Printing Industries of America Challenges Google on Paperless Initiative
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Press release from the issuing company
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Printing Industries of America's President and CEO, Michael Makin encouraged the U.S. printing industry to reject a call by Google to "Go Paperless in 2013." The following message from Michael Makin has been sent to the Printing Industries of America membership.
Once again our industry is under attack, and this time it is from Google, which has launched an initiative titled "Go Paperless in 2013." It is joined in this effort by a number of digital companies which clearly have a vested interest in a non-paper communications stream.Dear Members:
Needless to say we find such a proposal ridiculous and an insult to the almost one million Americans who owe their livelihood to our industry.
In an open letter to Google CEO Larry Page and Chairman Eric Schmidt today, I challenged Google on its self-righteous environmental stance and noted that our industry has long led the way in utilizing sustainable processes. The primary raw material for printing is paper, which comes from trees, which are a renewable resource—so renewable that today our country has 20 percent more trees than it did on the first Earth Day, which was held more than 40 years ago.
Printing is the only medium with a one-time carbon footprint—all other media require energy every time they are viewed. Electronic devices, which Google produces, for example, require the mining and refining of dozens of minerals and metals, as well as the use of plastics, hydrocarbon solvents, and other non-renewable resources. Moreover 50–80 percent of electronic waste collected for recycling is shipped overseas and is often unsafely dismantled. For Google to call for a paperless world is hypocritical to say the least.
Regrettably, sentiments like those espoused by Google (and Toshiba, which backed down last year) are shared by others. This is why Printing Industries of America has spent time and resources putting together a tool that can be used to dispel the many misconceptions about our industry.
This campaign is called The Value of Print. It contains a flip-book that can be used by anyone to understand the issues and dispel the myths. It has four sections: Misconceptions, which gives responses to the common misconceptions about print; Effectiveness, which gives statistics on how print is an effective part of the marketing mix and how people still prefer print; By the Numbers, which discusses the importance of the industry and its large economic footprint; and Resources, which lists websites where more information on the subject can be found. You can view more on the flip-book at www.printing.org/valueofprint.
We also have a mobile app that provides a live RSS feed with the most up-to-date facts and statistics to support print’s effectiveness, supported facts to respond to misconceptions and confirm print’s effectiveness, and a searchable 2011 Print Market Atlas. The market atlas feature allows users to look at print statistics by selecting a location—national, state, or region. They can then look at an overview of the chosen location with shipments, establishments, and employment. Each of these overviews will allow for filtering by market segment and printing process. The results are displayed in a chart or graph format, whichever the user prefers.
To download the app, you can go to your respective mobile app site today or visit http://value.printing.org/page/10574#mobile.
Being a part of this great industry, we can’t sit back and allow companies like Google to put information out there that is not based on facts. We are encouraging everyone to view a copy of the flip-book and help spread the true message about print. As I posed the question to the CEO of Google, how would he feel if the almost 1 million workers in our industry encouraged their family and friends to go “Google-Less” in 2013?
By Stan Najmr on Jan 10, 2013
Google is not questioning the value of print. Google’s initiative is called “Paperless Office”. Printed paper as a carrier of information lost to digital long time ago. Whatever you read on the paper today is already obsolete. Paper is slow, inflexible, cost of sharing paper information is very high and speed of delivery can’t match digital means. Google, Fujitsu and many others rightly realized that paper in the office environment does not bring any benefits. Faxing any information today is a waste of resources. Making paper copies is waste of resources. Creation of paper phone books, maps and office forms is also wasting time and resources. Printing Industries of America has enough data supporting above facts. There is no doubt that general public benefits from digital information. Removal of paper from offices around the world will also remove obsolete and slow processes. Printing Industries of America should select a different topic to be concerned about. There are many to choose from.
By John Clifford on Jan 10, 2013
Ah, but Google IS saying that going "paperless" is an environmental issue. That's what the printing industry is calling them out on. We in print (at least not me) are saying that we should throw away our electronics. We just hate it when the bogus argument of "save a tree" is used. Talk about timeliness of information, speed of information, etc. all you want, just don't lie to the public that they should feel good because they're saving a tree. Trees for paper are a farmed product. Why not say save corn stalks, eat beef? Farmed products are by nature sustainable. The fossil fuels and minerals that run our electronics are not. THAT'S THE FACT.
By Erik Nikkanen on Jan 10, 2013
In the last few years I have become much more positive about the future energy supplies. There are a lot of development efforts aimed at making low cost electricity that does not produce CO2. Even Landa is aiming at doing this with his nano technology to extract energy from ambient temperature air or substances and convert it to electricity.
By Stan Najmr on Jan 10, 2013
“Deforestation during the Roman period was a result of the geographical expansion of the Roman Empire, with its increased population, large-scale agriculture, and unprecedented economic development. .. Rome drove human development in Western Europe and was a leading contributor the deforestation around the Mediterranean.” (Wikipedia) John says: “Farmed products are by nature sustainable.”
By Michael Eddington on Jan 11, 2013
Paper is indeed renewable, but a certain percentage of harvesting is done in old growth forests, even when using “ sustainable” certified material. This is loss of an eco-system, and it is not/cannot be replaced with reforestation. Moreover, newly planted trees are often genetically modified to grow faster. These monoculture plantations can greatly increase water consumption and result in faster nutrient depletion and increase salinity and acidity of the soil. There is an environmental impact to using more paper, and we as the print industry can recognize this and do better.
By Bryan Yeager on Jan 11, 2013
I agree with many of the comments above. Perhaps if Mr. Makin and his organization spent more time helping its members transform and diversify their companies and less time trying to gin up the wrong type of publicity, the industry would not find itself in the precarious position it's currently in. I'm sure Larry and Sergey got a good laugh out of this press release; then again they're probably too busy trying to innovate and change the world to bother with it.
By John Clifford on Jan 14, 2013
By Stan Najmr on Jan 15, 2013
By Joel Salus on Jan 17, 2013
Whining and complaining about Google's "Paperless Office" initiative is absolutely ridiculous, if not a total waste of time. Offices that "go paperless" will do so because of process-efficiency and enhanced/increased employee-productivity; the "environmental" issue, right or wrong, is, to me, a "who really cares about that" issue. Mr. Malkin (and the PIA) should find more productive things to do with his time.
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