Paper has an important place in business. Used across multiple departments including marketing, service/support, training, and for everyday office use, print materials go a long way towards conveying professionalism and establishing a strong brand. However, paper manufacturing is a contributor to global warming, which is why it’s important for companies to do what they can in order to take an environmentally responsible approach to printing. It’s especially important for global companies to cut back on energy usage and toxic emissions associated with printing at high volumes. It’s in a company’s best interest to follow these 4 principles of environmentally friendly global printing:
Consider the whole life-cycle (not just the product)
To take an environmentally friendly approach to global printing, a company needs to consider every step of the process, from the care of the trees that are harvested (17,000 gallons of water required to water 24 medium-sized trees), to the emissions released during transport, to how paper is being used and what happens once it has been used.
Use “Lean” thinking
It’s important to print only what’s needed and eliminate the rest. For example, during the proofing process it’s advisable to edit using PDF on the screen and only print the final, approved documents. In addition to recycling all paper and using recycled paper, recycled ink and solvent can also be used. Use paper that is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified, meaning that the paper and wood have been sourced in an environmentally-friendly, socially responsible, and economically viable manner. Reduce power consumption by utilizing presses that need less power than conventional presses.
Utilize local production and materials
The cost of shipping far distances isn’t only a financial cost. Think about the environmental cost of that far transport, too. Reducing long distance shipping by producing all items associated with printing closer to where they are needed significantly reduces carbon emissions and is better for the environment.
Avoid toxic/hazardous materials and processes
It’s important to avoid metallic and fluorescent ink that, in addition to contributing to global warming, are also dangerous to employee health. Aqueous (water-based) coating is preferable to varnish, UV, or laminates that require high energy and utilize hazardous chemicals. All chemicals should use low VOC emitting solvents and be reusable.
At AA Global Printing, we follow these 4 principles to ensure that our clients are printing in an environmentally responsible manner. Our clients are able to offset hundreds of metric tons of CO2, N2O, and other harmful emissions every year.