The environmental friendliness of electronic media is vastly overrated, but printers can take steps that range from simple to drastic to further "green" their businesses
LEXINGTON, KY Despite a sputtering economy and a challenging print marketplace, there are forward-thinking companies in the industry that have committed themselves to environmental sustainability, even if pressure from print buyers to "go green" has been less than insistent and consistent. Even many of the least dedicated "green" printers are taking some steps toward sustainability, even if it is not with any great enthusiasm. The latest WhatTheyThink Economics & Research Center (ERC) Business Conditions survey of U.S. commercial printers showed:
- 35% said they "identify itself in marketing and sales materials and promotions as an environmentally sensitive business," up from 26% who said this in the ERC's March 2008 survey.
- 44% said that environmentally sustainable printing "is critically important to only a select few customers," up from 41% three years ago.
- 42% said that environmentally sustainable printing "is not essential to our business or to our customers," up from 30% three years ago.
- 21% said they have a certified environmentally sustainable printing initiative.
Despite the lukewarm perception of green initiatives today by companies in the industry, there is evidence that sustainability issues are becoming more important to businesses and individuals outside the industry, which will impact the service providers-or even the media-they choose to work with.
WhatTheyThink, the leading news and information site for the graphic communications industry, announces the immediate availability of Print Is Green! A WhatTheyThink Primer on Environmental Sustainability in the Graphic Communications Industry. This 86-page report provides an overview of the state of green printing initiatives in the U.S. commercial printing industry. The report, an update to a special primer report first published in April 2008, includes the results of a March 2011 survey of commercial printing establishments conducted by WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center, descriptions of a host of green certification and other organizations, sustainability success stories from the winners of WhatTheyThink's annual Environmental Innovation Awards, and a variety of steps-small and large-that commercial printers can take toward becoming environmentally sustainable and responsible.
The report also seeks to dispel the increasingly common notion that electronic media is more environmentally friendly than print, offering a sample of third-party research that demonstrates the often dramatic environmental costs of computers, mobile devices, data centers, and the Internet in general. The report also stresses the ways in which the printing industry and the associated links in the supply chain are taking proactive steps toward environmental sustainability.
The goal of the report is to offer a value proposition for sustainable printing. As the report repeatedly stresses, "The more printers who don't see the value in sustainable print themselves, the more it reinforces the belief of those who feel that print is an environmentally unfriendly medium." As we emerge from the recession, slowly but surely, environmental sustainability will become an increasingly important issue-especially among young people.
Print Is Green! A WhatTheyThink Primer on Environmental Sustainability in the Graphic Communications Industry was created for graphic communication professionals, whether they are printers, publishers, graphic designers, or industry suppliers. It is available for online purchase at the WhatTheyThink eStore in PDF format http://store.whattheythink.com/operations-management/printing-continues-to-go-green
Additional information pertaining to each report is available for editorial purposes. Please make inquiries directly to Cary Sherburne at 603-430-5463 or [email protected], or visit www.whattheythink.com.
WhatTheyThink comprises the largest graphic arts community in the print industry. Started in March 2000, WhatTheyThink.com provides daily news, interviews, research, and many more resources to our members. Our goal is to provide unbiased, real-time market intelligence to print and publishing executives.