How do you make an environmental impact declaration for print? And why would you want to? These are questions most printers would prefer not to answer, but the second question is easier than the first: customers.
There’s been heightened interest of late in the effectiveness of the printed word. It started with direct mail associations finding higher response rates to print than to electronic equivalents. Printed book sales in developed markets are outpacing e-book sales. And even the newspaper industry is still seeing 60% of revenues coming from print. According to Michael Golden vice-chairman of the New York Times company speaking at the recent Wan-Ifra World Publishing Expo, “readers have stayed with print and they are paying an increasing price for it.”
Bankers are not generally thought of as committed tree huggers, but where money is concerned anything is possible. So it is with JPMorgan Chase, a multinational banking monster that is the biggest bank in the USA and the sixth biggest worldwide. It has assets of some US$2.5 trillion including many in property and from a graphics industry perspective it’s a big buyer of print. But what makes JPMorgan Chase more interesting is its approach to energy which appears to put it squarely in the tree hugging camp.
ISO 14001 (Environmental management systems) is an ISO bestseller and for good reason. In enshrines good management practises, that help us all to protect the environment, and it makes sure a business meets regulations. But a key principle in this document is that it requires an appreciation of the relationship between environmental aspects and environmental impacts. We tend to focus on the impacts but consideration of aspects is just as important.
The marriage of ecology and economics is becoming increasingly obvious and necessary for business. As a result, developers are constantly moving to offer technologies that reduce product life cycle footprints, as well as perform more efficiently for their customers. In the graphics industry the most obvious example of this is digital printing which produces only what is needed, ideally as close as possible to its point of use. However that doesn’t mean that developments in offset printing have been standing still.