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Michael Makin takes on another industry giant to refute misconceptions about the printing industry

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Press release from the issuing company

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Printing Industries of America’s President and CEO Michael Makin issued an open letter to Costco Wholesale Corp. CEO Craig Jelinek today, regarding an article in The Costco Connection with several misconceptions about the impact of paper on the environment. The following message from Michael Makin has been sent to the Printing Industries of America membership.

Dear Members:

This is not an April Fool's joke. It has been brought to our attention today that the printing industry is under attack by yet another industry giant. Costco Wholesale Corp. is planning to distribute the April 2013 issue of The Costco Connection with an article titled “Good for the earth and business” by Carrie Madren. This article claims to be dedicated to green and sustainability but contains several serious misconceptions about the negative environmental impact of paper and the superior performance of electronic communication.

In an open letter to Costco Wholesale Corp. CEO Craig Jelinek today, I encouraged the organization to consider the facts about print. Printing is the only medium with a one-time carbon footprint with all other media requiring energy every time they are viewed and, additionally, most of the energy is from non-renewable fuels, whereas paper made in North America is made with at least 60% renewable energy.

I told Mr. Jelinek that the printing industry in this country employs almost one million people, many of whom are Costco customers. Presenting distortions of fact as Costco has done in their newsletter is a disservice to them.

Facts about our industry, with information for even more resources to dispel the common misconceptions about print, can be found in The Value of Print Flip-Book, available in in the Printing Industries Press Online Store; or in a digital version; and most recently as a mobile app for Apple, Android, and Blackberry users.

The Flip-Book is an invaluable tool that can be used to give responses to the common misconceptions about print, promote its effectiveness with statistics, discuss the importance of the printing industry and its large economic footprint, and refer to additional websites for more information.

Let’s all rally behind our industry and encourage Mr. Jelinek to correct the false claims in his April newsletter.


Michael Makin
President & CEO
Printing Industries of America



By Pat Berger on Apr 02, 2013

I have posted the onetime carbon foot print for print in 2007

in 2010 http://blogs.whattheythink.com/going-green/2010/11/national-geographi-carbon-footprint/

Where was the PIA then. The PIA is behind you should have been doing this years ago.


By Eric Vessels on Apr 02, 2013

Thanks for the links to those, Pat. Both have some interesting discussion worth perusing.


By Patrick Henry on Apr 02, 2013

BTW, here's the link to the Costco article:



By Stan Najmr on Apr 02, 2013

Press releases and open letters attacking good suggestions will help nobody. If PIA thinks this is yet another appropriate promotion for The Value of Print Flip-Book, we are in troubles.

This is a second time, first time it was a similar open letter to Google, when PIA is trying to get publicity in a harmful way.

Digital media and mobile communications bring many new opportunities to printers. It would be wonderful if PIA could focus on those opportunities rather than spending time attacking articles describing common sense practices implemented decades ago by almost everybody. Time has come to start thinking about who is doing disservice to whom.


By Pat Berger on Apr 02, 2013

Stan PIA cares about their pockets and any little opportunity to peddle a product.
I was a member long ago until there magazine published an article about using alcohol in fountain solution while denouncing the 1 step fountain solution that did not use alcohol or an alcohol subs. They showed their ignorance about the future and which direction offset printing was going. I felt that I could no longer belong and support them.


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