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Green Printing: For the Environment and Your Bottom Line

Many people are concerned about the harmful effects of carbon dioxide emissions on climate change. 

Paper manufacture and printing can contribute to the problem. These processes can produce greenhouse gases and use large amounts of wood, energy and water, as well as various inks, solvents and chemicals. Packaging can involve bindings, adhesives and foils that make recycling difficult.

If you’re involved in print procurement, however, you can lessen the environmental impact by requesting “green printing.” Your customers may appreciate your company’s efforts to be environmentally conscious, too.

Green printing may seem like a complicated route to go, but it’s much more doable than you might think, as vendors are increasingly adding green options.

Green printing includes post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled paper, paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), vegetable-based inks, paper processed without chlorine and products made with renewable energy.

You’ll want to avoid “greenwashing,” or being misled by exaggerated claims, and you’ll still want to get good prices and quality from your vendor. Using 100% PCW recycled paper can actually save you money. Here are some guidelines:

Choosing a printer

Consider printers and suppliers with SGP (Sustainable Green Printing) certification. The SGP Partnership is a nonprofit organization that’s created a multipoint sustainability certification program for the printing industry. For more information, visit sgppartnership.org.

Also ask: Is the printer FSC certified? Does the printer stock 100% PCW recycled paper? Does the printer use soy-based inks?

Designing your product

Consider going with smaller page sizes. Avoid foil—it’s harmful to the environment. Streamline your packaging and use recycled paper. Be judicious in your use of direct mail.

Partnering with an expert

eLynxx Solutions print management software and service can help you identify printers who qualify as environmentally friendly and help you write green specs, including recycled paper, soy ink and FSC certification. In addition, eLynxx software will ensure you get the best quality, price and service, while providing milestone monitoring, expense tracking and change order management. Contact info@elynxx.com for a free demonstration.

Choosing green printing is a different approach to print procurement, but when done right, it can build customer loyalty and trust, save you money, and most important, it’s easier on the environment.