Process free platesetting is the next step in cutting processing steps from print production lines and making them more environmentally sustainable. Going process free does away with the plate processor, chemicals, disposal concerns and of course the man power and time involved in prepress.
Ink contributes only a miniscule amount to the overall carbon footprint of printed matter. But its use, development, manufacture and removal in readiness for substrate recycling can have a substantial impact. The use part is especially important since it can affect operators’ health and influence other aspects of production’s energy footprint, such as curing and drying.
USA Today is one of that country’s few national newspapers. Others include the Wall Street Journal and the Christian Science Monitor, but unlike these titles USA Today may be phasing out its printed versions. There are only around 730,000 copies printed for a nation of over 350 million people and as the online subscriber base for the newspaper grows, it is easy to understand why the paper’s owners, Gannett Company wants to get out of print. The estimated readership of USA Today is around 2.6 million, fertile ground for chasing digital subscriptions. And of course it’s cheaper.
We have always been strong supporters of the printing industry and its sustainability. We have encouraged the use of print as a sustainable communications medium because it is mostly based on a renewable resource, paper. It is still highly sustainable as a medium, however it is increasingly clear that today’s communications business is all about data, rather than format.
We are told with increasing shrillness that something must be done about climate change. And it must, but too often we have dismissed the calls to arms simply because we can. We can hide behind the lazy idea that it’s not as bad as it seems, that someone, somewhere will deal with the problem, that it isn’t our responsibility. Recent events have put paid to that convenient complacency and the need to act becomes more urgent with each passing day.