We recently came across a new take on the idea of certified green products. As a rule of thumb we generally don’t go for self-certification, but we make exceptions for ideas that help drive home the importance of environmental impact reduction. Idea Print, a printer in Russia, is providing its own Green Printer label. But instead of using it to promote Idea Print, the label is applied to the prints the company produces for its clients. Idea Print uses HP Indigo and Xerox digital variable data presses alongside a Screen Truepress direct imaging press for short run static work. Idea Print’s customers can use its green logo on any material printed on recycled paper and that has been produced with “management responsibility”. About 15% of Idea Print’s work qualifies to bear the company’s logo which was developed about three years ago. According to founder Sergey Popov, the idea for the logo came about “because we want to make things better”.
Idea Print is one of a growing cohort of printers who want to make things better, not just for the environment but for their sector too. Such companies realise that reducing environmental impact is not just about cutting costs and being more efficient. Company owners like Sergey are starting to realise that print media is part of a larger landscape and that encouraging customers with green initiatives is ultimately good for business.
Idea Print is linking its green efforts to social efforts at its factory in Moscow. The company is producing blank notepads from paper waste. Idea Print works with local charities to provide occasional employment for disabled and disadvantaged people to produce these Ecopads, a kind of social entrepreneurialism. The next step is to offer branded editions of the Ecopad to customers, another means of creating revenue from waste. Idea Print has also developed its own MIS which supports its Green Print logo and the company expects to achieve FSC certification later this year.
All over the world we hear of bright ideas and initiatives like the Idea Print Green Print label. They are part of a wider trend to improve the industry’s environmental footprint, business performance and image. They are the route to improving awareness of print’s sustainability amongst print buyers and consumers. It’s a conversation that needs to happen more often because the conversation quickly leads to the conclusion that print is the only medium based on sustainable, renewable, carbon-capturing raw materials.
– Laurel Brunner