The International Panel on Climate Change states in its fourth assessment report that “a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit”. If ever there was an argument to support paper based media, this is surely it.
In a couple of weeks the inaugural EcoPrint show in Berlin will be over. What will it have achieved? Well, we can expect the usual boasts about visitor numbers that exceeded expectations and how everyone at the show was an important decision maker. Blah. Blah. Why do exhibition organisers proclaim their own success based on contrived visitor numbers instead of boasting about what their events have achieved for the industry?
Some manufacturers serving the printing and publishing industries have long been heavy on the sustainability message. Ricoh and Canon for instance, both generous supporters of Verdigris, have a persistent voice, and Xerox’s is getting louder. These companies have a heavy presence in the wider office sector, so the breadth of their impacts is larger than the likes of Heidelberg, manufacturers whose interests are very sector specific.
How many times have you seen this silly message: Please consider the environment before printing this email? Even in the printing industry people put this at the bottom of their emails, which is absolutely daft. It effectively confirms an all too common and downright dangerous misconception. The implication of this type of message is that print is bad for the environment, but nothing could be further from the truth.
We all know that recycling is the way to go if we are to preserve our planet’s natural resources. But are we all fully on board with what it will cost to do so? Our concept of commercial success is profit and all too much effort goes into maximising it without necessarily appreciating that the bottom line isn’t the only line we should not cross. Perhaps it’s time for some renewed thinking on the nature of success and profitability?