprofits. DG3 (Diversified Graphics Group)’s Corporate Social Responsibility page talks about its environmental stewardship, including use of 100% Green-E certified renewable wind energy in North American operations and closed-loop recycling systems for paper and chemistry. Pixos Print has a page that promotes its community involvement, including a company policy to sponsor regularly-scheduled volunteer days during work hours, support for the medical research of organizations like the Cure for Childhood Cancer Association, and investment in community enrichment organizations like Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army. It even has a link inviting nonprofits to request gift-in-kind donations.

It’s encouraging to see the printing industry getting involved in formalized social responsibility initiatives. Not only is it the right thing to do, but by doing so, printers do two things: 1) cement customer relationships through these public commitments; and 2) normalize formalized social responsibility initiatives in our industry in a way that encourages their peers to do the same.

What areas of social responsibly, community service, and environmental responsibility has your company committed to? If you have pages dedicated to them, post the links!

Heidi Tolliver-Walker Heidi is an industry analyst specializing in digital, one-to-one, personalized URL, and Web-to-print applications. Her Marketer’s Primer Series, availalbe through Digital Printing Reports, includes “Digital Printing: Transforming Business and Marketing Models,” 1:1 (Personalized) Printing: Boosting Profits Through Relevance,” “Personalized URLs: Beyond the Hype,” and “Web-to-Print: Transforming Document Management and Marketing.”



By Maeghan Nicholson on May 24, 2019

Here's our Social Responsibility page at Suttle-Straus: https://www.suttle-straus.com/about/social-responsibility


By Heidi Tolliver-Walker on May 26, 2019

Thanks, Maeghan! I hope others post their links, as well.


By Jake Balfour on May 29, 2019

Here's Taylor Corporation's Social Responsibility page:



By Chris Lynn on May 30, 2019

Heidi- you didn't mention the benefits of CSR to the company's employees and, through their greater engagement and motivation, to itself. With 85% of employees feeling disengaged from their jobs according to Gallup, forward-thinking companies are using volunteerism to motivate and develop staff, while also doing good. Here's an example:


By Heidi Tolliver-Walker on May 30, 2019

Love it! Thanks.


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