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Industry Insight

Going Green Two Sides Fast Fact #31

By Richard Romano
Published: November 12, 2012

WhatTheyThink’s Going Green has joined forces with Two Sides to help address the “perceptions” that paper destroys forests, that electronic media are “greener” than print and paper, and that recycling is the solution to all environmental ills. Last week, we cited a story in which Graphic Design: USA’s June Print Design Survey found that “eight-in-ten GDUSA readers specify eco-friendly papers sometimes, and one third specify such papers more often now than a year ago.” Why Should You Care? We remarked above what constitutes “eco-friendly papers” and it’s interesting how the perception of “green paper” is changing. Circa 2006–2007, when I was with TrendWatch Graphic Arts (later The Industry Measure), we would conduct similar surveys with graphic design and production professionals and the respondents who had an interest in “green paper” were decidedly in the minority, and even then “green” and “recycled” were virtually synonymous. The migration to sustainable paper specification has been more evolutionary than revolutionary, and if we bemoan the slowness with which printers and print buyers are moving in “green” directions, we should recall that major changes in attitude or in practice do not happen overnight, and they do not often happen by random chance. As the GD:USA article and related profiles point out, it is the dedication and personal vision of designers and design shop principals that determine the trajectory of sustainability within a company. We find this in the printing industry as well. Once the hearts and minds are on board, the rest is relatively easy. For more Two Sides facts see http://www.twosides.us/mythsandfacts.

Richard Romano is Managing Editor of WhatTheyThink | Printing News & Wide-Format & Signage.  He curates the Wide Format section on WhatTheyThink.com. He has been writing about the graphic communications industry for more than 25 years. He is the author or coauthor of more than half a dozen books on printing technology and business. His most recent book is “Beyond Paper: An Interactive Guide to Wide-Format and Specialty Printing.



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