In recent years we’ve seen a growing trend towards eco-consciousness worldwide – and not just for the individual. Indeed, global organizations are reevaluating their traditional business practices and looking at new ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
Swedish furniture-maker IKEA, for example, sources half of its wood supplies from sustainable foresters and 100% of its cotton supplies now meet ‘Better Cotton’ standards. Unilever has spent the past decade redefining how it disposes of waste, winning a ‘Champion of the Earth’ award from the United Nations in 2015. And even technology giants like IBM are investing in smart buildings that focus on reducing environmental-resource demands.
With so many major corporations and industry leaders investing in eco-conscious business practices, the reality is clear: sustainability is no longer a buzzword. On the contrary, organizations that don’t invest in green initiatives run the risk of not only alienating new audiences – in particular, younger generations with a stake in the future of an environmentally responsible planet – but also diminishing their brand value, driving away potential business partners and investors.
When the result of doing nothing leads to a worse financial margin, there’s no excuse for failing to invest in sustainability. So what can organizations in the print industry do to reduce their carbon footprint?
The environmental revolution has spread to all corners of the globe, and the printing industry is in a remarkable position to leverage this cause for greater social good. The Middle East is by no means exempt. In fact, with the total value of the region’s printing market estimated to be worth more than $20 billion in 2018, according to the Smithers Pira report, The Future of Global Printing to 2022, the Middle East can play a vital role in the future of ethical printing. And it’s not only traditional print products that can adopt greener practices, with the study revealing the printing volume by product type (% share) as:
The bottom line is this: organizations that embrace sustainable print practices can lead to direct growth. By reducing their carbon footprint, they can not only save on traditional, labor- and time-intensive practices, but also drive sales by promoting their eco-conscious operations.
There’s a wide variety of green examples that can be employed by printing operations, from the left-of-center initiatives like soy and vegetable-based inks, to responsible paper sourcing (e.g. shipping products with hybrid fleets; telecommuting employees; renewable energy powering factories, etc.). Then there’s the popular choice of becoming overall more energy efficient with machinery, appliances and more.