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The Print Council issues position paper on green printing

Aug 26, 2009 12:00 AM


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Printing’s strengths as a sustainable and environmentally responsible communications medium will be explored and promoted in a new position paper that is being developed by The Print Council. Created for use by the printing industry, the report is scheduled for release at Print ‘09, the industry’s premier trade show, which takes place in Chicago September 11th to 16th.

“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. But we did so quietly, to the extent that there is a lack of awareness regarding the environmentally responsible nature of print. That’s why we created and will be distributing this new position paper.”

Titled “Why Print Is Green,” the new report describes 10 specific ways in which print is green – from 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.

Among the facts the white paper documents:

  • In 2008, more than 57 percent of paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling, more than any material.
  • The paper industry is aiming to reach 60 percent recycling by 2012. Every additional percentage point means that a million tons of paper are recovered.
  • Less than 10 percent of U.S. power comes from renewable sources, but in the pulp and paper industry, that figure is greater than 60 percent.
  • Printers are frequent buyers of renewable-energy certificates. These certificates — which represent power generated by wind, hydro, solar, or biomass — support growth of renewable energy producers.
  • The average person’s paper use for a year — 440 pounds — is produced by 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity, the amount used to power one computer continuously for 5 months.

“Media buyers and marketers who believe that print is lagging as an environmentally friendly medium need to know these facts, which show that print is in fact leading in this critical area,” Cooper points out. “Why Print Is Green will document the information, serving as an easy-to-use reference guide for print producers and print consumers.”

Printed copies of “Why Print Is Green” can be ordered via e-mail: jnvinyard@msn.com.