Someone had asked in comments (sorry, can’t remember which thread) what I forecast for sustainable print in 2011, and I see two trends—one positive, one potentially negative, at least for the printing industry. The first is what may very well be a renewed emphasis on corporate sustainability in general. That is, these kinds of trends often have a “trickle-down” effect to the printing industry: businesses in general adopt a certain trend, which then impacts those who design and produce their marketing and advertising materials (print/media buyers), and which then ultimately affects the printers. So an increase in corporate sustainability will ultimately work its way back to the printers, as more and more companies require their vendors—and the vendors of their vendors—to be sustainable in some demonstrable fashion. That said, the second trend is one about which I have commented on this blog and elsewhere, which is the growing perception outside the printing industry that print is by its very nature an unsustainable medium or an unsustainable industry. So if you poke around in companies’ corporate sustainability initiatives, you often find that they are quick to cite a decrease in the consumption of print and paper, for example. Fast Company recently had a trend piece about the four keys to corporate sustainability in 2011. Their emphasis tends to be on carbon emissions and GHGs, but as sustainability takes hold in 2011 (which I suspect will be largely a function of the extent to which the economy recovers), other issues which will likely have a greater impact on the print industry will come into play, as well. One of the themes of many of the reports I have written for WhatTheyThink over the years—as well as my and Dr. Joe Webb’s 2010 book Disrupting the Future—is that the printing industry often ends up bearing the brunt of changes in the culture at large, and “green” issues are no exception.