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Why Print Is Truly Green

Print is a sustainable and environmentally responsible communications medium.

December 2009 By Joanne Vinyard

AT PRINT 09, The Print Council released a new position paper that lists 10 strong reasons why print is a sustainable and environmentally responsible communications medium.

Titled "Why Print Is Green," the new report describes specific ways in which print is green—from the responsible products used, renewable energy sourced, increased recycling rates, improved design and delivery methods. The report is intended for use by printers and designers to demonstrate to their customers why print media is the environmentally sound choice for communicating with the audiences they want to reach.

"Our industry is a leader in recycling, sustainability and pollution control," says Ben Cooper, executive director of The Print Council. "In fact, we pioneered putting those concepts into widespread practice over the past three decades. Media buyers and marketers who believe that print is lagging as an environmentally friendly medium need to know that print is leading in this critical area."

The "Why Print Is Green" brochure was created, reviewed and produced responsibly. The following excerpt details four of the 10 reasons why print is green.

Show You're Sustainable

Mother Nature clearly celebrates the cycles of life; the Earth twirls every 24 hours, for example, and travels once around the sun every year. For years now, we in the printing industry have been working with her, considering life cycles in everything we do, from what we print on to how we deliver it.

Many of her best materials arise organically, and so do ours. The chief ingredient in paper grows on trees (well, they are trees) and we're basing our inks and toners on fruits and vegetables.

Likewise, she doesn't so much discard as reuse, and so do we: Most of the material from trees that doesn't become paper becomes power, and we both generate and use more renewable power than just about everyone. And more of our products are recycled than just about anything.

We take these steps not because they make us look good—though we hope they do—and not just because they make economic sense, although they clearly do. We take them because we know nothing exists apart from nature. Here are some of the best ways we show it:

We Consider the Source

We're careful to ensure that the paper and printing products we use originated responsibly. For instance, we rely on forest certification programs such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), which dominate in North America, and the Euro-centric Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certifications.



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