In a time when the world is struggling to save its natural resources, many organizations have adopted green business practices as part of their policies. There is rightful pride to be had in choosing to follow green policies which leads many organizations to publically proclaim their stance on doing their part for a better environment.
In publicizing environmental initiatives it is important to remember to carry the practices through any activity. Internal measures such as waste prevention, material reuse, energy efficiency and recycling, to name a few, make a big difference. But the public won’t see most of them. Outward-facing activities, however, are visible. Perhaps none are as visible as an organization’s marketing materials.
Going Green with Print Marketing
For organizations complying with the standards of a greener business, print marketing may seem like a strategy against their proclaimed ideals and beliefs. It’s common to think of going paperless as the only path toward eco-conscious marketing, but this is not the case. By using the right products and procedures, an organization can not only continue to benefit from the effectiveness and efficiency of print marketing, but also show their concern and diligence in a resourceful manner.
Choosing the Right Marketing Materials
Although it becomes obvious that green print marketing requires considerations to be given to the materials used for the printing itself; it’s not often clear the extent to which they can go green with printed marketing communications, ads, packaging and more.
The two primary elements in most printed marketing materials are inks and the surfaces they are placed upon. Soy or vegetable based inks that are free from chemicals and harmful pollutants are as good as their chemical counterparts and are only a specification away.
The same goes for paper. Paper mills are turning out recycled stocks that look, feel and perform as well as non-recycled paper. In fact, many of them surpass non-recycled papers and provide creative options for physically enhancing designs. Specifying a stock that is Forest Stewardship Council, or FSC, certified goes a step further in taking a stand on environmental sustainability.
Consider Size of the Materials
The larger a piece is the more materials it will use. Smaller size layouts that make use of creative design and typesetting can create bigger impacts on your customers as well as the environment. Additionally, especially in direct mail cases, but even in any circumstance where they will be shipped, lighter weight printed materials will lead to less carbon emission from fuel and even reduce costs.
Find the Right Printing Company
When going green an organization needs to be certain that their business partners and vendors are also in tune with their beliefs. By clearly defining standards that printers are expected to meet as part of the project’s specifications and request for pricing, the organization can assure that production will take place in an eco-friendly manner.
Tell Your Customers
After making conscientious format and design considerations, specifying eco-friendly materials and stipulating green production processes, an organization knows that its marketing materials stand up to its environmental initiatives. It can therefore, in good faith, publically display the steps it has taken toward greener business. Ink and paper manufacturers, as well as printers, who provide products and services that meet established certification criteria, will often have logos and other elements that can specified into project designs. Using them is a simple and effective way to show pride in taking the initiative to market in an eco-friendly way.
Of course it’s easy to say what to do and how to do it in an article. Making it happen in reality is a completely different story. Just like any other process, policy or requirement; implementing, and ensuring follow through on, green initiatives is best handled when the organization is in control of its own projects. This is also an instance where having the aid of software that is built for the job and configured around the unique structure and needs of the organization can be very helpful.